In presence of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani and His Excellency Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, President of Qatar Olympic Committee, Qatar’s horses dominated at St Cloud, France, on Friday. Two successes were secured for Qatar at one of the events associated with the annual Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe held in City of Light under the partnership between the Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club (QREC) and France Galop.
The Qatari excellence came in the Gr 1 Qatar Arabian Trophy Des Poulains when the His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani-owned Marid imposed himself in the 2000-metre contest for colts and was quickly backed up in the following race by another victory in the Gr 1 Qatar Arabian Trophy Des Pouliches when the Al Shaqab Racing-owned Al Haffanah landed the 2000-metre race for fillies.
Following the colts’ race, His Excellency Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, President of Qatar Olympic Committee, presented the trophy to His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani, the owner of Marid. His Excellency also presented the trophies to the trainer and the jockey.
After the fillies’ contest, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani presented the trophy to His Excellency Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani as the title was landed by Al Shaqab Racing’s Al Haffanah.
Marid, who lined up for the race as a favourite, gave a brilliant performance to win the Gr 1 Qatar Arabian Trophy Des Poulains. While Marid stayed behind for a while at first and in spite of the tough performance by other runners, he accelerated, under jockey Olivier Peslier and the Antoine de Watrigant’s ward was able to be the nearest one to the finish line in the last metres before the post. In fact, Olivier Peslier set the stage for perfection and the delicate Marid won the second Group I of his career after his summer victory in the Prix Kesberoy. The Didier Guillemin-trained Deryan came second under jockey Mickael Barzalona while the Al Shaqab Racing-owned and Thomas Fourcy-saddled Shalaa completed the frame as third with Qatari jockey Faleh Bughenaim in the saddle.
Qatari victories continued at St Cloud when Al Shaqab Racing’s Al Haffana proved she was the best in the Gr 1 Qatar Arabian Trophy Des Pouliches. The Thomas Fourcy-schooled three-year-old filly dominated throughout the 2000-metre contest and had no issues in landing the fillies title under jockey Julien Augé to remain unbeaten. The F Sanchez-schooled Bayan was the runner-up under jockey Ioritz Mendizabal while Xavier Thomas Demeaulte’s ward Baseel came third and she was helmed by jockey Mickael Barzalona.