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Valyra 17/06/2012

Valyra (green silks, centre) was a leading fancy for the Arc

  PICTURE: Scoop-Dyga  

Classic winner Valyra put down after accident

France: The Aga Khan's French Oaks winner Valyra was put down yesterday after an accident on the beach at Deauville.

The three-year-old filly, who was as short as 10-1 for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, was praised by connections for her "true class" following the fatal injury.

Racing manager Georges Rimaud said: "She was cantering on the beach and sustained a fracture to her off hind femur. We tried to find a solution to save her but one couldn't be found. Fillies play on the beach and it could happen at any time. It's a big blow."

Trainer Jean-Claude Rouget added: “It is a terrible accident and a great loss for His Highness the Aga Khan and our stable. We have lost a filly with true class. She was a very sound individual and a pleasure to train.

"Her full potential had yet to be realised, but there was no other option than to put down, her injury proving too severe.”

Valyra started her racing career on April 14 and raced on just three occasions, maintaining an unbeaten record throughout.

She came to prominence in June when, ridden by Johnny Murtagh, she came with a late run to emerge a surprise winner of the French Oaks, the Prix de Diane at Chantilly, her last run before her tragic death.

The daughter of Azamour had been due to race in the Qatar Prix Vermeille at Longchamp on September 16, which was to have been her final race before the Arc in October.

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