QREC Harwood International Stakes Group 1 PA 2014
15 September 2014, UK ~ In front of a crowd of over 30,000, AL ATIQUE (Amer x Somra) gained his first Group 1 PA victory for his owner breeder HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani. Held over a mile on Doncaster’s historic Town Moor racecourse, the £150,000 race is the most valuable in the UK Arabian racing season and takes place on the prestigious St Leger Festival card.
The event was attended by Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club (QREC) Chairman HE Sheikh Mohamed Bin Faleh Al Thani, accompanied by QREC General Manager Sami Al Boenain and QREC Deputy General Manager and Racing Manager Tariq Al Siddiqi.
Trained by Julian Smart and ridden by Simon Walker, the five year old was sent to the front early on and was never headed. The Royal Cavalry of Oman’s Al Mouhannad (Nizam X Al Ryme), met trouble in running and was unable to get near the winner with her trademark fast finish. Sheikh Hamdan’s
Manark (Mahaab x Mendra) and Al Atique’s stablemate, Al Anga (Amer x Kerbelle Du Loup) were further behind.
Walker, was full of praise for his mount “I rode him as a three year old and won a conditions on him last year, he’s definitely progressed and he’s a strong horse now. He likes it in front, so it was always the plan to make the running, if they had come to him, he would have gone on again.”
Smart “I am ecstatic for the horse. He won in Doha on his last start and then we put him away, so to run like that after a break is impressive. Simon is without question the best amateur around and has been for many years. I have to give him a lot of credit, he worked hard to get his weight down for
“It’s a shame for Al Anga. Keiran (Fallon) said they went a little bit too slow for her,” Smart continued. “She was pulling too hard all the way round, you could see that. Djanka Des Forges has already booked her place for France [QREC Arabian World Cup] after winning at Newbury and I would say that Al Atique has definitely pencilled his spot, and you can’t leave Al Anga out, after the way she ran over the mile and a half in Doha.”
“The horses are healthy this year though and this is a great way to end our English summer campaign. It is a nice race to win.”
The next QREC sponsored race in the UK Arabian Racing Organisation’s calendar is the UK Arabian Derby held at Newmarket on September 25. Ten horses hold entries, the majority from France, including Sir Bani Yas, winner of the French equivalent for Jean Francois Bernard at Chantilly in June.
Arabian Racing Organisation Racing Manager Amanda Smith commented, “We are extremely grateful to Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club for their support. They sponsor 17 races this season and also back the UK Arabian Breeders’ Scheme, providing valuable premiums for breeders of winning and placed Purebred Arabians in domestic ARO races.
Text and Photo – by Debbie Burt