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Ground the main worry for Royer-Dupre's late developer; CONTENDER.

SARAFINA did not begin her racing career until early May, but by mid-June she was a dual Group 1 and Classic winner, having cantered home in the Prix Saint-Alary and Prix de Diane.

And despite her defeat in the Prix Vermeille last time, jockey Christophe Lemaire gave the decision on his Arc ride plenty of thought before plumping for Behkabad.

Sarafina, ridden today by Gerald Mosse, was rested after the Diane before returning in the Vermeille. Dropped out in the early stages on her first attempt at 1m4f, she had an enormous task in the straight but still made up a lot of late ground to finish an excellent third behind Midday and Plumania.

She certainly appeared to stay the distance, and connections' main concern is the soft ground, as it would blunt her speed if it came up testing.

Her sire Refuse To Bend never won a top race over the Arc distance, but he did win the Eclipse over 1m2f. Her dam Sanariya did not win for Sir Michael Stoute but had stamina in her pedigree, being by Darshaan out of a Top Ville mare.

Sarafina's trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre (left) is convinced she will improve several kilos for her run in the Vermeille.

He said: "The filly is very well and has recovered nicely from her gallop on Tuesday. She has a good draw but now the ground is a worry, as rain is forecast.

"We will have to see how the Vermeille form turns out. In that race the filly took a breather at the wrong moment but did finish well. If the going becomes heavy and bad, the older horses will definitely have an advantage." Desmond Stoneham
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 3, 2010
Words:282
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