UMM QARN CUP (Purebred Arabians)
The Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari-owned CAID DE L’ARDUS (Mahabb x Jelfa De L'Ardus) held on well from an attacking TM THUNDER STRUCK (Majd al Arab x Bonnett) to win Thursday’s feature on turf in a thrilling finish. Pierantonio Convertino, who had won Wednesday’s feature too, combined well with Champion Trainer Jassim Ghazali on Thursday too. The Italian moved the 5yo into the lead coming off Gate 5 in the mile-long race and while he was threatened by the Umm Qarn horse, ridden by Jean Baptiste Hamel for Alban de Mieulle, in the closing stages of the race, the former held on well to win narrowly by a head. Al Jeryan Stud’s ALMUHEET (AF Albahar x Maboud) was third under Alberto Sanna.
THOROUGHBRED PLATE (3 YEAR OLDS) (CLASS 2)
Ahmed Kobeissi’s NOTALOT (Sir Prancealot x Hapipi) had not finished outside the top five in 2017, and not only did that run continue on Thursday, the 3yo even registered his second victory in Qatar. Alberto Sanna, riding the gelding for the first time in Qatar, had little trouble finishing four and a half lengths ahead of the competition with his partner to win the seven furlong run. The Hamad Al Jehani-trained FLOWER FESTIVAL (Dubawi x Folk Opera) impressed on her Qatar debut with a second place finish under Marc Lerner, even as Injaaz Stud’s WAYSIDE FLOWER (Shamardal x Umseyat) completed the podium.
THOROUGHBRED HANDICAP (CLASS 3, 75-95)
The Mubarak Bin Saeed Aljafai Al Naimi-owned BINZART (Dandy Man x Silca Conegliano) gave trainer Majed Seifeddine his first victory in the new season. The victory was also Binzart's first in Qatar, having debuted strong two years ago with a runner up finish. After a slow start, Jean Baptiste Hamel had the 4yo gelding go through traffic, making good use of a gap 100m out, and surging forward to beat the Hadi Al Ramzani-trained TOP FACE (Tiznow x Toppisme) by a little more than a length at the post. Mohammed Hussain's COPLEYS WALK (Excellent Art x Silk Slippers), ridden by Tomas Lukasek, rounded up the top three.
LOCAL PUREBRED ARABIAN HANDICAP (85 & below)
After ending her last season with a win in April, the Mohammed Jassim Jahromi-trained ZAHWA (Aaber ASF x Mataleb ASF) began the new season with a victory too, winning the mile long run. Guided by Pierantonio Convertino, the Sheail Bin Khalifa Al Kuwari-owned 4yo filly finished a comfortable two and a quarter lengths ahead of Hassan Ali Al Matwi's SAMHAN AL SHAJAA (Zaeem Al Shajaa x Al Moqawama). Anas Al Seyabi rode the 3yo colt to a runner-up finish ahead of the Pierre Deymonaz-saddled NAMROUD (Mared Al Sahra x Nouba Al Maury).
THOROUGHBRED HANDICAP (CLASS 4, 85 & below)
Almost two years after he last won at the QREC, Injaaz Stud's SIR GUY PORTEOUS (Shamardal x Ermine And Velvet) registered a victory, this time over a mile and under Anas Al Seyabi. In a packed 16 horse field, the Mubarak Al Khayareen-trained gelding finished two and a half lengths ahead of the Hamad Ahmed Al Malki Al Jehani-saddled MORE THAN A DREAM (Halling x Chabelle), who did well to bounce back from a disappointing finish to last season. Tomas Lukasek rode the 4yo to a close second place, edging out Pierantonio Convertino's ride, AL MURAQABAH (Duke Of Marmalade x Marina Ellen), by a nose.
THOROUGHBRED HANDICAP (CLASS 4, 80 & below)
With a last gasp effort in the final few metres, Khalid Nasser Al Naimi's Parkes and Ride (Pivotal x Kaabari) topped the seven furlong run for his third career victory. Adnan Hawa had moved Succeed and Excel into the lead, with Zuhair Mohsen's TRADING PROFIT (Kheleyf x Avessia) close behind even as Parkes and Ride stayed on the rails midfield. As the field spread out coming on to the home straight, Darren Williams had Parkes and Ride pick up pace and soon was neck and neck with Mohammed Jassim Jahromi's AL MAFTOON (Lilbourne Lad x Mooching Along), before edging him out by a quarter of a length. Trading Profit was third.
LOCAL PUREBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN PLATE
Hassan Ali Al Matwi's RAQEE (Mared Al Sahra x Cath) completed his steady improvement to finally pick up his first career win under Marc Lerner. In his penultimate race last season, Raqee had made it to the frame before finishing runner-up in the season-ender. On Thursday, Lerner guided him well to a little under five length victory over the Julian Smart-trained AL GHAWJA (No Risk Al Maury x Gadir ASF), ridden by Alberto Sanna in the colours of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani. Zuhair Mohsen's ward RADHWA (Amer x The Wright Stuff) was third under Marvin Suerland.
PUREBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN PLATE
The Mohamed Rashid Seif Al Kuwari-trained YATZAKHAN (Mared Al Sahra x Cantal Du Brieu) made a winning debut impressing on his first run at the QREC's turf track on Thursday. Ridden by Marvin Suerland, Yatzakhan finished half a length ahead of another Qatar debutant, IBN AL AMEED (General x Seffa Du Breuil), helmed by Jean Baptiste Hamel in Umm Qarn’s colours, in the mile-long run. Ibrahim Al Malki's AJS LAFAN (Amer x Nuance Al Maury) rounded up the top three in the card opener, with Saleem Golam guiding the 5yo to his best finish in Qatar so far.