From Gulf Times
June 8 Doha ~Horse racing in Qatar got a shot in the arm when three prestigious races conducted by the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (REC) were elevated to Part Two status in the International Federation Bluebook at a meeting of the Group and Pattern Racing Committee in Tokyo.
The events to get the Part Two approval are HH the Emir Sword race, HH the Heir Apparent Sword race and Qatar Derby race.
With this achievement, Qatar now joins an elite list of countries hosting Group I races Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.
“As these three prestigious races will be Part Two of the Bluebook, Qatar’s racing will now have the same standing as the races conducted in UAE, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Macau,” Chief Steward and CEO of REC, Ian Paterson said.
“This development means that the international community acknowledges the development of racing in Qatar and it is a great moment for us,” he added.
Qatar submitted the application for the three races to be promoted to Part Two and the Tokyo meeting accepted it.
Now the proposal has been forwarded for recommendation by the International Racing Pattern Advisory Committee (IRPAC).
The IRPAC will meet in Paris during the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the first week of October and will approve the recommendation.
Meanwhile, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani owned Raihan (Amer-Marja) made Qatar proud, beating a credible field en route to lifting the Group II President of the UAE Emirates Cup at Baden Baden, Germany, on Sunday. Jockey Gerald Avranche was astride the winner in the ten furlong race.
Raihan’s superb victory puts Qatar on the world map as far as breeding of top class Purebred Arabian horses is concerned. Dahess, Mugadir, Al Dahma, General, Jaafer and Maleehah have done it in the recent past and now this victory further strengthens Qatar’s claim to be best in breeding Pure Arabians.
This is the second victory for a local bred Pure Arabian in the international arena. In 2008, Umm Qarn Farm bred Maleehah had reigned supreme in the French Arabian Breeders Challenge at the Saint Cloud racecourse in Paris.
Trainer Alban de Mieulle was all praise for his champion horse. “Raihan was simply brilliant and this win is so much more special because it is a Qatar bred horse that has displayed his potential on the world stage,” de Mieulle said.
“Maleehah was another local bred horse which won in France in 2008 and now with Raihan coming out with this performance is something special and it endorses the fact that the Stud Farms in Qatar have the capacity to produce world class champions.”
Earlier in Ireland, Kasih sporting the colours of Umm Qarn Farms had finished a credible second to Theoritically in the President Of The UAE Cup at the Curragh racecourse.