Abdulaziz Ali Al Kathiri’s CRISTOFANO ALLORI (Shamardal x Perfect Touch) built on a sprint feature victory from two weeks ago to enter the winner’s circle for the first time this season when the colt won the MURAIKH CUP (THOROUGHBREDS (Class 2)) in fine fashion at Al Rayyan Park’s dirt track. Ridden by Ronan Thomas for the first time on Wednesday, the 5yo, that had finished third two weeks ago in the Umm Al Houl Cup, did well to go past the post a length and a quarter ahead of the Ibrahim Saeed Ibrahim Al Malki-trained MUNIRA EYES (Cape Blanco x Desert Sky), ridden by Eduardo Pedroza, for a win. JP Guillambert guided ASTLEY HALL (Dutch Art x Haigh Hall) to third place for trainer Gassim Mohammad Ghazali.
After finishing in the frame thrice to close out last season, Shaheen Bin Khalid Shaheen Al Ghanim’s YAARMEN (Nayef x Haamaat) opened the new season with a breezy win in the THOROUGHBRED HANDICAP (Class 3) (75-95) on Wednesday. Helmed by Marco Casamento in the 1900m race, the Gassim Mohammad Ghazali-trained gelding went past the post three and three-quarter lengths ahead of the Tomas Lukasek-ridden Rich History for his third victory at Al Rayyan Park.
After finishing midfield in his first two outings in Qatar, Abu Fass Stud’s VOLATILE (Poet’s Voice x Neshla) has raced to two straight sprint victories at Al Rayyan Park. Trained by Mohammed Riyaz Ibrahim Kasim, the gelding had a handicap sprint victory under Pierantonio Convertino last week, and they combined well yet again, this time winning the THOROUGHBRED HANDICAP (Class 3) over six furlongs with a length and a quarter to spare.
The Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle-trained BADDA (Seraphin Du Paon x Raqiyah) was the second horse on the day to take the Umm Qarn colours into the winner’s circle. Ridden by Ronan Thomas in the PUREBRED ARABIAN HANDICAP (90 & below), the filly built on her previous C&D runs, when she had finished in the frame, to win by a length and a quarter at the post in the 1700m race. Both the 4yo’s victories have been under Thomas.
Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari’s TILAL (Helmet x Last Rhapsody) sprinted to her second straight C&D victory under champion jockey Harry Bentley. Four weeks ago Mohammed Gassim Ghazali’s ward won a handicap over six furlongs on dirt. On Wednesday in the LOCAL THOROUGHBRED HANDICAP (75 & below), the filly was back in the winner’s circle after winning yet another handicap under Bentley to improve her strike rate, edging out the Carlos Henrique-ridden Sarat Abha by a length.
Qatari jockey Saleh Salem Al Marri rode his second winner of the season in the LOCAL THOROUGHBRED GRADUATION PLATE on Wednesday. In the 1900m run on dirt, the apprentice rider helmed the Khalifa Bin Ali Bin Mohammed Al Attiya-trained NUMUTHEJ (Wootton Bassett x Encircle) to a fine victory with one and a half lengths to spare. Owned by Jassim Bin Ali Al Attiyah, the 6yo beat the Ronan Thomas-ridden Sky Blue at the post.
Abu Fass Stud’s TAYISH (Fastnet Rock x Miss Provence) brushed aside a run of forgettable finishes to shed his maiden status in comfortable fashion on Wednesday. Trained by Mohammed Riyaz Ibrahim Kasim, the 4yo was well held on all three of his previous outings, but did well in the LOCAL THOROUGHBRED MAIDEN PLATE. Ridden by Pierantonio Convertino in the 1700m race, the colt went past the post with two lengths and three quarters to spare.
Umm Qarn’s MEELAD (Azadi x Al Dahma) raced to his first victory in Qatar winning the opening race of the meeting on Wednesday. In the PUREBRED ARABIAN NOVICE CUP, the Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle-trained colt had Ronan Thomas for company, and the two won a thrilling duel with the Harry Bentley-ridden Annab by a quarter of a length at the post. It was the 5yo’s sixth outing around Al Rayyan Park.