Owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani, Ebraz won the Qatar Cup – Prix Dragon (Gr1 PA) in style at Chantilly on Sunday 10 September. The horse was held up mid-division before coming easily in the straight. He beat Yazeed, who was having his comeback, by a clear margin, and his stable companion Gazwan. QREC General Manager, Nasser bin Sherida Al-Kaabi, presented the trophies to the winners.
Ebraz is none other that the winner of the HH The Emir’s Sword (Gr1 PA), the first leg of the Doha Triple Crown. He then went down by the shortest distance possible to Tayf in the Qatar International Stakes (Gr1 PA) at Goodwood.
Trainer of Ebraz, Julian Smart said: “Ebraz and Gazwan will run in the Qatar Arabian World Cup with a leader, probably Ba’Sil. Ebraz is not at the top of his condition and he will improve from this race. He is a very good horse who goes on any ground. The World Cup distance is perfect for him. I don’t like to say too much at this stage, but I think that he is the best 4 year old that I have ever trained. For the big race, I think that the ones to watch out for are Tayf and Thomas Fourcy’s horses. I have won the race three times, but only with fillies. I hope that Ebraz will be the first colt to give us a victory in the race.”
Qatar Arc Trials: The Big Rehearsal
Al Asayl’s Bateel won her first Gr1 in the Qatar Prix Vermeille (Gr1), this Sunday at Chantilly. Very comfortable on soft ground, the filly trained by Francis-Henri Graffard showed her toughness to wear down Journey. Last year’s winner, Left Hand, had to be content with third place. Frrancis-Henri Graffard, winning trainer, said: “To win a race like this, all credit has to go to the filly. She loves soft ground. She has a lot of character, and the team at home has done a great job with her. Her morning rider knows her by heart. She worked well coming into this race. Pierre-Charles gave her a good ride, as he never let Journey out of his sight. She is a filly with a lot of stamina, and that showed in the finish.
She is not entered in the Arc. When the entries were being made, she wasn’t at this level. She has another option at Ascot. She runs well fresh, and the Arc is in three weeks. I am ready to supplement her if she is well but I will have to talk to her owners. Today she was a bit uptight in the parade ring but not in a bad way. The gamble has paid off.”
The English runner Cracksman, in the colours of Anthony Oppenheimer, flew home to win the Qatar Prix Niel (Gr2), a possible prep race for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The colt, trained by John Gosden, left Avilius by three lengths, with Finche a length further back.
Lanfranco Dettori, jockey of Cracksman, said: “He has run well toady, and he did it well, despite the ground being too soft for him. I don’t think that he has beaten a high class group of horses here. He is an improving colt, he will be better again at 4 years old. He is strengthening up. It’s not easy to compare him to Golden Horn as he was more mature at this point in the season than Cracksman. The Arc? That’s for his owner and trainer to decide. As far as I go, I will riding Enable in the Gr1. She has won four Gr1’s with plenty in hand each time. I will be in any case delighted if Cracksman stays in training at 4.”
Ribchester was very courageous to win the Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (Gr1), confirming that he is the best older miler around. Owned by Godolphin, he picked up well when Taareef went on the attack. The two horses were clear of the third, Massaat.
Richard Fahey said : “His best performance was at Royal Ascot when he beat the record. He is able to perform on soft ground, but he is most effective on good ground. We have lot of options open to him. He could go to Ascot, for the Qipco Queen Elizabeth II Stakes or 15 days later to the United States for the Breeder’s Cup Mile. I am very lucky to train such a horse. He’s a star. He could go to Dubai early next year.”
The German runner Dschingis Secret was a surprise winner of the Qatar Prix Foy, in which the Japanese horse Satono Diamond was the short priced favourite. A winner last time out in the Longines Grosser Preis von Berlin, he back this up by beating Cloth of Stars and Talismanic and should line up in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with a chance. Horst Pudwill, winning owner, said : “We will see him back here in the Arc and he will be our first ever runner in the race. Today he had his ground and he will take part in the big race if the ground is soft enough. He won’t run if it’s firm. If the rain comes, my representative could be on the podium for the Arc. But you never know. Look at Danedream. We hope that the rain will come between now and then. He is a horse that has improved with age and he only likes running right handed. This Sunday, he was the best horse in the race.”
Vazirabad, last year’s winner of the Qatar Prix Gladiateur, made a winning comeback in this race, but he had to fight to hold off Holdthaisgreen. His trainer Alain de Royer Dupré a commented: “He has run a great comeback after he was stopped at the beginning of the year. He is a very particular horse to ride. In principle, this race will have been good for him, and should bring him on for the Prix du Cadran and Royal-Oak (Gr1s)."