AL HUWAILA CUP (PA Conditions)
Almost 16 months after she last won in Qatar, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s NAJDA (Amer x Margouia), trained by Julian Smart, registered her third career win, ahead of stablemate HAGWA (Burning Sand x Mataleb ASF) in the 1850m turf feature on Thursday, 20 April 2016, at Al Rayyan Racecourse. Marco Monteriso had the 5yo stay midfield even as Mohammed Jassim Ghazali’s Messine De Sinuhe led on the back straight with Meqdam Al Zaidy right behind. Coming off the final bend, Monteriso had his mount go through traffic while Richard Mullen had Hagwa pick up pace on the outside. The duo soon went up front and Najda went past the post a little over a length ahead of Hagwa with Umm Qarn’s SEHAB (Nizam x Kachia) third under Jean Baptiste Hamel.
THOROUGHBRED HANDICAP (Class 3) (76-90)
Running 2000m for the first time in Qatar, WHAT A SURPRISE (Rip Van Winkle x Superstitious) emerged as the only winner for trainer Ibrahim Al Malki on the day. Ridden by Saleem Golam in the colours of Sheikh Faisal Bin Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani, the 3yo tracked early leader Shahbar before taking the advantage on the final straight. However, the Tariq Issa-trained COMPLIMENTOR (Acclamation x Lovely Blossom), who was nowhere close to the front for the bulk of the race, showed some amazing turn of foot under Jean Baptiste Hamel to go past the field and get alongside What A Surprise in the final 50m. However, the latter held on well for a close victory. Alberto Sanna guided GOLDENFIELD (Footstepsinthesand x Society Gal) to third.
THOROUGHBRED CLASSIFIED STAKES (Class 1) (96-115)
Jassim Mohammed Ghazali’s ITORIO (Oratorio x Image Of) led from start to finish to register his third victory this season in the mile-long run. Itorio had shown some good form, finishing in the top four for three straight races coming into Thursday’s event. JP Guillambert had his 5yo mount take the lead early on and held on even as Julian Smart’s BARWOD (Lope De Vega x Atlanda) kept closing the gap as the business end approached. Jockey Richard Mullen perhaps left it for tad bit too late as Barwod ran out of track and finished half a length behind the winner for his second spot. Majed Seifeddine’s charge AL MOHALHAL (Acclamation x Secret Question) was third under Gerald Avranche.
PUREBRED ARABIAN HANDICAP (90 & below)
Qatari jockey Faleh Bughanaim picked up his only victory of the day when he guided M.J LATTAM (AF AlBahar x Menwat Al Jazeera) to victory in the seven-furlong run. The Mohammed Al Ramzani-trained M.J Lattam had opened his account just last month in a six furlong turf maiden, and on Thursday did well to edge out Jassim Mohammed Ghazali’s MUJAHIDAH (Hatteen x Assana D'Aroco), ridden by Kelly Harrison, at the post for a fine win. Julian Smart’s ZAHWAH (Amer x Djamour Des Forges) also made it to the frame with a ride by Richard Mullen.
THOROUGHBRED HANDICAP (Class 4) (80 & below)
The Stefano Ibido-trained INLAND SEA (Scat Daddy x Cat's Eye Witness) overcame a slow start to emerge victorious in the mile long run. The H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani-owned gelding followed the field early on even as Mohammed Hussain’s Succeed and Excel led up front. Coming off the final bend, Gerald Avranche and his partner Inland Sea had to tackle some heavy traffic, but once they found the gap, the duo steadily took the advantage from Yousef Bentaher’s HI HOLY (Holy Roman Emperor x Arpege) with Marco Monteriso astride. Hi Holy had to settle for second ahead of Hadi Al Ramzani’s Aseer (Invincible Spirit x Lady Of Garmoran), ridden by Tomas Lukasek.
THOROUGHBRED HANDICAP (Class 4) (Div 2) (80 & below)
Mohammed Hamad Al Attiya’s GENO (Holy Roman Emperor x Abama Lady), who has only had a couple of runs in Qatar, ran a cracker for a fourth place on his last run a little more than a month ago. On Thursday, Gerald Avranche helmed the 4yo to a fine victory despite a move up to a mile for the first time in Qatar. The gelding finished three quarters of a length ahead of Ibrahim Al Malki’s COULD BE (Sakhee x Catch Us) ridden by Saleem Golam. The rest of the competitors found themselves further behind with the Zuhair Mohsen-trained RIJM (New Approach x Astorg), helmed by Marco Monteriso, third four lengths down.
PUREBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN PLATE
On her third attempt this month, Hamad Al Jehani’s YARA AL KHAIR (Majd Al Arab x Bonnett) shed her maiden status in the opening race on Thursday. Anas Al Seyabi, who has helmed the mare since the start of her short Qatar career so far, guided the 5yo to a two-length victory over the Julian Smart-saddled FAZAN (Nizam x Ultafa Al Maury), ridden by Richard Mullen, while the Jassim Mohammed Ghazali-trained E’ZAAZ (Amer x Naama ASF) was third under Tadgh O’Shea.