The 2017 Emir’s Sword Festival which takes place in Doha, Qatar, on 23, 24, 25 February has attracted very strong international entries. The feature races take place on the Saturday to include the H.H The Emir’s Trophy (Gr1) Thoroughbred, run over 12 furlongs (2,400m), and H.H The Emir’s Sword, the final leg of the Purebred Arabian Triple Crown, both of which are worth US $1,000,000.
The H.H Emir’s Sword features the Thomas Fourcy-trained and Al Shaqab owned Al Mourtajez, still on course for the $1 million Triple Crown bonus after claiming the first two legs at the Qatar Goodwood Festival and then at the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe meeting in October 2016. Fourcy also runs Metrag whilst his fellow countryman, Eric Lemartinel who trains in Abu Dhabi runs Abu Alabyad. The quick-footed Sniper De Monlau will come over from Abu Dhabi and local Julian Smart will put Gazwan into the mix. Dosser Athbar will represent British trainer, Phil Collington.
The H.H The Emir’s Trophy (Gr1) Thoroughbred, is headed by Noor al Hawa who is trained by Andreas Wohler in Germany. The son of Makfi ran out an impressive winner of the Qatar Derby over 10 Furlongs (2,000m) on 29 December for jockey Adrie de Vries and will step up in trip again as he attempts to complete a valuable Qatar race double. From the USA, trainer Doug O’Neill runs Royal Albert Hall who was last seen finishing 3rd in Santa Anita in January, Brice Blanc will ride. The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Arab Spring, an unlucky short head second at Lingfield on Saturday, will also run along with the Richard Fahey-trained Gabrial. The Nicolas Clement-trained Now We Can who will be ridden by Stephane Pasquier will be the sole French contender.