Horses To Follow » Sarafina


Sarafina endured a desperately unlucky passage in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday. Racing in the rear of midfield, jockey Gerald Mosse was looking for room at the top of the false straight but was very badly impeded by the weakening Midas Touch and she actually did well to stay on her feet. That forced Sarafina much wider than ideal and meant she was caught up in the host of horses that inevitably come wide in big fields at Longchamp rather than through the middle where there was a gap, and which the ultimate winner Workforce was able to take. When eventually she found daylight, Sarafina ran on really strongly to finish fastest of all despite Mosse not asking her for everything as it was clear she wasn’t going to be able to reach the front two.

The Aga Khan’s filly remains a very lightly-raced filly and exciting prospect. In the circumstances this was a cracking effort from a three-year-old filly. She has obviously always been very highly regarded by her trainer Alain De Royer-Dupre, given that she was pitched into a Group 1 on just her second start, a race she duly won fairly comfortably in the end. Her third start saw her collect the Prix De Diane (French Oaks) before she got herself slightly too far back in the Prix Vermeille after a three month break coming with her customary strong late surge when it was just too late, reminiscent of her owner’s brilliant winner of the Arc two years ago, Zarkava.

Having had a long mid-season break, Sarafina could well be fresh enough to run again this year and she will be very much of interest if she does. There is also encouraging news that she is likely to be kept in training next year in line with the latest fashion of racing fillies at four, which is fantastic and hopefully will result in a clash with Snow Fairy at some point next year. The 2011 Arc will have to be the aim for Sarafina and if she is in the same sort of form this time next year then she could well take a lot of beating.

3rd October 2010