A winner on his first and only start as a four-year-old on the all-weather at Pau in January, the Al Shaqab Racing-owned and bred Snan kept his 100 percent strike rate on the turf track in the Prix Ba Toustem at La Teste, France, yesterday.
Julien Augé was on board Thomas Fourcy’s ward, and they started as favourites. Taking no risks, the jockey sat him on the outside of the racing pack. Once in the straight, the Thomas Fourcy-trained four-year-old chestnut colt came up to the lead to battle with His Highness Sheikh Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani’s Askar, but the closer they came to the line, the bigger Snan’s advantage became.
He won by an impressive four-and-a-half lengths. Askar was the runner up for trainer Francois Rohaut and jockey Damien Morin. Nachmi Al Cham, also owned by Al Shaqab Racing and trained by Fourcy, was further one and a half lengths behind in third under Jerome Cabre.
“He only did the very minimum when he won on his debut,” said Fourcy, “but the track wasn’t for him. I thought he would be better on the turf today. He’s won nicely. He could have run earlier, but we wanted to look after him and get him to win. That is done and he will now go to the Derby unbeaten.”
Qatar Racing’s Medal Winner strikes at Newcastle
On the second day of racing’s return in England, Qatar Racing’s Medal Winner was a comfortable winner and doubled his tally in the Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap at Newcastle on Tuesday.
Trained by Archie Watson in Lambourn, the four-year-old grey gelding sat just behind the leaders in the 2000m race for four-year-old and older runners on the all-weather.
Ridden by Hollie Doyle, they came into the middle of the track, and once in the straight, Medal Winner pulled easily clear of his rivals. He was never threatened and he won comfortably by two lengths. The Roger Fell-trained and Callum Rodriguez-ridden Cockalorum was locked in a dead heat with Simon & Ed Crisford-trained and Silvestre De Sousa-ridden Cape Cavalli for the second place.
Medal Winner is by Al Shaqab Racing’s sire Olympic Glory, who stands at Haras de Bouquetot. He ran just three times as a three-year-old for one place and one win. This was his first run since July 2019. He was bred by Haras de Mandore and was bought by HE Sheikh Fahad bin Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani’s manager, David Redvers, at the Arqana Breeze Up Sale.
Julien Augu00e9 (left) rides Snan to Prix Ba Toustem victory at La Teste, France, yesterday. (Robert Polin)