HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, President of Qatar Olympic Committee, watched the races of the Qatar International Derby at QREC Al Rayyan Park on Saturday, 22 December 2018. HE Salah Bin Ghanem Al-Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports, crowned the winners of the last five races of the nine-race day
as well as the winners of the traditional Al Messila races.
In a huge surprise, Deborah Amanda Clare Mountain’s FULL MOON (Declaration Of War x Dowager) edged out French raider MR SATCHMO (Mr Sidney x Windya) to win the Qatar Derby (Gr 1) (3YO Thoroughbreds) at Al Rayyan Park turf on Saturday. After finishing midfield on his last outing in the Guineas last month, Abdullah Hassan Ali Abdumalik’s colt registered his first victory in Qatar in style with Ryan Curatolo guiding him to a short-head victory in the final few metres of the 2000m race.
Olivier Peslier helmed Mr Satchmo, who had to settle for second, while Stephan Ladjadj was astride the Rashid Mohammed Al Jehani-trained ES’HAIL (Giant’s Causeway x Much Obliged) to a third place finish.
MR SATCHMO, however, had another reward when selected as the Best Turned Out Horse. His groom, Steeve Haes, received the prize offered by QREC.
Thomas Fourcy and Julien Auge combined for the second straight race on the day and registered yet another victory with Al Shaqab Racing’s RIJM (Azadi x Kerjam) topping the Qatar Derby (Gr2 PA) (4YO). Auge and his mount did well to take the advantage in the final two furlongs and were never threatened even as Al Shahania Stud’s RAJEH (Jaafer x Nelka), helmed by Theo Bachelot, and Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari’s, HH The Emir’s Silver Sword winner, EASTER DE FAUST (Mahabb x Ayisha De Faust), with Harry Bentley in the saddle, tried chasing the leaders.
Al Shaqab Racing locked the top two spots in the Qatar Derby (Gr3 PA) (3YO) with AMIR AL CHAM (TM Fred Texas x Al Yakout), trained in France by Thomas Fourcy, putting up a fantastic show under Julien Auge in the mile-long run to win one and a quarter lenghts ahead of Daloob, ridden by Faleh Bughanaim for Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle. The victory was the second straight for the gelding, having topped a seven-furlong run at Toulouse last month.
Sheikh Faisal Bin Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani’s SURRA MAN RAA (War Chant x Miss Trinidad) led a one-two for trainer Ibrahim Saeed Ibrahim Al Malki in the 1850m Local Thoroughbred Qatar Derby (3YO), with Eduardo Pedroza riding the gelding to his second victory this season. Surra Man Raa had stablemate Nahaab, helmed by Ronan Thomas, for company coming off the final bend, but the latter had to settle for second three and a quarter lengths behind.
Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari’s AL JUNOOD (Hafid Du Bac x Al Mubadara) had shown quality in his first two starts in Qatar finishing in the frame both times. On Saturday, under Harry Bentley, the 3YO, saddled by Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi, moved up front in the home straight and then held on as a fast-closing Fahim, ridden by Ronan Thomas for Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle, settled for second in the Local Purebred Arabian Plate (3YO).
Unlike on Friday, when champion jockey Harry Bentley and champion trainer Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi had to wait for the last race on the card for a winner, the duo snatched the seven-furlong Thoroughbred Handicap (Class 3) at the post by a neck with Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari’s HYDROXIDE (Lope De Vega x Craighall).
Apprentice jockey Meteb Ali al-Marri led a Qatari one-two in the mile long Local Thoroughbred Handicap (80 & below) when he guided the Hamad Ateeq Al Marri-trained REEM BROOQ (Line Of David x Neon Lipstick) to a thrilling victory over Faleh Bughanaim and his mount, Shaman Bu Thaila, by a neck. The victory was the second straight one for the filly under the same jockey, having last won over three weeks ago on dirt.
Qatari jockey Faleh Bughanaim is following up his best season in Qatar so far with yet another impressive season, having notched up his 13th victory in the first two months. On Saturday, Bughanaim helmed Al Shaqab Racing’s HALOUL (Galileo x Eden’s Moon) for Alban de Mieulle to a fine victory in the Thoroughbred Maiden Plate (Class 6) winning by one and three-quarter lengths.
On his seventh attempt this season and 16th overall, Al Jeryan Stud’s ARBED (Mared Al Sahra x Tahadi) finally shed his maiden status topping the card opening Local Purebred Arabian Novice Plate in a close finish. Ridden by Tadgh O’Shea for Mohammed Nasser Al Naimi in the 1850m race, the colt beat the rivals by a quarter of a length.