Arabian Racing Review
The Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club International Festival Of Arabian Racing Saturday 23rd August
by Paul Simmons

The Berzan Premier Handicap Stakes 0-75 over 1 Mile 2 Furlongs:
A competitive handicap with the all weather Queen Delyth Thomas fielding three useful runners and former Lingfield winner Al Mamoon duly made the running leading till about four furlongs out with Al Harith, Final Fling and Gazal breathing down his neck. As they hit the home turn David Turner went for home on the Iraqi bred and owned Al Harith, but Gazal and Final Fling were coming with a devastating burst of speed inside the final furlong with Final Fling (Djamel x FH Honey Mellon) under a superb ride from Dean Coleman, getting the better of a gallant Gazal to win going away by an easy four lengths. Winning owner and trainer Delyth Thomas said “We thought Fling would go well as he was coming to himself at home and he loves the all weather, Dean rode a superb race”. Gazal (Sambist x Shout For Joy) had every chance inside the final furlong and saw off Al Mamoon for second and remains firmly on the upgrade. Whilst Al Mamoon (Passem Lotois x Al Hanoof) kept on well in the closing stages to hold onto third ahead of Al Harith.

The Al Khor Premier Handicap Stakes 0-55 over 5 Furlongs:
They didn’t hang around with Sharka setting a scorching pace from the start with The Way To Go, Hayleys Comet and Benny The Dip all settled ominously in behind, as they approached the two furlong marker the pace increased again and odds on favourite Unshooda came flying down the centre of the track under a determined Simon Walker. She quickened clear in fine style with Sharka inside the final furlong battling her all the way to the line, but in the end Unshooda (Makzan x Shunah) prevailed in a thrilling finish to win by just over a length for owner/trainer Delyth Thomas. Speaking afterwards and in form Thomas said “She’s a lovely little filly so easy to train and deal with, we all thought she’d run well, but we were worried she didn’t like the all weather after her first run at Wolverhampton”. (It marks a good weekend for the late smart sprinting mare Shunah who’s son Shuhood won the Royal Cavalry of Oman Final the previous day). Sharka (Makzan x Humarni) is running so well this term and he tried valiantly to hold onto victory but after his massive 10 lb hike in the weights he had no chance of passing Unshooda, his turn is near. The Way To Go (Way To Go x Nepenthes Al Maury) is as consistent as they come, she cut out the running in the early stages and fought really hard inside the final furlong to hold onto third ahead of staying on Benny The Dip.

The Group 2 Qatar International Stakes over 1 Mile 4 Furlongs:
A fascinating clash of the titans as the superb but somewhat unlucky Jaafer took on the might of UAE Satish Seemar’s Al Moutawakel, with recent Dubai Day Stayers Handicap victor Aljaareh and runner up Quorman Des Viallettes also featuring. The pace was set at a decent clip with Aljaareh making the race a true test of stamina, he kept up the relentless gallop with Al Moutawakel and Jaafer cruising nicely in behind. As they approached the home turn he was relegated as the race began between Al Moutawakel and Jaafer, with Al Moutawakel seizing the initiative under Simon Walker and powering towards the line but Alain De Vries was stoking up a powerful run from Jaafer (Amer x Madjela) and he was snapping at Al Moutawakel’s heels inside the final furlong before finally surging clear inside the final furlong to win by just over a length for trainer Georgina Ward and owner and breeder HH Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani. Speaking afterwards a thrilled Ward said “He’s such a lovely horse and always tries so hard in his races, he’s still young and improving but he really deserved to win today”. Al Moutawakel (Dormane x Morgane De Piboul) lost nothing in defeat, he went for the line inside the home straight but couldn’t hold on as Jaafer charged past. Whilst Aljaareh (Khairouan x Bisbille) was staying on dourly ahead of stablemate Paul De Faust for fourth.

The Group 2 Doha International Stakes over 1 Mile:
A fascinating line up with dual Group 1 Dubai Stakes hero No Risk Al Maury running against UAE Satish Seemar’s smart performer Dynamite who beat Madjani in the Group 1 Presidents Cup in Qatar last season. Dynamite cut out the running setting a fairly quick pace from the start and upping the speed in the back straight, with Richard Hills cruising in behind on No Risk Al Maury. As they hit the home turn Hills quickened clear on No Risk Al Maury (Kesberoy x Nectarine Al Maury) inside the final furlong showing a brilliant turn of foot to win on the bridle with consummate ease by two and half lengths for owner HH Sheikh Hamdan and trainer Gill Duffield. Speaking afterwards Duffield said “He such a nice horse and didn’t run his true race in the Coupe De Europe, he will now probably for the Arab race on ARC day”. Dynamite (Bibi De Carrere x No Answer) lost nothing in defeat, he just didn’t have the same turn of foot as the winner and perhaps found the drop back in trip against him. Whilst the Royal Cavalry of Oman’s Sakari (Al Sakbe x Nefertarii) was outclassed back in third.

The Al Rayyan Open International Premier Handicap Stakes over 1 Mile 2 Furlongs:
There is one word to describe the winner of this race Madjani and that’s awesome. Many didn’t think he would be able to concede nearly two stone to up and coming youngsters like Falak and Prince Dormant. However, Madjani is a true class act, as befits a three time winner of the Group 1 Kahayala Classic, and at the age of eight his raw power and immense ability was clearly evident as he led from start to finish under top weight to gallop his rivals into complete submission for an easy five lengths victory under Richard Hills for owner HH Sheikh Hamdan and trainer Gill Duffield. Afterwards Duffield said “He is a true race horse, he has looks class and so much ability and is so good to train, a true professional. He’ll probably head to the ARC meeting now for the Arab race and may take on No Risk Al Maury”. Prince Dormant (Prince D’Orient x Iktidar) ran a phenomenal race back in second, always handy he proved his critics wrong by staying every yard of the ten furlong trip, held up he came with his run inside the final two furlongs and chased the winner all the way to the line but was never nearer. Falak (Amer x Feline Du Cassou) was widely expected to cause an upset and lower the might Madjani’s crown, but he was held up in the field and seemed to find little when asked to run on the closing stages and perhaps didn’t appreciate the all weather surface.

The Ras Laffan Premier Handicap Stakes 0-95 over 6 Furlongs:
Angel Picamer made a bold and brave bid for victory here under top weight, she set off like scalded cat at the start showing her blistering speed to good effect with Petraunille, Merwah and Aberfeldy in her slip stream. As they hit the home turn Sam Holdsworth coaxed another turn of foot from Angel Picamer to hold onto her advantage as stable mate Aberfeldy breathed down her neck. As they hit the final furlong Angel Picamer on the far rail was all out under a strong ride from Sam Holdsworth as Simon Walker drove Aberfeldy on, but Angel Picamer (Amer x Picea HT) is a tough mare to pass and she claimed victory by a short head for owner and breeder Zelda Angel and trainer Bill Smith. Speaking afterwards Smith said “She’s a tough mare and has plenty of ability but seems to prefer the all weather surface”. Aberfeldy (Amer x Zeinah) ran yet another great race in defeat, she had every chance inside the final furlong and was all out but just didn’t quite get there. Whilst Merwah (Bengali D’Albret x Aksarka) was always chasing the first two and never looked like passing them, but she ran on well ahead of Earlsdon.


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