26 September 2014, UK ~ The £50,000 Group 1 Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club UK Arabian Derby produced a thrilling three-way photo-finish at Newmarket Racecourse on Thursday, 25 September, when Nahee, trained in France by Jean-Pierre Totain, held on to score a short head victory from Najlaa with Majd Al Uraiq just half a length back in third.
Jockey Charles Nora carrying the colours of Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nayhan took up the one mile contest about three and a half furlongs from home with the early leader, Attila De Rouaisse, fading fast.
Belgian jockey Giles Braem had Majd Al Uraiq nicely placed on the rail and the pair were locked in battle when former champion Thoroughbred jockey Paul Hanagan in the familiar blue and white colours of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum made a late almost last-to-first challenge on the wide-outside.
“We knew he was good enough”, said the trainer. “We were only worried about the other French horse.”
“In France we do not have any straight mile races so that was also a concern but he held on well and I am very pleased. We will see how he comes out of the race and the owner will decide, but the Breeders’ Cup in Toulouse would be an option for him next”, he added.
Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club General Manager Sami Al Boenain presented trophies to the connections of the winner, which were received on behalf of the winning owner and trainer by Arabian Racing Organisation Racing Manager Amanda Smith.
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