Hassan Ali Hassan Al Matwi’s RAQEE wins Al Thakhira Cup thriller

Hassan Ali Hassan Al Matwi’s RAQEE (Mared Al Sahra x Cath) was back in the winner’s circle within a year of his previous victory with the 6yo topping the AL THAKHIRA CUP (LOCAL PUREBRED ARABIANS) at the dirt track at Al Rayyan Park on Wednesday. In the six-furlong feature, the 6yo had Qatari jockey Faleh Bughanaim for company and the two won a thrilling blanket finish, edging out a trio saddled by Champion Trainer Gassim Mohammad Ghazali. The JP Guillambert-ridden LEKHRAIB (AF AlBahar x Grace T) was second by a neck for Injaaz Stud while Jassim Bin Ali Al Attiyah’s RASSAN (Amer x Sandytiki) completed the top three under Harry Bentley.

Ten months after riding Subaiya Awad Ibrahim’s DHERGHAM BU THAILA (Soviet Secret x Dualite) to the gelding’s only victory, Anas Al Seyabi was astride the Mohamed Khaled Elahmed-trained 5yo once again, and the two made it to the winner’s circle once again. In the LOCAL THOROUGHBRED HANDICAP (70-90), Dhergham Bu Thaila and Seyabi raced to a breezy victory, winning the six-furlong sprint on dirt with three lengths and three quarters to spare.

Injaaz Stud’s SIR COMMANDER (Lethal Force x Ronja) came into THOROUGHBRED HANDICAP (Class 4) (85 & below) with a C&D victory March last year. On Wednesday, the Gassim Mohammad Ghazali-trained gelding made his way to the winner’s circle once again with Soufiane Saadi helming the 5yo in the six-furlong sprint on dirt. They beat the competition by a commanding four and a half lengths lead at the post.

Jockey Ali Khalid Al Mosallam rode his second winner of the season when helmed Al Ghazali Stud’s DHEBAN (Exceed And Excel x Comeback Queen) to THOROUGHBRED HANDICAP (Class 5) (QATARI RIDERS ONLY) (75 & below). In the 1900m run on dirt, the apprentice rider was astride Mohammed Gassim Ghazali’s ward and the two brushed aside a forgettable outing last time round, making their way back to the winner’s circle since closing the previous season with a win in April 2019.

Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari’s LO DE NALANE (Pivotal x Ilhabela) bounced back from a forgettable finish to win for the fourth time in his career. Ridden by Eduardo Pedroza for Champion Trainer Gassim Mohammad Ghazali in the THOROUGHBRED HANDICAP (Class 5) (75 & below), the 5yo dropped down to six furlongs on Wednesday from 2000m on turf last month. A fantastic ride saw Lo De Nalane beat Bint Saffian by half a length at the post.

After three winless seasons, Zakhir Stud’s AL RAYYAN PARK (Zoffany x Sister Clement) finally entered the winner’s circle for the first time in his career. The Gassim Mohammad Ghazali-trained 6yo had Harry Bentley in the saddle for the first time. The horse had finished runner up in a six-furlong maiden six days ago and then stepped up to 1700m in the LOCAL THOROUGHBRED MAIDEN PLATE on Wednesday, winning by three lengths and a quarter.

Umm Qarn’s MARUF (Tabarak x Noorah) had impressed with a fifth-place finish on his Qatar debut in November. On Wednesday, running on dirt for the first time in his career, the 4yo raced to a smashing victory. In the PUREBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN PLATE (4yo-6yo), Ronan Thomas was astride Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle’s ward and the two went past the post seven and a half lengths ahead of the competition for the win.

Al Shaqab Racing’s MAIUF (TM Fred Texas x Mayada) led a one-two for the colours and trainer Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle, going one better than his Qatar debut last month on Wednesday. In the 1700m PUREBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN PLATE (4 Year Olds), the Ronan Thomas-ridden colt finished a length and a quarter ahead of stablemate Mkayns, ridden by Faleh Bughanaim, for his first career win.