By Sports Reporter/Doha
Ibrahim al-Malki-trained Topsy Turvy had a fine strike rate in Qatar, winning five times in 11 starts coming into yesterday’s feature race at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club.
The run continued as the five-year-old registered his sixth victory with Saleem Golam guiding the Sheikh Faisal bin Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani-owned gelding to an impressive win in the Mesaimeer Cup, a Thoroughbred Handicap race for horses rated 80-100, on dirt yesterday.
Coming off Gate 9, Golam wasted little time in moving his mount up to the front, with Emaad and Pearl Bridge for company.
Golam had his ride pull away coming off the back straight and was hardly threatened closer to the post, despite a pursuit by Khalifa bin Sheail al-Kuwari-owned duo Stevie’s Wonder and Generalship.
Mohamed Jassim Ghazali’s ward Stevie’s Wonder, ridden by Harry Bentley, and JP Guillambert-helmed Generalship, trained by Ghazali’s father and Champion Trainer Jassim, finished second and third respectively.
Third Order had not troubled the frontrunners in his three starts in Qatar on turf. But his first ride with Kelly Harrison on QREC’s dirt track saw the Jassim Ghazali-trained three-year-old pick up his second victory overall.
In the Class 4 Thoroughbred Handicap for horses rated 66-80, Harrison, who came out of retirement earlier this year after a four-year hiatus, helmed her mount well to finish ahead of Mohamed Hussain-saddled Succeed and Excel, ridden by Adnan Hawa, and Anas al-Seyabi’s mount Broadway Icon. The win was Harrison’s third this season.
Champion Jockey Bentley rode his second winner on the day, riding Mohamed Jassim Ghazali-schooled Al Muraqabah to victory in the Class 5 Thoroughbred Handicap event for fillies and mares rated 56-70.
Al Muraqabah had registered her first career win last week in a six-furlong maiden event but switched to a longer trip in amazing style, blitzing through to a five-length victory ahead of the 12-horse field over 1700m yesterday.
The finish meant that the three-year-old filly finished in the top two for the fourth-straight run.
Eduardo Pedroza rode al-Malki’s Dariga to a second-place finish, while the owner-trainer-jockey trio of Hassan Ali Abdulmalik, Deborah Mountain and Faleh Bughanaim had to settle for a third place finish for the second time yesterday with Angel Of the Night edging out Owaida al-Hajri trained Sugar Strand by half a length.
Coming into yesterday’s 1700m run, Haddaj Dukhan, despite having won twice earlier this season, had never won on dirt.
That changed when Alberto Sanna, second in the Jockeys’ Championship behind Bentley, coming into yesterday’s 42nd race meeting, picked up his second consecutive win on the day, guiding the five-year-old colt, owned by Mansoor al-Shahwani, to a victory in the Local Purebred Arabian Handicap event for horses rated 80 & below.
The Majd Al Arab colt finished half a length ahead of Sheikh Khalifa bin Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani-owned Namroud, who had raced to a respectable third over the same course and distance last month.
Guillambert was astride Mohamed Jassim Ghazali-trained Mujahidah, who finished third, the filly’s third top-three finish since her only career win in December 2015.
Hadi al-Ramzani-schooled Al Nehayy raced to his second straight win at the QREC when Sanna guided the five-year-old to victory in the Class 4 Thoroughbred Handicap event for horses rated 80 & below.
Al Nehayy had edged out Ras Abrouq by a neck a month ago in an 1850m turf handicap for victory, and yesterday did well under Sanna to finish a comfortable two and a half lengths ahead of Jassim Ghazali’s Crisscrossed for his third career win.
Qatari jockey Bughanaim was astride Mountain-saddled Technicolour, who finished third in the nine-furlong run.
In the first two races of the day, Umm Qarn’s Barra and Khalifa bin Sheail al-Kuwari’s Midaawi shed their maiden status.
Running in the Purebred Arabian Maiden Plate, Alban de Mieulle’s charge Barra was guided by Jean Baptiste Hamel to his first career victory, while Bentley helmed Jassim Ghazali-schooled Midaawi to victory in the six-furlong sprint.
Race 1: 1. Barra (Jean Baptiste Hamel), 2. Stam Al Naif (Adnan Hawa), 3. Fahdah Al Naif (Gerald Avranche), 4. Sahara Sand (Faleh Bughanaim). Won by: 1 1/2, 4, 3. Owner: Umm Qarn. Trainer: Alban de Mieulle.
Race 2: 1. Midaawi (Harry Bentley), 2. Cap Nord (Jesus Rosales), 3. China Club (Tomas Lukasek), 4. Atlantic Sea (Rashid al-Marri). Won by: Nk, 3/4, 1/2. Owner: Khalifa bin Sheail al-Kuwari. Trainer: Jassim Ghazali.
Race 3: 1. Al Nehayy (Alberto Sanna), 2. Crisscrossed (Harry Bentley), 3. Technicolour (Faleh Bughanaim), 4. Makinson Lane (Jean Baptiste Hamel). Won by: 2 1/2, 1 3/4, 2. Owner: Ali Yousef al-Kubaisi. Trainer: Hadi al-Ramzani.
Race 4: 1. Haddaj Dukhan (Alberto Sanna), 2. Namroud (Richard Mullen), 3. Mujahidah (JP Guillambert), 4. Anwaar (Harry Bentley). Won by: 1/2, 1 1/4, 3/4. Owner: Mansoor Misfer al-Shahwani. Trainer: Mansoor al-Shahwani.
Race 5: 1. Al Muraqabah (Harry Bentley), 2. Dariga (Eduardo Pedroza), 3. Angel Of The Night (Faleh Bughanaim), 4. Sugar Strand (Alberto Sanna). Won by: 5, 2, 1/2. Owner: Khalifa bin Sheail al-Kuwari. Trainer: Mohamed Jassim Ghazali.
Race 6: 1. Third Order (Kelly Harrison), 2. Succeed and Excel (Adnan Hawa), 3. Broadway Icon (Anas al-Seyabi), 4. Hi Holy (Marco Monteriso). Won by: 3/4, 5, 1 1/2. Owner: Sheail bin Khalifa al-Kuwari. Trainer: Jassim Ghazali.
Race 7: 1. Topsy Turvy (Saleem Golam), 2. Stevie’s Wonder (Harry Bentley), 3. Generalship (JP Guillambert), 4. Upholland (Marvin Suerland). Won by: 2 1/2, Nk, 4. Owner: Sheikh Faisal bin Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani. Trainer: Ibrahim al-Malki.
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