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Balzac and Equinoxe give Wathnan Racing a one-two in Al Rayyan Breeders Cup

Balzac and Equinoxe give Wathnan Racing a one-two in Al Rayyan Breeders Cup

16-02-24
Mohamed Saad
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The Al Rayyan Breeders Cup rounded out the second day of the HH The Amir Sword Festival. The bumper ten-race card was conducted on turf at the QREC Al Rayyan Racecourse on Friday, 16 February. In the day’s feature and final race of the day, which had a whopping prize money of $400,000, it was Balzac (QA) (Lancelot x Baaria), who landed the spoils, winning the 2000m Class 1 race for Local Thoroughbreds by a quarter of a length and completing a double on the card for owner Wathnan Racing, trainer Alban de Mieulle and jockey Soufiane Saadi. It was also a one-two for Wathnan Racing and de Mieulle with Equinoxe (QA) (Atlantic Air), the 2023 winner, finishing second under jockey Mickael Barzalona Al Jeryan Stud’s Al Buraq (QA) (Nathaniel) completed the frame as the M.H.K Al Attiyah-trained six-year-old gelding finished a further quarter of a length behind under jockey Szczepan Mazur. In fact, Al Buraq was the long-time leader and took the lead shortly after the start. He was flanked from inside by last year’s runner-up Black Pearl (QA) (Footstepsinthesand) with Suheal Qatar (QA) (Dubday) following in third. The eventual winner settled in sixth. Approaching the first turn, Suheal Qatar improved to lead head by head with Al Buraq and Black Pearl and Equinoxe were locked in third and fourth. With 800m left to go, Al Buraq was still leading and Black Pearl began to close up racing in second with Suheal Qatar in third. Meanwhile, Equinoxe moved off the rail to get a clearer room. Around the home turn, Soufiane Saadi began to make his move and once in the straight, Balzac improved into fourth. Al Buraq maintained the lead and looked a comfortable winner 300m before finish line. However, Balzac came from behind with a dashing move with Equinoxe accelerating from outside to overhaul Al Buraq and battle out in the final 50m. Al Buraq held on gamely to get the better of his stablemate in the shadow of the line. HE Issa bin Mohammed Al-Mohannadi, QREC Chairman, crowned the winners.

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AJS Sarhan retains crown in Al Zubara Trophy

Al Jeryan Stud’s homebred AJS Sarhan (QA) (AF AlBahar x Mangaline Du Loup) retained Al Zubara Trophy for the second straight year. Trainer by Gassim Ghazali, the seven-year-old relished the return to the longer distance of 2000m and won the Class 1 contest for Local Purebred Arabians impressively by two and a half lengths under jockey Maxime Guyon. The Al Shaqab Racing-owned and Jean de Mieulle-trained Al Mirage (QA) (AF AlBahar) finished second under Christophe Soumillon. The Khalifa Bin Sheail KH J Al Kuwari-owned and Julian Smart-trainedLayeq (QA) (T M Fred Texas) finished third, the same place he got in the same last year, as he was further three quarters of a length under Jim Crowley. Sheikha Alanood bint Abdullah Al Thani, Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, and Nasser Al Kadi, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation, of Education Above All, crowned the winners.

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X Force

Beginning the second day of the HH The Amir Sword Festival, the Al Thumama Racing-owned and Mohammed Hussain Afroz-trained X Force (IRE) (Bungle Inthejungle x Nafa) overcame being drawn the widest of the 16-runner field and transferred his excellent dirt form to the grass to win the 1200m Class 2 Thoroughbred Open Sprint Cup by half a length under jockey Szczepan Mazur. The Mohammed Abdulhadi S Al-Hajri-owned and Ibrahim Saeed Al Malki-trained Selected (IRE) (Mehmas) was the runner up under Tomas Lukasek. The Wathnan Racing-owned and Alban de Mieulle-trained Auditor (GB) (Profitable) finished a further length behind in third under Mickael Barzalona. Hamad Bin Abdulrahman Al Attiya, President of the Asian Equestrian Federation and Vice Chairman of QREC, crowned the winners.

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Al Zwair

Al Shaqab Racing’s homebred Al Zwair (FR) (TM Fred Texas x Zenhobie) has been progressing from run to run and found more improvement to win the Purebred Arabian Cup for trainer Jean de Mieulle. Christophe Soumillon partnered the four-year-old colt to a half-length victory in the 1750m Class 2 race. The HE Sheikha Reem -owned and Rudy Nerbonne-trained Basheer Al Shahania (FR) (Jaafer ASF) finished second under Lukas Delozier. His stablemate Mkaee'lat Al Shahania (FR) (TM Fred Texas), owned by HE Sheikha Yasmeen bint Mohammed bin Khalifa Al-Thani finished furtehr two lengths behind in third under Maxime Guyon. Khalifa bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, QREC Board Member, crowned the winners.

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Maysara

The Hamad Al-Jehani-trained Maysara (QA) (Dubday x Jamboretta), carrying the colours of Mohammed Abdulhadi S Al-Hajri won the 1750m Class Local Thoroughbred Filly and Mare Desert Rose Cup after a tight finish. Tom Marquand steered the 4YO filly to a last-gasp win by a nose ahead of the Ahmed Kobeissi-rained Al Shomos (QA) (Shamardal) who finished runner-up for the second year in a row. The runner-up is owned by Saeed Bin Mubarak Saeed Aljafali Al Naimi and was ridden on the occasion by Faleh Bughanaim. The Saeed Ibrahim Saeed Al Malki-owned and Ibrahim Saeed Al Malki-trained Al Gamamah (QA) (Trade Storm) finished further two lengths behind in third under Tomas Lukasek The Duke of Richmond and Gordon, owner of Goodwood, crowned the winners.

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Osaila

Osaila (QA) (Amer x Redjila), who finished 3rd in last year’s renewal of the Local Purebred Arabian Filly and Mare Al Na'ama Cup, returned this year to land the spoils and win the 1750m Class 2 race by half a length, giving owner and breeder Al Shaqab Racing, trainer Jean de Mieulle and jockey Christophe Soumillon a second winner on the day. The HE Sheikha Reem -owned and Rudy Nerbonne-trained Talg'at Al Shahania (QA) (Mared Al Sahra) finished second under Lukas Delozier. Her stablemate and half-sister Mastoora (QA) (Mared Al Sahra), owned by HE Sheikha Yasmeen bint Mohammed bin Khalifa Al-Thani, finished further three quarters of a length behind in third under Maxime Guyon. Hamza Taleb, owner of Wemake Events Company crowned the winners.

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Nazwa

The HE Sheikha Yasmeen bint Mohammed bin Khalifa Al-Thani-owned Nazwa (FR) (Jaafer ASF x Athaab) emerged victorious and won the 1750m Class 2 Purebred Arabian Filly and Mare Seada Cup by a length. It was the Rudy Nerbonne-trained five-year-old mare’s second win in a row and again with Lukas Delozier in the saddle. The Khalifa Bin Sheail KH J Al Kuwari-owned and Julian Smart-trained No Tear Al Maury (FR) ( Jaafer ASF) was the runner up under Jim Crowley . The Al Shaqab Racing-owned and Jean de Mieulle-trained Boshra (FR) (TM Fred Texas) finished a furtehr neck behind in third under Christophe Soumillon. Abdulla Mohammed Al Ali, CEO of Socast Advertising, crowned the winners.

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Kerindia

njaaz Stud’s Kerindia (IRE) (Cotai Glory x Coursing) proved that she had the strongest credentials in the Thoroughbred Filly and Mare Oryx Cup. In the hands of jockey Jim Crowley, the Zuhair Mohsen-saddled four-year-old filly produced an emphatic front running performance and was in a league of her own as she took the 1750m Class 2 race by staggering seven and a half lengths. The Al Hajaj Stud-owned and Hamad Al-Jehani-trained Kimnkate (IRE) (Havana Gold) was the nearest rival behind the winner in second. The runner-up of the 2023 renewal of the same race, The Nasser Saeed M S Al-Eida-owned and Gassim Ghazali-trained Gold Fleece (GB) (Nathaniel), was a further half a length behind in third under Maxime Guyon. Suwaid Al Hajri, Snoonu Board Member, crowned the winners.

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Toufik

Wathnan Racing’s Toufik (QA) (Amer x Waqaar) remained unbeaten, winning the Gulf Cup for Purebred Arabians Bred in the GCC. The Alban de Mieulle-trained four-year-old colt easily defied the experience factor of his rivals to win the 1500m Class 1 race by two and a half lengths under jockey Soufiane Saadi. The Ahmed Abdullah Al Marzooqi-owned and Ahmed Marzooqi-trained Sultan Muscat (OM) (Dhiaa Al Reef) finished second under Muanis Al Siyabi. The winner’s stablemate and, and also in the same colours, Razy (QA) (Amer) was further three quarters of a length behind in third under Mickael Barzalona. Noura Abuhelaiqa, Qommunication CEO, crowned the winners.

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Hargan

It was a double on the day for trainer Rudy Nerbonne and jockey Lukas Delozier as the HE Sheikha Iman bint Mohammed bin Khalifa Al-Thani-owned Hargan (FR) (Al Mamun Monlau x Mkeefa) took a Listed victory in the 1200m Class 1 Purebred Arabian Sprint Cup, flying home in the final furlong to win by three quarters of a length. The Ibrahim Mohammed M I Al-Fadala-owned and Hamad Al-Jehani-trained Posuelo Py (FR) (AF AlBahar) was the runner-up under Tomas Lukasek. Last year’s winner, Shgarde (US) (AF AlBahar), owned by Sharida bin Nasser bin Sharida Al-Kaabi and trained by Mohammed Ghazali, finished third this time around as he finished further four and a half lengths behind under Mickael Barzalona. Guillaume de Saint-Seine, President of France Galop, crowned the winners.