Ghazali’s My Sharona sprints to clinch Muraikh Cup
December 22 2016 11:35 PM
Muraikh District Municipal Council member Mohamed Salem al-Qamara al-Marri (fourth from left) and Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC) vice-chief steward Abdulla Rashid al-Kubaisi (second from right) with the winners of the Muraikh Cup after My Sharona won the 1100m race for Thoroughbreds at the QREC yesterday. PICTURES: Juhaim

‘For me, it’s been a good week so far. I had three winners today, and even yesterday, I had won big with The Blue Eye’

Champion Trainer Jassim Ghazali not only had a one-two in the feature race yesterday, led by Injaaz Stud’s My Sharona, but three winners overall on the day at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club.
My Sharona, starting off wide from Gate 8, made a quick start into the lead and then never relinquished it to win Muraikh Cup for Thoroughbreds rated 96-115.
Khalifa bin Sheail al-Kuwari-owned Black Beach had starting trouble and was at the back of the pack, but under Harry Bentley’s ride, showed some amazing pace over a short 1100m sprint to edge out Deborah Mountain’s Chilworth Icon for the second spot.
“For me, it’s been a good week so far. I had three winners today, and even yesterday, I had won big with The Blue Eye. It was a satisfying trip back home yesterday, and now today too,” Ghazali told Gulf Times yesterday.
“My Sharona is good. I knew she could do well today. I had also hoped that Black Beach would do better than what he did because I know he has it in him.”
Talking about his season so far, he said, “I had not been running horses for I think five race meetings, but after two more weeks, I know exactly where I stand. It’s a challenge for me to do better even though I missed races early on.”
With the Qatar International Derby coming up in a week’s time, Ghazali said, “I am ready for the Derby and I am hoping that my horses stay in good condition for the big day. It will not be easy given that there will be international entries too. But I will wait till the declarations, and then sit down with my jockeys and set a plan in motion.”
A year after registering her last win, Ghazali-schooled Protect was victorious once again with Bentley riding the seven-year-old mare to an impressive win in the Class 5 Thoroughbred Handicap event for fillies and mares rated 70 & below.
Yesterday, starting off Gate 2, Bentley had Protect keep the inside line and soon moved into the lead. Coming off the final bend, Tomas Lukasek got Cueca moving, closing Protect’s lead. As Protect further upped the pace, Cueca could do little and finished three lengths behind in second spot.
Mountain’s Angel of the Night was third under Alan Munro.
Bentley played the waiting game to perfection as the Champion Jockey guided Injaaz Stud’s Al Jamaaheer to a thrilling victory in the 1700m Local Thoroughbred Plate for horses rated between 50 and 90.
Early on in the race, Al Moheeb, Shahd Al Asal and Zahrah jostled for the lead, even as Al Jamaaheer and Al Wasmiya tracked the trio.
On to the home stretch, Bentley and Alberto Sanna, riding Al Wasmiya, upped the pace of their respective partners, with only Zahrah, helmed by Munro, with enough reserves to challenge the two. Mubarak al-Khayarin-schooled Al Jamaaheer, however, held on enough for a close win, with Wasim Mohamed’s Al Wasmiya second, ahead of Zahrah, trained by Mountain.
Mountain’s charge Drillmaster made his preference for dirt very evident when the three-year-old won the Division 1 Thoroughbred Handicap event for horses rated between 70 and 80 yesterday. Now, both the wins for the three-year-old in Qatar have come on this surface, with the first victory one a month ago in a Handicap event.
Ridden by Munro, Drillmaster was right behind leader and stablemate Alsefra right through the 1700m race before the order reversed in the duel in the final furlong.
Xavier Ziani’s ride Alsefra couldn’t do much to challenge the eventual winner, but did enough to earn Mountain a one-two.
Mohamed Jassim Ghazali’s Protocol completed the top three.
Disco Inferno’s leading run was undone in the last 100 metres, as Eduardo Pedroza rode Could Be to a thrilling victory in the Division 2 Thoroughbred Handicap event for horses rated between 70 and 80.
Ibrahim al-Malki’s ward had stayed midfield even as JP Guillambert got his ride Disco Inferno to set the pace up front.
On the final stretch, Could Be steadily moved up on the outside and found himself a couple of lengths behind the leader with a furlong to go, but eventually did enough to win at the post by a length.
Earlier, Jassim Ghazali’s Al Yem and Mohamed Rashid al-Marri’s Tannoureen shed their maiden status winning the Local Purebred Arabian Maiden Plate and Purebred Arabian Maiden Plate events respectively.
While Guillambert guided Al Yem to a massive six-length victory in the first race of the card, Marco Monteriso helmed Tannoureen to a three-length win in the race for three-year-olds.
In the Class 6, Thoroughbred Handicap event for horses rated between 46 and 60, Zuhair Mohsen-saddled Dominic Cork was guided to his first victory in Qatar by jockey Marco Monteriso, with Freddie Freeloader second for trainer Mohamed Riyaz and Majed Seifeddine-trained Dandy Star rounding up the top three.

Race 1: 1. Al Yem (JP Guillambert), 2. Tasabeeh Al Hana (Alan Munro), 3. Saab Al Manal (Harry Bentley), 4. Amal Al Zaeem (Marvin Suerland). Won by: 6, 5, 3 1/2. Time: 1:19.94. Owner: Dr Fahad bin Abdullah al-Attiyah & Son. Trainer: Jassim Ghazali.
Race 2: 1. Dominic Cork (Marvin Suerland), 2. Freddie Freeloader (Xavier Ziani), 3. Dandy Star (Darren Williams), 4. Frankie Pe (Eduardo Pedroza). Won by: 2 1/2, 3/4, 1 1/4. Time: 1:14.28. Owner:Saeed Mohamed al-Shafi. Trainer: Zuhair Mohsen.
Race 3: 1. Tannoureen (Marco Monteriso), 2. Udai Al Wajba (JP Guillambert), 3. Ibn Maerl Al Naif (Adnan Hawa), 4. Munaakh (Marvin Suerland). Won by: 3, 7, 1 1/2. Time: 1:21.69. Owner: Dhafi al-Ardi al-Marri. Trainer: Dr Mohamed Rashid al-Marri.
Race 4: 1. Could Be (Eduardo Pedroza), 2. Disco Inferno (JP Guillambert), 3. Makinson Lane (Pier Convertino), 4. Charme Secret (Jean Baptiste Hamel). Won by: 1, 1, 2 ½. Time: 1:50.13. Owner: Abdulatif Hussain al-Emadi. Trainer: Ibrahim al-Malki.
Race 5: 1. Drillmaster (Alan Munro), 2. Alsefra (Xavier Ziani), 3. Protocol (Pier Convertino), 4. Spirit of Qatar (Tadgh O’Shea). Won by: 4, 2, 2. Time: 1:50.42. Owner: Hassan Ali Abdulmalik. Trainer: Deborah Mountain.
Race 6: 1. Al Jamaaheer (Harry Bentley), 2. Al Wasmiya (Eduardo Pedroza), 3. Zahrah (Alan Munro), 4. Al Moheeb (Pier Convertino). Won by: Hd, ½, 5. Time: 1:50.18. Owner: Injaaz Stud. Trainer: Mubarak Al Khayarin.
Race 7: 1. Protect (Harry Bentley), 2. Cueca (Tomas Lukasek), 3. Angel of the Night (Alan Munro), 4. Media Book (Eduardo Pedroza). Won by: 3, 6, 2 ½. Time: 1:57.76. Owner: Hamad bin Abdulrahman bin Hamad al-Attiyah. Trainer: Jassim Ghazali.
Race 8: 1. My Sharona (JP Guillambert), 2. Black Beach (Harry Bentley), 3. Chilworth Icon (Alan Munro), 4. Victory Laurel (Eduardo Pedroza). Won by: 2, ½, Shd. Time: 1:04.50. Owner: Injaaz Stud. Trainer: Jassim Ghazali.

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