Agencies Deauville, France
‘He is a very good horse, but his career has been dogged by health issues’
It was in the very final strides in the Doha Cup (Gr1), at Deauville yesterday, that Al Shaqab Racing’s Khataab snatched victory from Lightning Bolt.
The five-year-old, bred by Haras du Grand Courgeon, was held up in last position during the race, before coming up with a run wide on the outside, looking for fresh ground. The title holder, Sylvine Al Maury, who was also held up, came to take a close third place at the end.
The win was Khataab’s first in a Group 1, having finished fourth at this level last time out.
“He is a very good horse, but his career has been dogged by health issues,” Khataab trainer Thomas Fourcy said after the win. “For the moment, we have found a way to manage him. He needs to run fresh, and it helps him to have regular care. It has paid off today. He has beaten two very classy horses. However, these two had run only 13 days ago, at Group 1 PA level. After having tough races in England, and the rain helped him. For now, Khataab will be aimed towards the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend. In October, even on good ground, he should run well as he has class.”
Joudh remains unbeaten
Joudh, who carries the colours of Yas Horse Racing Management, remained unbeaten in four runs, winning the Al Rayyan Cup (Gr1 PA) yesterday.
The filly, running over 2,000m for the first time, was held up last during the race. Her jockey Mickaël Barzalona followed Al Shaqab Racing’s Rijm when she made her move, and took the lead in the final 100m. Dynamites took third place.
This was Joudh’s second Group 1, after her win in June in the Qatar Coupe de France des Chevaux Arabes.
“The conditions today were very different to those at Chantilly. She has come on well since that win, as she showed here. In this ground, you don’t want to make any effort more than necessary,” trainer Didier Guillemin said. “For three-year-old purebred Arabians, 2,000m in soft ground is a big challenge. That is the reason that they slowed down in the final turn. She will go to the race at Saint-Cloud, the Qatar Arabian Trophy des Pouliches and then ultimately to the French Arabian Breeders’ Challenge Pouliches-Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan.”
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