Igugu Relative Doing Well At Stud

One stallion who has more than impressed with his first crop is the blue-blooded Zarak (Dubawi).

Winner of four out of 13 starts, including the 2017 Gr1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, and runner-up in the 2016 Gr1 Prix du Jockey Club, Zarak had no lack of pedigree when he retired to Haras De Bonneval in 2018.

Zarak was a first class racehorse (Image – Haras De Bonneval)

He is a son of the outstanding sire Dubawi, whose sire sons now include greats such as Night Of Thunder, New Bay and Time Test. Zarak comes from the excellent racing mare Zarkava (Zamindar).

The latter, a direct descendant of legendary race mare and sire Mumtaz Mahal, won all seven of her starts including the 2008 Gr1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe where Zarkava defeated a star-studded field including Youmzain, Soldier Of Fortune, Vision D’ Etat and later South African sire and Cartier champion, Duke Of Marmalade.

In all, Zarkava won five Gr1 races, including both the 2008 Poules d’Essai des Pouliches and the Prix de Diane. The champion continued to enjoy great success at stud, with Zarak being one of three stakes winners produced by Zarkava.

Interestingly, Zarkava (rated 133 by Timeform after retiring from stud) is very closely related to former South African racing champion Igugu (Galileo). Zarkava’s fourth dam Zahra (a daughter of outstanding sire Habitat and star racer Petite Etoile) is also considered the fourth dam of Igugu.

The latter, who unfortunately died young at stud, was South Africa’s Horse of the Year in 2011, her 10 South African victories in 12 local starts including triumphs in the 2011 Gr1 Vodacom Durban July and 2012 Gr1 J&B Met.

Her son Zarak made an immediate impression when he retired to stud with the blue-blooded Grr1 winner, France’s leading breeding stallion of the first season of 2021.

Zarak’s outstanding first crop has already produced four group winners plus La Parisienne, runner-up in the Gr1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks). At the time of writing this vintage has accounted for 10 black horses and Zarak appears to be a young sire with considerable prospects.

His early group winners include German champion Lizaid, Gr2 Prix de Sandringham heroine Purplepay (also third in the Gr1 Criterium International) and Gr3 winners Lavello and Baiykara.

Perfect Specimen – Zarak (Image – Haras De Bonneval

Zarak’s first crop also produced the talented two-year-old Times Square, who was beaten by less than two lengths when he finished second to Marcel Boussac in the 2021 Qatar Gr1 Prix.

Interestingly, Zarak is bred on the same Dubawi/Zamindar cross as New Bay, the popular French Classic Champion Stallion by Ballylinch Stud.

The latter is already responsible for a host of high-profile performers, most notably world-class filly Saffron Beach, who will compete in the 2021 Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Gr1 Stakes and in the G1 Prix Rothschild and Gr2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes Year 2022 was victorious.

New Bay is also the sire of Mary Slack-owned Claymore, who triumphed in the Gr3 Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot earlier this year.

Zarak and Igugu also come from the same female line as promising young sire Cracksman (Frankel) – whose early first two-year-olds this season include Listed Star Stakes winner Dance In The Grass.

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