Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari’s OPERA BARON (Equiano x Opera Dancer) made a winning return to racing action when he was helmed to a fine victory in the H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani Trophy (GR2 for 3YO & older Thoroughbreds) on turf at the Al Rayyan Park on Thursday, 27 December. JP Guillambert was in the saddle of the topper for champion trainer Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi, who had four winners on the day. The gelding beat the Stefano Ibido-trained VERANDA (Canford Cliffs x Visinada), helmed by Ronan Thomas in the silks of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani, by a length the while Deborah Amanda Clare Mountain-saddled SHABBAB (Siyouni x Floride), ridden by Saleem Golam, had to settle for third by a short head.
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s ISHFAQ (Asraa Min Al Barq x Djazie) was the third winner on the day saddled by Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi. The 5yo was also the fourth winner helmed by champion jockey Harry Bentley on the day when he won the 2000m Jaffer Cup (for Local Purebred Arabians) with a dominant four-length margin. The Ibrahim Saeed Ibrahim Al Malki-trained MEQDAM AL ZAIDY (Al Mudaffar x El Modamerah) and the Julian Colin Smart-schooled AALEY AL MAGAM (Amer x Abigaille) finished second and third respectively.
The owner-trainer-jockey trio of Ahmed Hassan Al Malki Al Jehani, Hamad Ahmed Al Malki Al Jehani and Jean Baptiste Hamel registered a double on the day when MOADDIE (Footstepsinthesand x Kasota) grabbed the seven-furlong Gazwan Local Thoroughbred Conditions event with three quarters to spare. The victory was the first for the 8yo in his three attempts this season.
Runner-up efforts in the Qatar Cup and Thoroughbreds had confirmed her competitiveness, and on Thursday, with Harry Bentley in the saddle, the Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi-trained TEA LEAF (Bushranger x Boston Ivy) won for the first time since May 2014. The 7yo mare topped the 1850m Assy Thoroughbreds (Fillies & Mares) (Class 4), finishing three quarters of a length ahead of Sawda Natheel Stakes winner Bronze Maquette.
The Hamad Ahmed Al Malki Al Jehani-trained MORE THAN A DREAM (Halling x Chabelle) went one better than his last run to win the Ebraz Thoroughbred Handicap (80 & below) (Class 4). Under a fine ride by Jean Baptiste Hamel, the colt shed his maiden status on his 23rd attempt topping the mile-long race by half a length.
Harry Bentley helmed the Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi-saddled AL MUSTAFIZ (AF Albahar x Djimana) to the colt’s second career win in the Djendel Local Purebred Arabian Graduation Plate. Having impressed with minor places in his first two runs this season, th Injaaz Stud-owned 5yo won with half a length to spare this time.
Umm Qarn’s MUHANNAD (Munjiz x Al Dahma) led a one-two for trainer Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle in the 2000m Mared Al Sahra Purebred Arabian Maiden Plate under a ride from Ronan Thomas. The 4yo colt had two forgettable runs earlier in 2018, but bounced back on Thursday with a short-head victory over stablemate Razad, who had Mathieu Pelletan in the saddle.
Injaaz Stud’s DJALMESSA (Dahess x Djalmina) made a winning debut for trainer Mubarak Mohamed Al Khayareen topping the Reda Purebred Arabian Maiden Plate in a thriller. Champion jockey Harry Bentley helmed the 4yo filly to her maiden victory with a neck to spare in the seven-furlong run.