21 May 2015, UK ~ A total of 60 nominations have been received for the £400,000 Group 1 Qatar International Stakes for Purebred Arabians, (formally listed as the Harwood International) the first leg of the inaugural Doha Triple Crown, which will be run on the final day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival on Saturday, 1 August.
Among those bidding to be the first to stake their claim on the Doha Triple Crown’s $1 million bonus are Al Mourtajez and Al Majh’hoor that finished first and third respectively in this year’s HH The Emir’s Sword, which in February 2016 will form the final leg of the contest following the €1 million Qatar Arabian World Cup at Longchamp in October.
Arabian Racing Organisation Racing Manager Amanda Smith said, “The initial entry has certainly exceeded expectations. Based on two previous runnings of the Qatar Harwood International, previously run at Doncaster for £150,000, I had hoped that we would receive a minimum of 50 nominations, so we are delighted with both the size and the quality of the entry.”
Smith said that the entries will now be submitted to the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) Pattern and Handicapper Committee to have their ratings verified before the Forfeit stage on 17 June.
The Qatar International Stakes will feature alongside the Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes on the fifth and final day of Glorious Goodwood which begins on Tuesday, 28 July. Goodwood Managing Director Adam Waterworth said, ‘We are very much looking forward to staging the UK’s richest ever Arabian race. The race will be a fabulous addition to the Festival and I am sure fans of all forms of racing will be fascinated by the spectacle of the Arabian horses tackling the unique undulations of the downs.”
Nasser Sherida Al Kaabi, General Manager of Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club which will stage the final leg of the Doha Triple Crown at Al Rayyan Racecourse in February 2016 said, “It will take a superior horse to win the Doha Triple Crown and the $1 million bonus and we hope Arabian racehorse owners will support the inaugural running of this innovative series.
“The HH The Emir’s Sword Festival in February is a magnificent showcase for equestrian excellence in the region and we hope that staging the first leg of the Doha Triple Crown at one of Europe’s most prestigious venues will help focus even more international attention on racing in Qatar.”
The Doha Triple Crown is a major new race series for Purebred Arabians that was announced by the Qatar International Equestrian Committee in February 2015.The Doha Triple Crown will feature a bonus of USD 1 million for the winner of all three of the world’s most prestigious Arabian races, beginning with the inaugural running of the GBP 400,000 Qatar Harwood International Stakes on Saturday, 1 August 2015, the concluding day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.The second leg of the Doha Triple Crown is the Euros 1 million Qatar Arabian World Cup at Longchamp on Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Weekend in early October, with the third and final leg being The H.H The Emir’s Sword, Qatar’s most valuable race worth QR 3 million providing the finale in February, 2016.