31 July 2015, Goodwood Festival, UK ~ A superb field of 16 horses has been declared for the Qatar International Stakes (Group 1 PA). Previously listed as the Harwood International, this is the first time the race has been included in the Qatar Goodwood Festival and it will be one of the highlights of the final day of the meeting (1 August).
Run over one mile (1600m) it is the first leg of the inaugural Doha Triple Crown, a valuable new initiative with a $1 million bonus for any horse that can claim all three races. The second leg is the 2000m Qatar Arabian World Cup, run at Longchamp in October, with the final leg in Doha in February, the 2400m HH The Emir’s Sword.
The quality of runners at Goodwood is first class; the field has won numerous Group races in the UK and across the world including Qatar, America, France and Holland. The pick of the runners, on ratings, is the unbeaten Mister Ginoux (FR) that comes from the young upcoming yard of Thomas Fourcy in France. He will have to jump from a wide stall draw, with only Kalino (US) outside him.
Kalino’s stable-mate TM Thunder Struck (US) is an eye-catching runner for owner HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani and trainer Alban De Mieulle, having finished only a length behind Al Mourtajez, regarded as one of the best pure bred Arabians in the world, on his last run at the end of June.
HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani had three winners at the Dubai International Arabian Races at Newbury Racecourse last Sunday (26 July), all of which were saddled by trainer Julian Smart. He has another three runners here so they have to be respected and the jockey bookings would suggest that AL MAJH’HOOR is the pick of his yard.
Another very exciting overseas raider is Sir Bani Yas (FR), owned by HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al BL Nahyan and trained by Elisabeth Bernard in the name of her late husband, Jean-Francois who passed away earlier this year. It would certainly be a popular winner if this talented son of the Qatari owned stallion Amer can get his head in front.
The locally trained contingent is headed by Lahoob, saddled by Beverley Deutrom for HE Sheikh Nasser Al Hashar. He won his first Group 1 in May over a mile on the All Weather at Lingfield Park. He is joined by stable-mates Karar (AE) and Furry.
Arabian Racing Organisation Racing Manager Amanda Smith commented “I am very pleased with the quality of this field and it promises to be an incredibly exciting contest, worthy of its place in such a prestigious card. We are very grateful to Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club for the sponsorship of this race and look forward to being part of the Doha Triple Crown”.
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