Al Ghadeer and Christophe Soumillon Win Gr 1 Qatar International Stakes

First Classs pulls off second to unbeaten Gr 1 winner Al Ghadeer

Al Ghadeer QIS 2/8/23

AL GHADEER and Christophe Soumillon win Qatar International Stakes 4/8/23 © Debbie Burt

2 August 2023, Goodwood, UK ~ Al Ghadeer, unbeaten in Group 1 races, showed heels to the competition at the Goodwood racecourse on Day two of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

European champion four-year-old, Al Ghadeer, continued his unbeaten run in Group 1PA races with a three and a quarter length win from First Classs, with Samlla a further half-length away in third. The colt, trained like Samlla by Francois Rohaut, provided a second win in the event for Al Shaqab racing who also won with the colt’s sire, Al Mourtajez in 2016. Partnered by Christophe Soumillon, he becomes the first of his age group to win the mile contest, which at £400,000 is the most valuable over that distance for Arabians in Europe, and also the UK’s most valuable race for the breed.

Winner of 6 out of his 7 starts, Al Ghadeer he the son of Al Mourtajez bred by Mohammed Al Najafi, out of triple G1-placed GHARRAA.

Speaking after the race which was run in very testing conditions, with the ground having turned to soft after the race, Rohaut commented, “We know he is a champion, but with the ground, and against older horses, we had many reasons to be worried, but he showed he is the best horse in the world.

“I won this race with Muraaqib in 2018 and it is a dream to win again. He goes on any going, any distance, he’s a champion. It’s a bit early to say if he can step up to a mile and a half for the Amir’s Sword, but we have plenty of time to think about it. For my other runners, Moshrif didn’t like the ground, whilst Samlla ran really well, he always produces the same form which shows how good Al Ghadeer is.”

Soumillon commented, “Al Ghadeer is a superstar. We try with the trainer to teach him how to settle in the race because he is always trying to over race. Today we were quite lucky to stay in the middle of the pack most of the way, I was trying to hold him up as long as possible, because in this type of ground it’s always good to get to the front in the last 200 or 300 metres. When I say ok, now you can go, when I saw that no one was able to follow me that was a great feeling.

1st Al Ghadeer – Al Mourtajez(FR)
2nd First Classs – Dahess (US)
3rd Samlla  – Assy (FR)

Full Results:

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~end ARO