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Arc to Arc: Zarkava Foals Sea The Stars Colt

Leading bloodstock news, on Valentine's Day no less, was that the union of two of the highest-rated horses of each sex in modern times—namely the 2008 Prix de l'Arc winner Zarkava and the 2009 winner Sea The Stars—has resulted in a colt foal, born Friday night at the Aga Khan's Haras de Bonneval in France. The colt is Zarkava's second foal as she produced a filly by another Arc winner, Dalakhani, last year. So what are we to expect of this colt?

In modern times, Arc-winning mares have rarely visited Arc-winning stallions, but there are still a couple of examples to base some thoughts around. The brilliant All Along (1983 winner) visited 1971 winner Mill Reef in her first year at stud. The resultant foal, a colt named Along All, wasn't in the same league as his sire or dam but was able to win the Prix Greffulhe (gr. II) and Prix des Chenes (gr. III) and place second in the Grand Criterium (gr. I) at two before retiring to stud in Japan where he has met with some success. All Along later visited the outstanding Dancing Brave (1986 winner) with the resultant foal being the once-raced filly All Dancing, who later died after producing just three foals. Urban Sea (1993 winner and dam of Sea The Stars) was another to visit an Arc winner, this time in the shape of the undefeated Lammtarra (1995 winner) with the resultant foal being the stakes-winning Melikah, who also placed second in the Irish Oaks (gr. I) and third in the Epsom Oaks (gr. I) before her retirement to Darley Stud.

TrueNicks reveals some interesting statistics about Zarkava's matings. Her Sea The Stars colt represents a very good B+ cross. From 132 starters by Cape Cross out of Mr. Prospector line mares, there are 10 stakes winners (more than twice the expected strike rate), including five group winners. Sea The Stars himself is a representative of this cross, and the mating returns his Mr. Prospector broodmare sire line back to him (this pattern is present in both of Zarkava's matings, as Sea The Stars and Dalakhani are out of mares by Mr. Prospector's son Miswaki). Not surprisingly, nearly all of the cross's success has come on turf (nine SW on turf, one on all-weather), and the average winning distance is 7.94 furlongs, a good bit farther than Zamindar's average as a broodmare sire. Both sire and dam were group I winners at eight, 10, and 12 furlongs, so it certainly looks a classic mating.

Click here to view the TrueNicks Enhanced report for Sea The Stars – Zarkava.

Zarkava's yearling Dalakhani filly represents a less productive cross. Darshaan and sons with Mr. Prospector line mares rates only D, as 125 starters have accounted for just two stakes winners, Dalakhani himself being one of them. Furthermore, at stud, Dalakhani has four crops of racing age but lacks a single stakes horse from the Mr. Prospector broodmare sire line. Should Zarkava be able to impart her tremendous class, this mating would seem capable of bucking the trend, and odds are that success would come at extended distances. The TrueNicks Enhanced report confirms this as a stamina-oriented mating: not only does the cross win at a healthy 9.68-furlong average, but the other stakes winner on the cross is two-mile New Zealand Cup (gr. II) winner Hoorang. Might we see this filly contending for the 2013 St. Leger (gr. I) at 14+ furlongs?

Click here to view the TrueNicks Enhanced report for Dalakhani – Zarkava.

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