The last Group 1s in what has been a scintillating racing season in Qatar promise to be yet another cracker with top quality contenders lining up for the Qatar Gold Trophy (QA Gr1) and the Qatar Gold Sword (Gr1 PA) on turf at QREC Al Rayyan Park on Thursday, 1 April.
Fresh from her spectacular victory in the H.H. The Amir Sword (Gr1 PA) in February, H.E. Sheikha Yasmeen Bint Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s MON’NIA (Amer x Margouia) will be gunning for a Group level hat-trick in the USD 250,000 feature for Arabians, having also landed the H.E. Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani Trophy (Gr3 PA) in January. With a drop down in distance to a mile and a quarter, and Tomas Lukasek once again in the saddle, the Julian Smart-trained 5YO mare will fancy her chances in the face of a challenge posed by some of her rivals from Qatar’s flagship race, including Smart’s own three-time H.H. The Amir Sword topper EBRAZ (Amer x Massamarie), and the Alban de Mieulle-trained duo – Umm Qarn’s Qatar Arabian World Cup winner TAYF (Amer x Djelmila) and Al Shaqab Racing’s Qatar International Cup (Gr 1 PA) and H.E. Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani Trophy (Gr3 PA) runner up AL NAAMA (Majd Al Arab x Entisar).
De Mieulle also has Mohammed Bin Fahad Al Attiya’s two-time winner GOLDAMER (Amer x Nacree Al Maury), Umm Qarn’s JABIR (Al Mamun Monlau x Maleehah) and Al Shaqab Racing’s ZALEJ AL CHAM (Azadi x Al Kahira) in the packed contest.
Smart has reinforcements in H.E. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Mohammed Al Thani’s MAXR (Jaafer ASF x Al Shahania Aseala), who was assigned pacemaker duties in the .HdH.H. The Amir Sword.
GINKEAU (Divamer x Eauvation Des Cedres), third in the January Gr3, and EVOLUTION DU CROATE (Dahess x Salsa Du Croate) will represent the colours of Osama Omer Al Dafea.
Besides Evolution Du Croate and Zalej Al Cham, who would be ridden by Rashid Ali Al Marri and Faleh Bughanaim, Qatari riders will also be astride Mohammed Nasser Al Naimi’s AKMAR (No Risk Al Maury x Safa) and Ahmad Mubarak Al Kuwari’s JETHJATH (Azadi x Ajdabya). While the Hadi Al Ramzani-schooled Akmar will have Saleh Salem Al Marri for company, the Ali Al Marri-trained Jethjath will have Meteb Ali Al Marri in the saddle.
Other trainers with interests in the affair includ Ali Yousuf Al Kubaisi, Ibrahim Saeed Al Malki, Mohammed Ghazali and Mohammed Hamad Al Attiya. Al Kubaisi has Injaaz Stud’s ARGUYA (Divamer x Agheilaya), while Al Malki has entered Basil Mas’oud Saleh Al Kasbi’s eight-time winner RAJEH (Jaafer x Nelka). The Ghazali-trained NIJINSKI AL MAURY (Amer x Nemosie Al Maury), Listed winner in France in November 2020, will line up at Al Rayyan Park for the first time, even as Jassim Bin Hamad Al Atteya’s MOTRAG (Amer x Digama) will look to get off the mark in the wins department.
The USD 250,000 Thoroughbred feature over 2200m too will see a fantastic battle as H.E. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Mohammed Al Thani’s ASPETAR (Al Kazeem x Bella Qatara), fourth in the H.H. The Amir Trophy and off the mark in a conditions event last time round, will be up against Qatar Derby winner HELLENISTIQUE (Wootton Bassett x Hasturianita) and the H.H. The Amir Shalfa winner KING PACHA (Acclamation x Regina Mundi), in the penultimate race on Thursday.
The two Zuhair Mohsen’s challengers will line up in the colours of Injaaz Stud and Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari respectively.
Besides Aspetar, Smart has H.E. Sheikha Iman Bint Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s two-time Group 3 winner OFF HE GOES (Casino Prince x Perfectly Stunning) in the ten-runner contest.
H.E. Sheikha Reem Bint Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s PEDRO CARA (Pedro The Great x Magic Cara) and Al Wasmiyah Farm’s Gr3 Guineas winner PERFECT EMPIRE (Holy Roman Emperor x Pink Tequila) will be saddled by Gassim Ghazali for the feature.
Al Kuwari’s colours will also be carried by the prolific THE BLUE EYE (Dubawi x Soneva), saddled by Mohammed Hussain Afroz, as the 9yo attempts to get off the mark this campaign.
H.E. Sheikha Yasmeen Bint Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s STANDARD DEVIATION (Curlin x False Impression) was a creditable fifth in the February Group 1 and the Al Malki-schooled 5yo will hopefully build on that.
Also in the contest are Hassan Ali Alabdulmalik’s SEEYOUBYME (Siyouni x Peinted Song), saddled by Deborah Amanda Clare Mountain, and Abdulatif Hussain Al Emadi’s PAZEER (Siyouni x Parandeh), schooled by Bader Al Balushi.
The eight race card will also see three 1850m contests including the Qatar Silver Sword for 4yo Arabians owned by individual local Qatari owners, the Al Wajba Trophy for 3yo Class 2 Thoroughbreds and Local Thoroughbreds event, besides a mile long contest for 4yo & older local Arabians in the Qatar Silver Trophy, and the six-furlong Class 1 Sealing Sprint Trophy for 3yo & older Thoroughbreds in a race meeting with a total prize purse of USD 1 million.
Source: Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club