Al Mouhannad looks good for Doncaster
11 September 2014, UK ~ A field of 13 has been declared for the £150,000 Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club Harwood International Stakes (Group 1 PA), the UK’s richest value single race for Pure Bred Arabians, which takes place at Doncaster on Saturday, 13 September, as part of the Ladbrokes St Leger card.
Third in the inaugural running last year, Al Mouhannad impressed the Arabian racing industry this year when retaining his crown in the Zaabeel International Stakes at Newbury last month and is the pick of the baker’s dozen heading to the Yorkshire track, where the going currently on the round course is described as good to soft, good in places by Clerk of the Course Roderick Duncan.
Top Qatari trainer Julian Smart, who splits his time between training in the UK and the Middle East, is responsible for two runners, Al Atique and Al Anga, both representing the Advisor to the Emir, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani.
Smart commented, “The French horse (Al Mouhannad) is the one to watch out for. Al Anga was unlucky in running last time out at Newbury as the pace was quite slow, I’m sure this race will be run as a true mile and she’ll get the pace she needs. If she can get ahead I would expect a great run from her.”
UK trainer Peter Hammersley had a superb five-timer at Hereford last Sunday. He is hoping some of that luck has rubbed off on Hidalgo, who is one of eleven Arabians trained by Hammersley.
“He had a serious injury which ruled him out for 12 months so I’ve been bringing him back slowly,” said Hammersley.
“A mile on a round course will suit his style of running perfectly and he is in great form at home. This is probably his last season in training so it would be lovely to see him out in style. If you’re not in the race you can’t win it!”
Georgina Ward, who recently relocated to the UK from Oman, is hoping for a career best run from Toutatix, who won the opening handicap at Newbury’s Dubai International Arabian Races last month.
“I was extremely happy with his run at Newbury,” commented Ward. “This race is a lot to ask of him but he is the best he has ever been at home and deserves his chance. The prize money for the race is a great incentive and if he gets a place it would be fantastic.”
Reigning UK Champion Trainer Gill Duffield also holds a strong hand, the pick of her three runners being Manark, who should benefit from the step back up in trip to a mile.
Amanda Smith, ARO Racing Manager commented, “The international runners from France and Morocco have added another dimension to the field heading to Doncaster on Saturday. It is testament to the support of QREC and we are looking forward to a thrilling and competitive race as part of the St Leger card. It promises to be a fantastic showcase for Arabian racing.”
Full Race Card: [gview file=”http://www.horsereporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Doncaster-13th-September-Racecard.pdf” profile=”2″ save=”1″ cache=”0″]