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First Melbourne Cup Runner For Aga Khan
The Aga Khan will be represented by his first Melbourne Cup runner when French mare Verema (Barathea-Vermentina, by Darshaan) lines up in today's $6.2 million feature at Flemington, reports smh.com.au. The participation of one of the world's most prolific and esteemed owner-breeders represents a significant coup for Racing Victoria. The Aga Khan, one of the richest men in the world, is a world-class authority on bloodlines. His broodmare band, for example, is the envy of every owner in the world and is the product of generations of meticulously planned breeding par excellence. Verema's dam Vermentina, for example, failed on the racetrack but is a daughter of the Aga's brilliant French Derby winner Darshaan, himself a champion sire, and her mating with Irish 2,000 Guineas and Breeders' Cup Mile winner Barathea produced the lightly raced Verema. Verema is trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, the man who guided Americain to Melbourne Cup success in 2010. She has hitherto won 4 of her 12 starts and arrives in Australia with a progressive profile having won the Gr2 Prix Maurice de Nieuil (2800m) & Gr2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) at her last two starts. Incidentally, the Prix Kergorlay is the same race Americain won en route to his 2010 triumph. Verema has not raced since August 18 but De Royer-Dupre is adamant that the gap between runs will not be an issue.