Returned to his favoured distance of 1,400m, the Al Shaqab Racing-owned Almafjar proved his class when taking the French Arabian Breeders Challenge Sprint (Group 2 PA) at Bordeaux-Le-Bouscat on Sunday.
Trained by Elizabeth Bernard, the four-year-old Almafjar is proving to be one of the most exciting Arabian sprinters in training, having now won four of his eight career starts. He was ridden to his latest success by Jean-Bernard Eyquem.
Quickly away from the stalls, Almafjar quickly took the lead and was left untroubled by his five rivals. Setting only a steady pace, Eyquem was able to stack the field up behind ALMAFJAR, who travelled with supreme ease. Turning for home, Almafjar was challenged towards the outside by the other Al Shaqab Racing’s contender Meethag and the pair drew clear of the remaining four runners. Almafjar was briefly headed by Meethag 300m from home, but rallied under pressure and began to stretch clear inside the closing stages, crossing the line just over a length clear. Al Shaqab Racing’s Hazzam tried to close on the leaders and stayed on to finish third to complete the frame for the Al Shaqab Racing. Winning trainer Elizabeth Bernard said after the race: “He is a super horse and won very easily there. He is very difficult on the gallops at home and Gary Sanchez does a lot of work on him, so congratulations must go to him also.”
Bred by his owner Al Shaqab Racing, Almafjar is by Haras de
Thouars’ stallon Mister Ginoux. His dam, Qatar-bred Al Dhabi finished fourth on her only start and Almafjar is her first winner as a broodmare.
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