Al Zwair wins Athbah Cup
The Athbah Cup race meeting, conducted on turf at Al Uqda Racecourse on Saturday, 6th January 2024, was wrapped up with the feature event, the Purebred Arabian Premium Maiden for three-to-six-year-old, Class 6. It was the Al Shaqab Racing’s homebred and Jean de Mieulle-trained Al Zwair (FR) (TM Fred Texas x Zenhobie) who took top honours under jockey Olivier d'Andigne, clearing three lengths clear of the field at the line and completing a double on the day for the winning owner, trainer and jockey. The final of the seven-race card had 10 runners and the eventual winner broke from gate 9. The early stages of the 1400m saw settled action from those who battled for top honours in the final stages. It was RB Paris Flyght (FR) (Al Mamun Monlau) and Tayyar Al Shahania (QA) (Jaafer ASF), who dominated the early and middle stages as they were leading, in this order, relatively far from the first of the field at the first bend. Approaching the final bend, the real race started and jockeys began to ask their mounts for more. RB Paris Flyght continued her efforts and remained leading in the early straight. However, those who have saved their efforts to the decisive stage of the race would not let her in control. In the colours of Sheikh Ahmad Bin Mohamed F N Al-Thani, Al Kazim (FR) (Al Mamun Monlau) improved nicely from outside while Al Zwair came from behind with a late charge through the field to take the lead in a matter of a couple of strides. The Khalifa Bin Sheail KH J Al Kuwari-owned Khalil Du Croate (FR) also made his way to the front. However, once into the lead, Al Zwair did not leave any hopes for his rivals as he kept on accelerating and put the race into bed, leaving others battles for minor honours. Khalil Du Croate proved the second best and took the runner-up place for Julian Smart and jockey Muanis Al Siyabi, finishing two lengths clear ahead of the third-placed, the Mohammed Salama Ashour-trained Al Kazim, who was ridden by Tomas Lukasek. QREC Racing Manager, Abdulla Rashid Al Kubaisi, crowned the winners.
Khisah Bu Thaila
The day started with a three-runner race, which saw owner Wathnan Racing and trainer Alban de Mieulle pick up where they left off on Thursday with a three-and-a-half-length victory by Khisah Bu Thaila (QA) (Cracksman x Saraha) under jockey Soufiane Saadi in the 1200m Local Thoroughbred Maiden Plate for three-year-olds, Class 6. In doing the so, the bay colt managed to get off the mark on fourth career start and get one better, having finished second last time out. The Khalid Hamad M A Al-Atteya-owned and Hossin Ashour-Harba Alseej (QA) (Danadana) was the runner-up under jockey Jefferson Smith and she was further seven and a half lengths ahead of the third placed, Thaye (QA) (New Bay), who is owned by Khalid Hamad M A Al-Atteya and trained by Mohammed Hamad Al Attiya and was ridden by Arnaud De Lepine.
Jockey Soufiane Saadi made it a quick-fire double as the partnered the Al Shahania Stud-owned and Rudy Nerbonne-trained Mastoora (QA) (Mared Al Sahra x Nashma) to take the 1400m Local Purebred Arabian Maiden Plate for four-to-six-year-old fillies and mares, Class 6, in striking style by six lengths. The Wathnan Racing-owned and Alban de Mieulle-trained Zakia (QA) (Alam Al Khalediah) finished second under jockey Carlos Henrique. The Fahad Rashid M K Al-Hajri-owned and trained Naja'ah (QA) (Harran ASF) finished third as she was further three quarters of a length behind under jockey Saleh Salem Al-Marri.
Al Shaqab Racing’s homebred Bint Alarab (FR) (Al Mouwaffak x Tameemah) bounced back to good from to score her second win on her sixth career start. The Jean de Mieulle-trained four-year-old filly won the 2100m Purebred Arabian Handicap (55-75) for four-year-olds and older, Class 5, by half a length with Olivier d'Andigne in the saddle. The Al Rakaben Stud-owned and Dr. Fahad Salman F S Al-Hajri-trained Muna (FR) (TM Fred Texas) finished second under jockey Salman Fahad Al-Hajri. The Sheikh Khalifa Bin Abdulla A J Al-Thani-owned and Mohammed Ghazali-trained Azooz (QA) (Aziz ASF) was third as he finished a further length behind.
Trainer M.H.K Al Attiyah and jockey Mohammed Tabti teamed up with the Al Jeryan Stud-owned Red Storm (IRE) (Night Of Thunder x Scatter Dice) Red Storm (IRE) (Night Of Thunder x Scatter Dice) to take the 1400m Thoroughbred Handicap (60-80) for four-year-olds and older, Class 4. It was a thrilling finish as the winner held off the charge of two rivals by a neck and a nose respectively. The good runner up was the Mohammed Bin Fahad A H Al Attiya-owned and Gassim Ghazali-trained De Bruyne (GB) (Dutch Art), who was ridden by Soufiane Saadi. The close third was the Abdulaziz Ali A Al-Kathiri-owned and trained Tareekh (IRE) (Dandy Man) who was ridden by Olivier d'Andigne.
The Al Hajaj Stud-owned and Hamad Al-Jehani-trained Mr Saturday (IRE) (Blue Point x Gwael) bounced back to good form to score his third victory in five starts this season. Under jockey Tomas Lukasek, the bay gelding streaked three lengths clear of the field at the line in the 1400m Thoroughbred Handicap (70-90) for three-year-olds, Class 3. The Abdulatif Hussain M Z Al-Emadi-owned and Bader Al Balushi-trained Ponga (IRE) (Acclamation) finished second under jockey Alberto Sanna. The Wathnan Racing-owned and Hamad Al-Jehani-trained Solar Aclaim (IRE) (Aclaim) finished third and very close to the runner up as he was only a further short head behind under jockey Soufiane Saadi.
The Khalifa Bin Mohamed Bin Khalifa Abdullah Al Attiyah-owned relished the step down in trip as he took the 1200m Thoroughbred Handicap (70-90) for three-year-olds and older, Class 3, by a length under jockey Stephane Ladjadj, completing a quick-fire double for trainer Hamad Al-Jehani. The Nibras Racing Syndicate-owned and Abdulla Al-Mulla-trained Desert Games (IRE) (Kodiac) was the runner up under jockey Ivan Rossi. The Injaaz Stud-owned and Gassim Ghazali-trained Bottom Bay (GB) (OasisDream) completed the frame as he was a further half a length behind in third under jockey Marco Casamento.