25 February 2019, Doha, Qatar ~ HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani was present for Qatar’s biggest racing event, HH The Amir Sword Festival, which came to a thrilling conclusion with H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s Ebraz and H.H. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s French King winning the Purebred Arabian and Thoroughbred features at Doha, Qatar, respectively on Saturday, 23 February 2019.
Julian Colin Smart enjoyed his fourth straight win in the USD 1 million H.H. The Amir Sword (Gr1 PA) with EBRAZ (Amer x Massamarie) winning the 2400m feature under Maxime Guyon. Once Umm Qarn’s YAZEED (Munjiz x Al Dahma) went past pacemaker Aaley Al Magam, Ebraz’s older stablemate GAZWAN (Amer x Arc De Ciel) struggled to keep pace with Olivier Peslier’s mount, but Ebraz came into his own and caught the leader before steadily taking the advantage and winning by three-quarters of a length in 2:37:06, with Yazeed second and Gazwan third. The win was Ebraz’s second in the race, having won in 2017, before finishing second behind Gazwan last year. It was also Smart’s seventh victory in the all-important Arabian feature.
The famous silks of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani were back in the winner’s circle for the Festival’s million-dollar Thoroughbred feature, HH The Amir Trophy (Gr1), presented by Longines, for the first time since 2013 when Olivier Peslier rode Henri-Alex Pantall’s ward, FRENCH KING (French Fifteen x Marina Piccola), to a smashing victory in the penultimate race of the card on Saturday. Peslier had the 4yo set the pace up front, which proved crucial, eventually as the duo created enough gap on the rest of the field for a comfortable one and a half-length victory with trainer Jerome Reynier missing out on his second feature of the Festival as the fast-closing ROYAL JULIUS (Royal Applause x Hflah) could only manage second under Gerald Mosse. Ryan Moore guided his first runner in Qatar, Aidan O’Brien’s HUNTING HORN (Camelot x Mora Bai) to third for a sweep by overseas runners.
Mohammed Jassim Ghazali Jahromi’s third winner in the Festival weekend was Trials runner-up FAKHIR (No Risk Al Maury x China Orientele), that found some extra reserves of energy in the final 100m of the race to win the USD 250000 H.H THE AMIR SILVER SWORD (Sponsored by Ooredoo) (4yo PA) by one and a half-length. With Harry Bentley in the saddle, the colt steadily went past the leader and Trials winner AJS Moaddie, helmed by Qatari Faleh Bughanaim, to hand his owner Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari his sixth winner of the flagship racing weekend in Qatar.
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s SHARESA (Burning Sand x Margouia) extended her unbeaten run this season much to the delight of her trainer Julian Colin Smart on Saturday. The 6yo won the QATAR INTERNATIONAL CUP (GR1 PA) (Sponsored by Daam) (4yo & older) in spectacular fashion with Theo Bachelot letting the filly surge forward 250m out and she duly obeyed taking a slight advantage and then winning by half a length for her fifth straight victory, beating the Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle-saddled Al Naama, ridden by Qatari jockey Faleh Bughanaim, by half a length.
Photos by Juhaim