30 July 2016, Goodwood, UK ~ Al Shaqab’s Al Mourtajez stamped his authority as the World’s Top Arabian with an imperious performance in the Qatar International Stakes (Group 1 PA) at Goodwood in the UK,on 30 July. Demolishing a high quality field under jockey Julien Augé, the 6-year-old outdistanced his competitors to win by eight lengths from last year’s second Prada T and Sir Bani Yas in third. Al Mourtajez (Dahess x Arwa x Nuits St. Georges) is the highest rated Arabian racehorse in the world (130), and winner of the 2015 Qatar Arabian World Cup.
Trainer Thomas Fourcy was delighted with his horses’ performance saying, “The horse runs very well. He can go fast, but has the stamina for long distances too. He is outstanding, a real champion. He gets better year after year as he matures.
“The objective is the Doha Triple Crown. He will run in the Qatar Arabian World Cup on Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe day, and will then take his race to Doha, in the HH Emir’s Sword.”
Al Shaqab Racing Manger, Harry Herbert said. “He is the best Purebred Arabian in training and I think it is fantastic for Sheikh Joaan and Qatar, who sponsor this great week, to win this prestigious race.
“This is obviously the first race of the Doha Triple Crown series which we will be doing our very best to try and win. This is a great start in terms of that, but also a fantastic ending to a very successful week for Al Shaqab.”
Breeder Hassan Moussli, who was also present commented. “It’s an old Crabbet family crossed with French blood. Fatzica, the grand dam possesses top Tunisian blood with Ourour, and also the blood of Fatma, a truly great mare of the French stud book, by Fazour. So Al Mourtajez comes from a great family.”
Arabian Racing Organization Racing Manager Amanda Smith said. “That was an exceptional performance from Al Mourtajez in his first start at a mile. He is now a real contender to be the first horse to claim the $1 million dollar bonus, should he win the next two races in the series, having won both those contests previously. We were delighted with the quality of the field and to see last year’s winner and runner-up, Sir Bani Yas and Prada T, fill the places, upholds the quality of the form.
“We are also very grateful for the support of our sponsor Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, who have given us the honour of staging the first leg of such a high-profile initiative for international Arabian racing. The addition of this race in the UK calendar is an exciting development for the sport, both domestically and worldwide.”