The Aga Khan’s Valyra was an astonishing winner of the Prix de Diane at Chantilly on June 17. Astonishing as this was the only the third lifetime start for the daughter of Azamour, and her first against high class opposition, however, the Jean Claude Rouget trained filly beat the strong favourite Beauty Parlour with the remainder of the field left well behind these two champions.

Valyra comes the family started in France by the Halo filly Vadsa who was purchased by Jean Luc Lagardere from E P Taylor, the breeder of Northern Dancer and Nijinsky, and raced in France. Vadsa was only an average performer, winning once over 1800 metres, but proved to be a useful broodmare producing 13 winners from 14 foals including minor stakes winners by Bikala and Highest Honor. Vadsa produced three black type fillies, Vadlava by Bikala, Vadsageya by Linamix and Vadsa Honor by High Honor. These three were only minor stakes performers but through them the family has become a family of champions, all of whom with the exception of the Breeders’ Cup winner Val Royal, who was a son of Royal Academy and Vadlava, were produced by a combination of this family and Lagardere’s stallion Linamix.

The list of top performers descended from these three daughters of Vadsa include the dual Group 1 winning colt Vahorimix, a son of Linamix, the top miler Valixir, out of a Linamix mare, the Group 1 winning filly Vadawina, granddaughter of a Linamix mare, Valyra, out of a Linamix mare, and then others who came very close include the Group 2 winner Vadamar, a son of Vadawina whose third dam is by Linamix, and Chabal, Group 1 placed at two whose grand dam was by Linamix.

Saint Pair has two mares from this immediate family, Celebre Vadala and San Sicharia. Celebre Vadala is a half sister to Valixir and her second dam Vadlava is the third dam of Valyra. San Sicharia’s second dam is a Linamix daughter of Vadsa, and she was herself another Group from the family the winner of a Group 3 at Lingfield