UK handler Roger Teal’s Tip Two Win had topped the Al Rayyan Stakes during the Derby weekend in December with ease, and having conquered the seven-furlong run, the Anne Cowley-owned colt is gunning for the USD250,000 Al Biddah Mile (Gr2), part of HH The Emir’s Sword Racing Festival, this Saturday.
“He took the trip really well and settled really well. Obviously everything went according to plan the last time and he came back fine,” Teal told Gulf Times over phone yesterday.
“I think probably the weather will be a bit warmer this time but he seems to have settled in well.”
The race for three-year-olds was won by Mr Scaramanga, saddled by another UK trainer Simon Dow, last year.
Tip Two Win, who is well-rested now, will be up against a field similar to his last Qatar outing, but he will be stepping up in distance from seven furlongs to a mile.
“It’s his first go at a mile, but I am sure he will stay. I think the way he won, he wasn’t stopping. Competition is very similar,” Teal said.
There is a new entrant in the race, Darkanna, who moved yards from Richard Fahey to Mohamed Hussain Afroz earlier this month. And she is half-sister to the Dark Angel’s son.
“Darkanna obviously is a decent horse, but she is stepping up in trip from six (furlongs) to a mile. It should be interesting. Obviously she will be a big danger if she gets the mile. Rest most of them we took them on last time.”
According to Teal, Tip Two Win’s performance on Saturday could determine whether he heads to Newmarket for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas or not. “We would have to consider it if he had to run really well in Doha,” he said.
Rohaut hopeful with Best Fouad and Ateej
This year’s HH The Emir’s Trophy (Gr1), the million-dollar Thoroughbred feature on Saturday, will see a strong international field going up against some of Qatar’s best.
While Ralph Beckett is making the trip with Qatar Racing’s top-rated Chemical Charge (115), Derby-topping Italian raider Mac Mahon (114) will be back at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club for the mile and a half race. Last year’s runner-up Noor Al Hawa (111), trained by Andreas Wohler, is also in the card along with 2016 champion The Blue Eye (110), from the stables of Qatar’s Champion Trainer Jassim Mohamed Ghazali.
Frenchman Francois Rohaut is one of the hopefuls with seven-year-old gelding, Best Fouad (109), who will be travelling out of Europe for the first time.
“We have considered this race for a long time. The owner (LG Bloodstock) is very happy to be in Doha. We spoke with (jockey Christophe) Soumillon a long time ago, and we decided why not try a race like that. He is good enough to run a good race,” Rohaut told Gulf Times on phone yesterday.
“He is a good horse, he won a group 3 (Grand Prix de Vichy) last year over 10 furlongs.
“He did a mile and a half earlier in his career, in good to firm going he can stay a mile and a half and honestly I am not worried about that.”
Rohaut also has Ateej, owned by Dr Fahad bin Abdullah al-Attiyah and sons, in the USD250,000 Qatar International Cup (Gr1 PA).
“He surely loves to run in Doha for his owners. He is a little bit better suited for a mile than 10 furlongs. Last time it was a bit too long,” Rohaut said about the five-year-old’s Qatar Derby (Gr2 PA) outing in December when he finished fifth. Ateej had won the 2016 Derby for three-year-old Arabians over a mile.
“I am very happy with his preparations. It would be very nice to see him running with two really nice horses,” he said referring to Umm Qarn’s TM Thunder Struck and Al Naif Racing’s Molheb Al Naif.
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