The second day of the HH The Amir Sword Festival saw a thrilling Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cup bring the day’s action to a close with the Irish Ambassador HE Aidan Cronin presenting the trophies to the winners of the mile long Gr2 race.
A fantastic turn of foot on the home stretch saw French raider MARIANAFOOT (Footstepsinthesand x Marianabaa) snatch an impressive victory in the final few metres of the IRISH THOROUGHBRED MARKETING CUP (QA Gr 2) (4yo & older) on Friday. The USD 200000 feature saw Jerome Reynier saddle his second Group 2 winner when Pierre-Charles Boudot moved him out after the turn through a gap and challenged local hopes, Injaaz Stud’s BLACK GRANITE (Dark Angel x Glisten) and Mohammed Khalifa Al Sowaidi’s Top Face (Tiznow x Toppisme). The listed winner from Deauville did enough to beat Oisin Murphy ridden Black Granite by a quarter of a length, while Hadi Nasser Rashid Al Ramzani saddled Top Face was ridden to a close third by Tomas Lukasek. Another French raider Diplomat had to settle for fourth by a neck.
In a thrilling finish, Aahil (Munjiz x Daniah) was the second straight winner on the day for Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle, when the Umm Qarn colt topped the USD 100000 GULF CUP (4yo & older PA bred in the GCC). Ronan Thomas was astride the 5yo colt when he was a neck behind Molheb Al Naif last month. And when the two came down the home straight in a duel of sorts, it was close yet again, but Thomas and his mount had managed to hold off Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi’s trio, including Harry Bentley ridden Molheb Al Naif, Oisin Murphy helmed Rassan and Istibdad, with Gerald Avranche astride. The win by a nose was Aahil’s second this season and fourth overall.
Umm Qarn’s Barra (Munjiz x Daniah) led a one-two for trainer Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle in the six furlong PUREBRED ARABIAN SPRINT CUP on Friday. The colt was coming off a 11-month sabbatical but showed no signs of rust as he raced to his first victory on turf, having won thrice before on dirt. With Ronan Thomas in the saddle, the 6yo beat stablemate Daloob, ridden by Qatari jockey Faleh Bughanaim, by a length and three quarters.
Champion Trainer Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi and Champion Jockey Harry Bentley completed a hat-trick when the two combined for a winner yet again this weekend. Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari’s MOSAYTER (Country Reel x Red Bravo) put up an incredible run on the straight to hold off against a fast closing duo – Gerald Avranche ridden Saar and Jimmy Quinn helmed Nahaab – in the LOCAL THOROUGHBRED TROPHY (4yo & older) to win the seven furlong run by a length and a quarter.
Injaaz Stud’s WAYSIDE FLOWER (Shamardal x Umseyat) raced to her second victory this season when a fantastic ride by Harry Bentley saw the Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi trained filly top the THOROUGHBREDS (Fillies & Mares) (Class 3). The 5yo went one better than her last outing, and stepping up in distance to a mile, proved not much of a factor with the filly winning a thriller by a quarter of a length, ahead of Oaks heroine Mualah, under JP Guillambert.
Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari’s INDIAN HORSEMAN (Sepoy x Jubilant Queen) bounced back from a forgettable outing last time round to register his second victory this season. Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi’s ward had stepped up in class earlier this month, which didn’t go according to plan, but Harry Bentley guided the 3yo well in the six furlong THOROUGHBRED PLATE (3 Year Olds) (Class 4) for a fine victory, the gelding’s second, with a length and a quarter to spare.
Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle had a maiden winner after missing out narrowly in the first race of the afternoon when Umm Qarn’s BIN GENERAL (General x Noorah) made a smashing debut. The 4yo won a thriller holding on under Ronan Thomas as two Julian Colin Smart wards, Taish, ridden by apprentice jockey Ali Khalid Al Mosallam , and Maxr, with Theo Bachelot in the saddle, gave chase in the final furlong of the 2000m PUREBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN PLATE (Div 1) (4-6yo).
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s AL WANNAH (Burning Sand x Massroura) proved that her tenth place finish on debut over C&D in December was just a blip, with the Julian Colin Smart trained filly notching her second straight victory since. On Friday, with Ryan Curatolo in the saddle, the 4yo raced to a fine three quarters of a length victory in the mile-long LOCAL PUREBRED ARABIAN NOVICE PLATE (Fillies & Mares) (4yo & older).
Qatari jockey Yousef al-Hajri registered his third victory this season when he guided Osama Omer Al Dafea’s EVOLUTION DU CROATE (Dahess x Salsa Du Croate) to a comfortable victory in the opening race of the day. The colt, though winless coming into the fixture, had five top three finishes to his credit but on Friday the 5yo changed that by winning the 2000m PUREBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN PLATE (Qatari Riders Only) (Div 2) by two and a half lengths on his 12th outing. Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle’s wards Razad, ridden by Rashid Ali al-Marri and Ibn Al Ameed, helmed by Faleh Bughanaim completed the top three.