Ex Miss, UK raider Maystar, Gtnah, Aafreen win big on Oaks Day

Hassan Ali Alabdulmalik’s EX MISS (Excelebration x Miss Starlight) may have debuted with a forgettable finish but she is notching some memorable victories for her connections, the latest being the QATAR OAKS (F) (QA Gr 3) (THOROUGHBREDS (Class 1) 3yo Fillies Only) on Friday at the Al Rayyan Park. Helmed by Ryan Curatolo, Ahmed Mohamad Kobeissi’s ward found his line and pace at the right time on the home stretch of the 2000m race and there was no stopping her as she eased to a two and a half lengths victory over Tom Marquand ridden STAR OF WAR (Declaration Of War x Sunshine For Life), trained by Georges Mikhalides for Al Wasmiyah Farm. Silvestre De Sousa guided Ibrahim Saeed Ibrahim Al Malki trained MANORAH (The Factor x Fifth Avenue Doll) to third place in the colours of Al Bida Racing.

Archie Watson’s ward MAYSTAR (Mayson x Oakley Star) followed up his conditions victory in the UK earlier this month with a massive win at Qatar’s Al Rayyan Park on Friday. Ridden by Hollie Doyle in the AL RAYYAN STAKES (THOROUGHBREDS (Class 1) 2 Year Olds ONLY), the gelding responded well to the fast ground at the turf track. On the home stretch, the gelding took a narrow advantage and then held on as Tomas Lukasek ridden THINK BIG (Night Of Thunder x Avenue Montaigne) took second three quarters of a length behind. French entrant HAPPY BERE (Pedro The Great x Miss Fine), ridden by Olivier Peslier for Antoine de Watragant completed the top three two lengths down.

Al Shaqab Racing’s GTNAH (TM Fred Texas x Mayada) improved her strike rate even further as she completed a hat-trick of victories this calendar year on Friday. Having opened her season’s campaign with an Oaks Trial victory last month, Ronan Thomas was astride Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle trained filly yet again in the QATAR OAKS (F) (PUREBRED ARABIANS 4yo FILLIES ONLY). Going on to the home stretch, Thomas got his mount going and there was no stopping her as she soon took the advantage and kept pulling away from the competition for her fifth victory from 11 outings. Al Shahania Stud’s colours too entered the paddock after Eduardo Pedroza rode Ibrahim Saeed Ibrahim Al Malki trained AKSINYA (General x Anastasya) to second place and AL RYMA MONLAU (Runner x Bidaya) was helmed to third by Champion Jockey Harry Bentley.

Umm Qarn’s AAFREEN (Atlantic Air x Baaria) made her intentions clear in the Oaks Trial last month and put on display her amazing turn of foot in the QATAR OAKS (F) (LOCAL THOROUGHBREDS 3yo FILLIES ONLY) on Friday for her second victory of the season. With Olivier Peslier astride the Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle trained filly, she stayed midfield for the bulk of the miler before the jockey gave her a go ahead. At the post, Aafreen edged out Mohamad Hamad Al Attiya trained AL FAISALIYA (Coach House x Shielaligh), ridden by Tom Marquand, by three quarters of a length. Ryan Curatolo ridden WADHAH (Abide With Me x Viola D’Amore), owned by Saif Rashid Saif Al Khayarin and trained by Mohamed Khaled Elahmed, finished third.

In a scorching SAWDA NATHEEL STAKES (Fillies & Mares), Shaheen Bin Khalid Shaheen Al Ghanim’s HILLSIDE DREAM (Dream Ahead x Knapton Hill) led a sweep of the top three spots for the Ghazali trainer duo. Champion Trainer Gassim Mohammad Ghazali saddled Hillside Dream was ridden in fantastic fashion by Theo Bachelot, taking the lead in the final stages of the six furlong sprint, ahead of Harry Bentley helmed WAYSIDE FLOWER (Shamardal x Umseyat), also schooled by Ghazali, and eventually winning by half a length. Ghazali’s son Mohammed handles FLYING EMPRESS (Holy Roman Emperor x Fly Free) who tracked down early leader Vona under JP Guillambert before finishing third. The win was Hillside Dream’s first since April of 2017.

Not her best outing last time round but Al Jeryan Stud’s AJS AL SABEEHA (AF AlBahar x Sahab Al Zaeem) made amends on Friday holding off Al Rabban Racing’s RS Rasheeda in the final 50 metres to shed her maiden status in thrilling fashion. In the LOCAL PUREBRED ARABIAN PLATE (3 Year Old Fillies), Hadi Nasser Rashid Al Ramzani’s charge took a slight advantage under Carlos Henrique on the home straight and then stayed on even as RS Rasheeda came threateningly close under Ronan Thomas to win by a head.

In a thrilling one-two for the colours of H.H Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani and trainer Julian Colin Smart, MON’NIA (Amer x Margouia) showed some fantastic pace on the home stretch to stay unbeaten at Al Rayyan Park. The 3yo had picked up a fine win on Qatar debut under Tomas Lukasek last month, and the Jockey was once again in the saddle in the PUREBRED ARABIAN PLATE (3-Year-Old Fillies). As the miler moved to the home stretch, Mon’nia and stablemate Challenge de Ghazal got into a duel of sorts with the latter holding a slight advantage. But a kick up in pace in the final few metres saw Mon’nia win by a nose.

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalid Bin Nasser Al Thani’s HAZM AL SULAIMI (TM Fred Texas x Hasna) landed back to back victories on dirt coming into Friday’s run, and the 4yo continued that run on turf. In the PUREBRED ARABIAN HANDICAP (75 & below) Champion Jockey Harry Bentley was in the saddle for the Gassim Mohammad Ghazali trained colt and the duo did well to pick up a fine win at the post with a length and a quarter to spare.

Abdulatif Hussain Al Emadi’s AL ADHEED (Footstepsinthesand x Wild Anthem) had opened his career with a promising second in a dirt maiden last month. The 4yo showed his versatility when he stepped down in distance on Friday and even switched to turf, and yet came out on top in the LOCAL THOROUGHBRED MAIDEN PLATE. In the seven furlong run, Ibrahim Saeed Ibrahim Al Malki’s ward had Eduardo Pedroza for company and the two won comfortably with two lengths and a quarter to spare.