Julian Smart trained Laheeb Al Shahania bounced back to winning form with a late surge in the Losail Cup, a Pure Arabian Stakes, the feature event of yesterday’s races at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club. The 41st day’s races were held under the patronage of Minister of State HE Sheikh Hamad bin Nasser bin Jassim al-Thani.
Bin Amer set a steady pace followed Dahash, Jelmud and Laheeb Al Shahania.
Approaching the final bend, Bin Amer continued to call the shots. Laheeb Al Shahania made good progress on the wide outside and came into reckoning along with Dahash.
Bin Amer fought tenaciously for a while before weakening allowing the Smart trainee to take charge. Darren Williams drove out Laheeb Al Shahania to contain the challenge of Dahash who found himself short by three fourths of a length. Bin Amer occupied the third spot followed by Jelmud.
“It is fantastic to see Laheeb Al Shahania win today. After having gone through a surgery in December, I have run him in three weeks in a row which is a very tough thing to do.
“But he has done a good job against very seasoned sprinters today and it definitely makes us happy with his effort. I think he has recovered fully and he will definitely be a great horse for the next season,” trainer Smart told the Gulf Times.
Amico Mio was back to doing what he is reputed for when he gave a drubbing to his rivals in the Thoroughbred Stakes, which had attracted a top class field. The Yousef Bentaher trained Amico Mio, which had been sidelined due to injury, redeemed his reputation in the hands of French jockey Stephen Ladjadj. Amico Mio had last won in November.
Ibrahim al-Malki trained Arabic finished on powerfully in the hands of jockey Mark Lawson to measure the fast finishing duo of El Ameen and Namibian Orator in virtually the last stride of the Thoroughbred Handicap for horse rated 50 to 70. A shorthead and a head separated the top three horses in one of the most exciting races witnessed this season.
In another exciting finish, jockey Rosario Ponce took Guide Al Khal on a successful start to finish mission in the Pure Arabian Handicap. Shael De Faust (Bouland up) found foot when Shael De Faust had established what eventually turned out to be a winning lead.
From a fourth position at the bend, Shael De Faust picked up steam in the straight and finished with a strong effort but fell short narrowly.
Smart saddled Mekhbatt had no problem in disposing off his rivals in the 1,400 metres local bred Pure Arabian Restricted Stakes, a race for horses rated 95 and below After racing a handy fourth behind Zahi, Mekhbatt went sailing clear with a furlong left in the race and won capably from Tameh.
Mohammed Khalid’s New Pearl got up just in the nick of time to head Botanic Garden in the final stride of the race to win the Thoroughbred Plate for three-year-olds. Bern Me Baby led all the way but New Pearl who responded to the driving finish of Pier Convertino came home with a rush to get the nod in an absorbing finish.
Jassim Abdulaziz al-Boenain owned La Pampita recorded an impressive win in the Thoroughbred Maiden Plate.
La Pampita (David Bouland astride) began to separate herself from the rest at the top of the straight and checked in well clear of Suneagle, who was in futile chase of the winner.
1st race: La Pampita (David Bouland) 1, Suneagle 2, Statesmanship 3, Dartford 4. Won by: 1 ¼, 1, 2. Time: 2:05.12. Trained by: Zohair Moghsen. Owned by: Jassim Abdulaziz al-Boenain
2nd race: Guide Al Khal (Rosario Ponce) 1, Shael De Faust 2, Zizanie Al Maury 3, Ziraya 4. Won by: Shd, 1 ¼, Nk. Time: 2:07.42. Trained by: Hassan al-Marri. Owned by: Brooq Stud
3rd race: Arabic (Mark Lawson) 1, El Ameen 2, Namibian Orator 3, Watanee 4. Won by: Time: 2;05.87. Trained by: Ibrahim al-Malki. Owned by: Hassan Ali Abdulmalik
4th race: Mekhbatt (Richard Mullen) 1, Tameh 2, Zahi 3, Raheel 4. Won by: 2 ½, Shd, 3. Time: 1:32.16. Trained by: Julian Smart. Owned by: Sheikh Khalifa bin Mohammed bin Khalifa al-Thani
5th race: New Pearl (Pier Convertino) 1, Botanic Garden 2, Bern Me Baby 3, Surely Speightful 4. Won by: Nk, Hd, 3 ½. Time: 1:11.59. Trained by: Mohammed Khalid. Owned by: Ali bin Adel bin Muslamani
6th race: Amico Mio (Stephen Ladjadj) 1, Scruttable 2, Dubawi King 3, Flying Destination 4. Won by: 1 ½, 1 ¾, 3. Time: 1:55.45. Trained by: Yousef Bentaher. Owned by: Sheikh Nasser bin Abdullah bin Nasser al-Thani
7th race: Laheeb Al Shahania (Darren Williams) 1, Dahash 2, Bin Amer 3, Jelmud 4. Won by: Time: ¾, 1 ½, ¾. ime: 1:17.75. Trained by: Julian Smart. Owned by: Sheikh Khalifa bin Mohammed bin Khalifa al-Thani