Agencies La Teste-De-Buch, France
King Shalaa, owned by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani, made a thunderous and a winning debut in the Prix du Château de Portets, racing against experienced horses at La Teste in France yesterday.
A little more than an hour later, it was the turn of Kabeer, owned by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani, to shed his maiden status at the same track in the Prix Arca — Wathba Stallions Cup.
The four-year-old Purebred Arabian landed his first victory by a nose. His first attempt over a mile was also his seasonal comeback. Last time out, in September, Julian Smart-trained Kabeer had finished third over 10 furlongs.
Yesterday, Miss Boum Al Maury led the race with a very steady pace while Kabeer, ridden by Clement Cadel, sat in fourth position. Wearing blinkers, he showed a nice turn of foot in the straight. He had to battle with Nayar Athbah and Zalej Al Cham before taking the lead. The Al Shaqab Racing-owned colt Zalej Al Cham finished in second.
Earlier in the afternoon, a little keen at first, King Shalaa gradually relaxed towards the rear. Entering the straight, the eventual winner did not have an easy passage.
Jockey Olivier Peslier had to send him into middle of the track to get the opening and once he found a gap, the colt stormed to the lead. King Shalaa won by one-and-a-half lengths ahead of Normandy Beech. He snatched second by a neck just on the line from Trust On Him.
After the race, François Rohaut, King Shalaa’s trainer and breeder, said: “He’s a colt that we have always really liked since the day he arrived. In the morning, he shows us the same talent as he did here and, although he is very green, this race was intended to give him a good education. He pulled a little at the start and then struggled to find his way in the straight, but it’s a great lesson and it confirms what we think of him. We’re not going to be in a hurry this year because he’s still a big baby. I would like to thank His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani who trusted me when I told him that I had a very nice foal to sell. He is also one of the first winners of Shalaa, who I really like.”
King Shalaa is now the fifth winner of the young Al Shaqab Racing sire Shalaa, who stands at Haras du Bouquetot. His dam Baki won two races in Vichy over 2,000m and in Deauville over 2,500m. Besides King Shalaa, she is also the dam of Waltham, winner of three races including the Prix Maurice Caillault.
Emberator wins Prix Dahman for Al Shaqab Racing
Emberator broke his maiden for Al Shaqab Racing winning Prix Dahman at Dax in France on Tuesday evening. This three-year-old Purebred Arabian, trained in Pau by Charles Gourdain, won by a short head in front of Nafe’eh with Sarhan just over a length further back in third. Both the second- and third-place finishers ran in the colours of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani, who also bred both colts.
Emberator was ridden here by Ioritz Mendizabal. It was his first attempt at this distance of 2,300m, having run twice before over shorter trips finishing 4th on his previous start over 1,900m.
Emberator was bred by Mathieu de Watrigant and comes from the most successful bloodline of French Purebred Arabian breeders Haras de Mandore. His third dam is none other than French Champion mare Cherifa.
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