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Zarkava 'impeccable' after lacklustre gallop

THE Aga Khan's Zarkava was reported to be in fine fettle on Wednesday after her slightly disappointing training stint on the straight Les Reservoirs gallop on Tuesday morning.

Trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre reported: "She's in very good form and is impeccable. The filly is eating well and all is normal."

After yesterday's forfeit for the Qatar Prix Vermeille, 15 fillies remained in the Group 1 race, in which Zarkava will be running over 1m4f for the first time.

She is likely to meet one of her old rivals in the event, with Coolmore's Christy Grassick saying on Wednesday: "Gagnoa will be in the line-up with Olivier Peslier in the saddle. Andre Fabre seems very happy with her since her third in the Irish Oaks and we're expecting her to run a nice race."

Prior to her trip to Ireland, Gagnoa was runner-up to Zarkava in the Prix de Diane.

Another probable runner is Khalid Abdullah's Treat Gently, who won the Group2 Prix de Malleret in June, before her second in the Prix de la Nonette. The owner's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said: "Treat Gently has been marked down for the Vermeille and was nearly knocked down last time out at Deauville."

Godolphin are also likely to have a runner in the race and racing manager Simon Crisford said: "Folk Opera won the Jean Romanet at Deauville in good style and is an intended in the Vermeille."

John Gosden has left both the Prix Minerve winner Dar Re Mi and Michita in the race. His racing office manager Peter Shoemark said: "We are currently having a look at the race for one or both of these fillies."                           

There seems likely to be a small field for both the Qatar Prix Niel and Prix Foy. Vision D'Etat will reappear in the Niel. He has not been seen out since June 1, when he lifted the Prix du Jockey-Club.

Another leading contender will be the Wertheimers' Prospect Wells, who was behind Vision D'Etat at Chantilly and then runner-upto Montmartre in the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris.

The owners' racing manager Pierre-Yves Bureau said: "Prospect Wells is in good form and this will be a good comeback race. He got very worked up when running below form in the Jockey-Club."

Other confirmedrunners in this Group 2 contest include Abdullah's Ideal World and Centennial.

There were nine runners left in the Niel and six in the Foy, including Godolphin's Schiaparelli. Crisford added: "He hasn't been out for some time and it was our intention to run him at Newbury in the Arc trial, but we are now looking at the Foy and will make a decision tomorrow."

The ground at Longchamp yesterday was officially good (3.0). However, storms are forecast today and there could bedownpours. There will be a rapid drop in temperature, but things could improve for Sunday.


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