Hellenistique Wins the Derby for Thoroughbreds
20 December 2020, Doha, Qatar ~ Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari’s Lady Princess (General x Nacree Al Maury), second in the Qatar Derby last season, landed the Purebred Arabian feature QATAR DERBY (Gr2 PA for Purebred Arabians 4 Year Olds only) comfortably. Runner up behind Umm Qarn’s JABALAH (Al Mamun Monlau x Kouthar) last year, Thomas Fourcy’s ward, ridden by Julien Auge, reversed the order of the top two this time round as the HH The Amir Silver Sword topper bagged the 2000m run with two and three quarters of a length to spare at the post. H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s Methgal (TM Fred Texas x Theeba), saddled by Julian Colin Smart, completed the top three under Alberto Sanna.
Injaaz Stud’s HELLENISTIQUE (Wootton Bassett x Hasturianita) made a spectacular debut when landing the QATAR DERBY (QA Gr1 for 3 Year Olds) in thrilling fashion. Saddled by Zuhair Mohsen Zuhair Maki, the gelding stayed at the back of the pack early on in the 2000m run on turf, before Marco Casamento had the bay horse move outside and steadily up the order coming off the final bend. As Hellenistique took the lead in the closing stages of the feature, another Zuhair Mohsen ward, KING PACHA (Acclamation x Regina Mundi), ridden by Julien Auge in the colours of Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari, followed but eventually could only manage second three lengths behind the winner. Gassim Mohammad Ghazali trained SIR ARTHUR DAYNE (Sir Prancealot x Shoshoni Wind), helmed by Jason Watson in the colours of Al Kuwari, finished third.
Umm Qarn’s ANTAR (Al Mamun Monlau x Al Dahma) stayed unbeaten in Qatar, winning his second straight outing at Al Rayyan Park in the QATAR DERBY (Gr3 PA) (Far Bend) (PUREBRED ARABIANS 3 Year Olds Only) on Sunday. The mile long run saw Ronan Thomas giving a go-ahead to Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle’s ward 200m from the finish and Antar was soon in the lead but being pursued by French raider HM JALFANE (Dahess x Al Musck), ridden by Julien Auge in the colours of Abdullah Bin Fahad Al Attiyah for Thomas Fourcy. Antar was able to keep his lead as Auge and his partner could only manage second by half a length. Hassan Ali Alabdulmalik’s TAREK DU SOLEIL (Dahess x Musique Du Soleil), ridden by Faleh Bughanaim for Deborah Amanda Clare Mountain, was third.
Saeed Bin Mubarak Saeed Aljafali Al Naimi’s WILYAN (AF AlBahar x Ussania Du Pouy) made light work of a step up in distance in the mile-long LOCAL PUREBRED ARABIAN PLATE (3 Year Olds) (Far Bend) on Sunday. Last month, the Majed Mahadi Seifeddine trained colt had impressed many with a runner up finish in a six furlong maiden sprint, and Alberto Sanna was astride the grey colt again. This time the colt went one better in breezy fashion taking the advantage on the straight and going past the post five lengths in front of the rivals.
Injaaz Stud’s RODINA (Munjiz x Al Naamah) halted a string of fifth-place finishes to make a late run for victory in the LOCAL PUREBRED ARABIAN HANDICAP (70 & below) on Sunday. Qatari rider Saleh Salem Al Marri continued what has been a big season for him so far as the apprentice jockey guided his 14th winner of the season in the 1850m run. As Meteb Ali Al Marri and his partner Rajab took the advantage coming on to the home straight, Rodina changed gears and the jockey guided her on to the inside, edging out her rival by a neck at the post.
The QREC Chairman HE Issa Bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi and the Chairman of the Qatar and Asian Equestrian Federations and QREC Vice Chairman Hamad Bin Abdulrahman Al Attiyah were present during the trophy presentation ceremony.