Kildangan Stud stallion Shamardal (by Giant's Causeway) is inching closer to hitting the century for individual stakes winners, a landmark that could be within his reach before the end of 2016, and his lengthy list of progeny with their names in all-caps blacktype includes 17 who have won at least once at the highest level.
Dariyan was the latest of them to achieve that feat, the Aga Khan's homebred four-year-old having won the Group 1 Prix Ganay over 10 and a half furlongs at Saint-Cloud recently. He was out of the frame behind Postponed in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic on his previous start, and runner-up to that same rival in the Group 2 Dubai City of Gold three weeks earlier. His three-year-old campaign, which featured victory in the Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam over 10 furlongs at Maisons-Laffitte, culminated in a third place finish behind Highland Reel in the Grade 1 Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin in December.
The colt is trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, he may be seen next in the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan, and he has the potential to figure prominently in the top middle-distance events of the year. And being a Group 1 winning son of the sire of young classic stallion Lope De Vega could make him an attractive addition to the covering shed whenever his racing career comes to an end.
Dariyan is the first foal out of Grade 1 Hong Kong Vase heroine Darkayana (by Selkirk), a mare whose wins also include the Group 2 Prix de Royallieu and the Listed Prix des Tourelles, and whose placed efforts feature third in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. She was also third in the Group 2 Prix Corrida, finished fourth (does not count for blacktype) in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, and accumulated around €1 million in prize money.
Her second foal, Darabad (by Dansili), was third in a 10 furlong Saint-Cloud maiden on his debut last month, her third is a juvenile colt named Devamani (by Dubawi), she had a daughter of Redoute's Choice (by Danehill) last year, and was then bred to Dawn Approach (by New Approach).
Daryakana is a half-sister to the pattern-placed stakes winner Daraybi (by Street Cry), to stakes-placed Daryamar (by Machiavellian), and also to Dardania (by Dalakhani), a placed mare whose three-year-old daughter Dourdana (by Exceed And Excel) made a winning debut in a mile maiden at Maisons-Laffitte recently. But the best of her siblings is Daramsar (by Rainbow Quest).
He won the Group 2 Prix du Conseil de Paris and a 12 furlong listed contest in 2006, the best of his three blacktype placings was when chasing home Best Name and Champs Elysees in the Group 3 Prix du Prince d'Orange at Longchamp, and he has sired some winners from a small number of runners under National Hunt rules in France.
Like his dam, Dariyan's grandam was also a top-class racehorse and she is the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) and Group 1 Prix Vermeille heroine Daryaba (by Night Shift). That classic star is, in turn, out of the pattern-placed stakes winner Darata (by Vayrann), her siblings include two who earned their blacktype under National Hunt rules, and one of that pair is Darbela (by Doyoun), dam of the ill-fated Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle winner Darlan (by Milan).
Daryaba's three-year-old is a filly named Dariyba (by Monsun), her two-year-old son has been named Darayem (by Redoute's Choice), and she was bred to Siyouni (by Pivotal) last year.
The fourth dam of the recent Group 1 scorer is Darazina (by Labus) and her string of blacktype descendants include the Group 1 Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) scorer Darsi (by Polish Precedent), dual US Grade 2 scorer Grandeur (by Verglas), high-class stayer Far Cry (by Pharly), leading sprinter Muthmir (by Invincible Spirit), National Hunt Grade 1 winner Shaneshill (by King's Theatre), and talented Australian runners Gentle Genius (by Danehill) and Ironstein (by Zabeel), to name just a few.
Dariyan's relationship to those horses is remote and what will be more relevant when it comes to assessing him as a stallion prospect is that he is a Group 1-winning son of a leading sire and out of a Group 1-winning daughter of a Group 1 classic heroine.