By Mikhil Bhat Doha
Hassan Ali al-Abdulmalik’s She’s Our Queen, Al Wasmiyah Farm’s Perfect Empire, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani’s Off He Goes and Al Bida Racing’s Jabalaly won the Thoroughbred features on the Classic/Pearl Day at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club’s Al Rayyan Park turf track on Thursday.
In the finale, Thoroughbred Pearl for fillies and mares, Deborah Mountain-schooled She’s Our Queen showed some impressive pace on the home straight despite traffic to land the 2,000m run by more than a length as Alberto Sanna guided Mahaarat to the runner-up spot.
In the penultimate race of the day, also a QAR 100,000 prize money affair like the other features, Jassim Ghazali’s ward, Perfect Empire, built on a promising fourth place finish in the Qatar Derby (QA Group 1) to win the Thoroughbred Classic for four-year-olds. Soufiane Saadi helmed the winner to a three-quarters-of-a-length win ahead of Jason Watson-ridden King Pacha.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani’s famous white stars and royal blue silks entered the winner’s enclosure twice on Thursday, first with the Doha Triple Crown winner Ebraz and then with Off He Goes.
Julian Smart-trained Off He Goes successfully defended his Khor Al Adaid Cup (QA Group 3) title after Tomas Lukasek guided the seven-year-old gelding to a confident three-length victory in the 2,800m race for four-year-old and older Thoroughbreds.
Lukasek had his mount follow fellow Julian Smart ward, Money Multiplier, before making the move coming on to the home straight. Umm Qarn’s Duke Of Dundee surged forward too under Ronan Thomas but that wasn’t enough as Off He Goes was up and away.
Earlier, three-time His Highness The Amir Sword (Group 1 PA) topper Ebraz had missed out on victories narrowly on his last two starts. With Tomas Lukasek in the saddle, the Julian Smart-trained eight-year-old got into the groove coming off the final bend and, with an impressive turn of foot went, past the leader, Soufiane Saadi, ridden Jabalah to land the 1850m Purebred Arabian Conditions event.
Thomas, however, had ridden the first feature winner of the evening when he guided Al Bida Racing’s gelding Jabalaly to his second straight victory. Ibrahim al-Malki-trained bay horse held off the challenge posed by Sheikh Mohamed’s duo — Markhor and Al Shaman — by almost a length to bag the mile-long Al Areeq Cup for Class 2 Thoroughbreds.
Qatari apprentice jockey Rashid Ali al-Marri entered the winner's enclosure for the 11th time this season with a fantastic ride astride Alban de Mieulle-trained Barra in the colours of Patrice Nicolet. Guiding the eight-year-old for the first time, al-Marri had Barra take the lead coming off the final bend in the Local Purebred Arabian Conditions event and then pulled away to win the six-furlong sprint by almost six lengths.
The trainer-jockey combine of Jassim Ghazali and Marco Casamento combined well to register two straight wins on Thursday. First up was Jassem Mohamed al-Badi's Qatar Gold who completed a hat-trick of victories when the five-year-old landed the Local Thoroughbred Plate event over six furlongs. Casamento had ridden the Atlantic Air colt to his first two victories too.
Half-an-hour later, it was Mohamed bin Ahmed bin Mohamed al-Attiyah's AJS Al Moheeb who topped the Local Purebred Arabian Handicap for horses rated 85 and below. The eight-year-old was at the back of the pack for the bulk of the mile-long race before Casamento got him to make up ground on early leader Shaweesh, ridden by Rashid Ali al-Marri. At the business end of the straight, Casamento and his mount were breathing down Shaweesh's neck before edging him out by a head at the post.
In the meeting opener, Khalifa bin Sheail al-Kuwari's Bottom Bay raced to his first victory in Qatar on only his third outing here with Michael Forest guiding the Zuhair Mohsen charge to a thrilling head victory in the Class 3 Thoroughbred Handicap event.
Race 1: THOROUGHBRED HANDICAP (Class 3) (70-90)
1. Bottom Bay (Michael Forest), 2. Karbasann (Ronan Thomas), 3. Wedream (JP Guillambert), 4. Wemyss Ware (Adnan Hawa). Won by: Hd, ½, 1. Time: 2:05.75. Owner: Khalifa bin Sheail al-Kuwari. Trainer: Zuhair Mohsen.
Race 2: LOCAL THOROUGHBRED PLATE
1. Qatar Gold (Marco Casamento), 2. Al Adheed (Soufiane Saadi), 3. Wadhah (Michael Forest), 4. Admiral (Ronan Thomas). Won by: 1, 3 ¼, 1 ¼. Time: 1:13.08. Owner: Jassem Mohamed al-Badi. Trainer: Jassim Ghazali.
Race 3: LOCAL PUREBRED ARABIAN HANDICAP (85 & below)
1. AJS Al Moheeb (Marco Casamento), 2. Shaweesh (Rashid Ali al-Marri), 3. AJS Al Aredh (Meteb Ali al-Marri), 4. Tahar (Alberto Sanna). Won by: Hd, 2 ¾, Hd. Time: 1:46.99. Owner: Mohamed bin Ahmed bin Mohamed al-Attiyah. Trainer: Jassim Ghazali.
Race 4: LOCAL PUREBRED ARABIAN CONDITIONS
1. Barra (Rashid Ali al-Marri), 2. Wardan Al Hashm (Faleh Bughanaim), 3. Kasser (Meteb Ali al-Marri), 4. Hazm Al Sulaimi (Marco Casamento). Won by: 5 ¾, 1 ¼, 1 ¼. Time: 1:18.88. Owner: Patrice Nicolet. Trainer: Alban de Mieulle.
Race 5: PUREBRED ARABIAN CONDITIONS
1. Ebraz (Tomas Lukasek), 2. Jabalah (Soufiane Saadi), 3. Evolution Du Croate (Alberto Sanna), 4. Akmar (Marco Casamento). Won by: 1, 7 ½, 1. Time: 2:05.21. Owner: His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani. Trainer: Julian Smart.
Race 6: AL AREEQ CUP (Class 2 THOROUGHBREDS)
1. Jabalaly (Ronan Thomas), 2. Markhor (Soufiane Saadi), 3. Al Shaman (Tomas Lukasek), 4. Beachwalk (Ivan Rossi). Won by: ¾, Hd, Nk. Time: 1:36.88. Owner: Al Bida Racing. Trainer: Ibrahim al-Malki.
Race 7: KHOR AL ADAID CUP (QA Gr3) (4-year-olds & older Class 1 THOROUGHBREDS)
1. Off He Goes (Tomas Lukasek), 2. Duke of Dundee (Ronan Thomas), 3. Otwo (Faleh Bughanaim), 4. Harry Hotspur (Soufiane Saadi). Won by: 3, 1 ¾, ¼. Time: 3:09.11. Owner: His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani. Trainer: Julian Smart.
Race 8: T/B CLASSIC RACE (4-year-old Class 2 Thoroughbreds)
1. Perfect Empire (Soufiane Saadi), 2. King Pacha (Jason Watson), 3. Hayzum (Michael Forest), 4. Sir Arthur Dayne (Marco Casamento). Won by: ¾, ¾, 2. Time: 2:06.78. Owner: Al Wasmiyah Farm. Trainer: Jassim Ghazali.
Race 9: T/B PEARL (Class 2 THOROUGHBRED Fillies & Mares)
1. She's Our Queen (Ivan Rossi), 2. Mahaarat (Alberto Sanna), 3. Festive (Ronan Thomas), 4. Make A Wish (Marco Casamento). Won by: 1 ¼, 2 ½, Nk. Time: 2:05.82. Owner: Hassan Ali al-Abdulmalik. Trainer: Deborah Mountain.
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