Al Mourtajez connections denied USD 1 million bonus
25 February 2017, Dohan, Qatar ~ The three-day Qatar International Racing Festival finished with an Arabian racing horse showcase on the final day, Saturday, 25 February 2017, as Ebraz led the win of the feature race, H.H The Emirs Sword Gr1 PA.
H.H THE EMIRS SWORD (GR1 PA) (SPONSORED BY TOTAL E & P QATAR)
For the second straight year, trainer Julian Smart picked up the biggest race in Qatar with H.H Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani owned EBRAZ (Amer x Massamarie) winning the 2400m race on Saturday. In the process, the 4yo, ridden by Alan Munro, denied the the USD 1 million bonus to Al Shaqab Racing’s Al Mourtajez, winner of the first two legs of the Doha Triple Crown at Qatar Goodwood Festival and Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend.
Thomas Fourcy’s Laft Nethar played the pacemaker, duly joined by Smart’s Ba’sil up front. Going into the final bend, jockey Julien Auge gave Al Mourtajez the go-ahead and while the Dahess colt moved up, he had Ebraz and last year’s winner Gazwan, Richard Mullen astride, for company, with Umm Qarn’s TAYF (Amer x Djelmila) taking the inside line. A furlong out and Ebraz powered up to take the advantage and pulled away for a three and a half length win, with Alban de Mieulle trained Tayf edging out AL MOURTAJEZ (Dahess x Arwa) for the second spot.
H.H THE EMIRS SILVER SWORD (SPONSORED BY AL HAZM) (4yo Purebred Arabians owned by local individual Qatari owners)
Gerald Avranche picked up his second win of the meeting when the Frenchman guided AJS GANNAS (AF AlBahar x Karreema), trained by Hadi Al Ramzani, to a memorable win in the 1850m race. The Al Jeryan Stud colt had a tough time this season, well beaten last time, but on Saturday, he was first past the post, with Harry Bentley and Adrie de Vries guiding two Jassim Ghazali colts, MELK (Munjiz x Florihala) and Derby winner ATEEJ (AF AlBahar x Sahara Croixnoire), to second and third place finishes respectively.
QATAR INTERNATIONAL CUP (GR1 PA)
Umm Qarn’s TM THUNDER STRUCK (Majd al Arab x Bonnett) brushed aside two years of disappointment in the mile-long race, winning his second race out of four starts this season with Olivier Peslier at the helm. January’s decisive win over the same course and distance perhaps put him right in the picture. On Saturday, 25 February, After TM Thunder Struck passed early leader Mith’haf Athbah with half a furlong out, Julien Auge-ridden ZIKREET (Dahess x Dormadora), trained by Thomas Fourcy for Al Shaqab Racing, was gaining fast but only managed a second place ahead of Julian Smart saddled SHABIH ALREEH (Jaafer ASF x Queen Kong).