David Nicholls’ SOVEREIGN DEBT takes Group2 feature, FAROOQ wins Gulf Cup

24 February 2017


British raider SOVEREIGN DEBT (Dark Angel x Kelsey Rose) won the Day Two feature of HH The Emir’s Sword Festival with Andrew Mullen riding the David Nicholls trained 8yo to a half a length victory over Aidan O’Brien’s fancied 6yo COUGAR MOUNTAIN (Fastnet Rock x Descant). Injaaz Stud's Bretherton

led the mile early on under Marvin Suerland with Sovereign Debt not too far behind. Coming on to the home stretch, Cougar Mountain made his way from the back of the pack on the outside under Donnacha O'Brien. At the post, Mullen's mount held on well in front, while Cougar Mountain's turn of foot was good enough for a second spot ahead of Jassim Mohammed Ghazali saddled ROMAN LEGEND (Holy Roman Emperor x Talking Liberties).

GULF CUP (4yo & older PA bred in the GCC)

Alban de Mieulle had his second big race win of the weekend with FAROOQ (Nizam x Sarahmina), ridden by Gaetan Faucon in the famous Umm Qarn silks, winning second straight mile event, the first being the Qatar Arabians Derby. De Mieulle’s Majeed had won the Qatar Local Purebred Arabian Trophy on

Thursday. On Friday, Farooq stayed right behind MOLHEB AL NAIF (Amer x Kesbah), before Faucon had his mount move on the inside, coming on to the home stretch, and away with a victory. Yousef Bentaher's ward Molheb Al Naif held on for second place finish, while Julian Smart's NAJDA (Amer x Margouia) completed the top three under Marco Monteriso.



Abdulla Al Marri overcame a scare on the home stretch to guide Al Jeryan Stud’s SECOND LIFE (Dubawi x Dubai Smile) to a fine victory in the seven furlong run. Al Marri had his mount take the early lead, with Injaaz Stud’s Town Crier on his heels. Coming off the final bend, as TOWN CRIER (Acclamation x Miss Dela) came alongside,

Second Life inexplicably went wide. However, Al Marri had his mount continue on the outside rails, and Second Life did well to surge forward for a two and a half length victory. Rashid Al Marri guided Town Crier to second place, while Abdulla Al Adgham helmed the third placed STARS N ANGELS (Dark Angel x Passage To India). In addition to the race prize money, there was prize money of $100,000 for the first five placed riders.



ALMUHEET (AF Albahar x Maboud) picked up his second straight victory for trainer Jassim Mohammed Ghazali in the six-furlong sprint, showing some amazing pace in the final two furlongs under Harry Bentley. MUTAZZ (Amer x Zeinah) had the early lead under Marvin Suerland with Bentley and his partner at the back of the pack. As the business end of the race beckoned, the field spread, and while Sultan Al Jaber’s Mutazz kept going, Almuheet picked up the pace, through a gap, and eased past Suerland’s ride in the final 50 metres. Mutazz managed to stay ahead of another Al Jeryan Stud horse AJS QAHIR

(Martin Al Maury x Af A'ajabatani) for his second spot.



TOPSY TURVY (Pivotal x Helter Helter) gave trainer Ibrahim Al Malki his second victory this weekend winning the mile-long run under Eduardo Pedroza. The 5yo, owned by Sheikh Faisal Bin Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani, stayed on the heels of early leader Emaad. Coming off the final bend, as Emaad’s run

weakened, Topsy Turvy moved ahead, with the trio of GOLDENFIELD (Footstepsinthesand x Society Gal), HALL OF MIRRORS (Duke Of Marmalade x Apache Dream) and Stevie’s Wonder in pursuit. While Pedroza guided the winner past the post, Adrie de Vries rode Hadi Al Ramzani’s Goldenfield to second spot, with Ahmed Kobeissi’s Hall of Mirrors edging out Stevie’s Wonder for third.



Al Shahania Stud’s AZIZNEFS (Amer x Uchka De Ghazal) led a one-two for trainer Jassim Mohammed Ghazali, with Harry Bentley riding the winner in the mile long run, while JP Guillambert guiding AL FOUZ (Hatteen x Qadira De Faust), owned by Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari, to the second spot. This was the

5yo’s third straight victory in Qatar, having followed up his course and distance maiden success with an 1800m handicap victory on dirt last time. For Al Fouz, who finished two and a half lengths behind Aziznefs on Friday, the result was particularly encouraging having finished last on his previous outing. Mansoor Al Shahwani trained HADDAJ DUKHAN (Majd Al Arab x Gantra El Baraka) was third under Gerald Avranche.



Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari owned MURAQABAH (Great Journey x Magic Kaldoun) registered her first turf victory this season when Harry Bentley guided the 5yo to a close victory over Stefano Ibido saddled TANJA BU THAILA (Namid x Dream Bee) in the seven furlong run. Jassim Mohammed Ghazali

schooled filly had won twice earlier this season, but on dirt and over six furlongs. In a very close finish, Alberto Sanna’s ride Tanja Bu Thaila managed to keep Deborah Mountain’s ZUZI (Dutch Art x Wedding List), who made a return to the track in Qatar after a year long hiatus, at bay and finished third on Friday under Qatari jockey Faleh Bughanaim.



Mohammed Hussain saddled BRONZE MAQUETTE (Dark Angel x Precious Citizen) overcame a slow start and traffic on the home straight to edge out BOTANICA (Clodovil x Bent Al Fala) at the post for her 12th career victory. The Al Thumama Stud filly was at the back of the pack early on in the mile-long

race, even as Mohammed Jassim Ghazali trained duo LADY CHANTILLY (Kodiac x Flashy Life) and Botanica set the pace up front. Coming off the final bend, Gerald Avranche had a lot of traffic to deal with on his mount. Avranche made good use of a gap and powered forward and just as it looked like the track was going to run out, Bronze Maquette did enough to win by a short head.