One of the most awaited race meeting in Qatar is the Emir’s Sword Festival to be held at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club on the 22nd, 23rd & the 24th of February. The first day of the Emir’s Sword Festival saw eight races take the scene. The highlights of the day were the Al Zubara Trophy and the Purebred Arabian Novice Plate.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s REDA (Burning Sand x Ba’scherit) won the first feature of the HH The Emir’s Sword Racing Festival, when Theo Bachelot helmed the 6yo to a fine win in the 2000m race on QREC turf on Thursday. The opening day of the three-day racing extravaganza saw huge crowds even as many international trainers and owners soaked in the feel at the QREC’s Al Rayyan Racecourse. In the feature, Reda had finished second behind Umm Qarn’s TM Thunder Struck over C&D in December, but this time round did well to beat Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle’s wards, MAJEED (Amer x Zabieh) and DAMAS (Mugadir x Kunooz), for the win. Julian Colin Smart’s ward beat Olivier Peslier-ridden Majeed by a little over a length, while Jean Baptiste Hamel helmed Damas to third place another length down.
After missing out on a win by a neck in the previous race of the evening, trainer Mohammed Riyaz Ibrahim Kasim had a winner in the penultimate race of the day, with Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari’s RECEDING WAVES (Dick Turpin x Welanga) racing to a comfortable victory in the six furlong sprint. JP Guillambert guided the 5yo to a victory with a length and a quarter to spare, beating Hadi Nasser Rashid Al Ramzani trained POET’S SONG (Poet’s Voice x Bee Eater), ridden by Tomas Lukasek, at the post. Champion Trainer Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi’s BLACK BEACH (Footstepsinthesand x Eraadaat) was third under Gerald Avranche’s ride.
Tomas Lukasek’s second winner of the evening was Hadi Nasser Rashid Al Ramzani trained AL RAYYAN (Danehill Dancer x Inca Trail) who won the miler in a blanket finish that saw four contenders jostling for a victory at the post. Saeed Bin Mubarak Saeed Aljafali Al Naimi owned gelding made a run on the outside on the home straight and eventually edged out Mohammed Riyaz Ibrahim Kasim’s BURRISHOOLE ABBEY (Acclamation x Xeralda), with Harry Bentley up, at the post by a neck, while another Al Ramzani ward, ARD SAN AER (Acclamation x Allanah Abu) edged out Zuhair Mohsen Zuhair Maki trained Bluebeard by a short head to make it into top three.
After a disappointing start to her season in November, Sheikh Faisal Bin Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani’s IZGHAWA (Majestic Warrior x Wildcat Gold) registered her second victory this month. Ridden by Theo Bachelot for the second straight time, the Ibrahim Saeed Ibrahim Al Malki trained mare raced to her seventh career victory in the six furlong sprint on Thursday. The 6yo beat Zuhair Mohsen Zuhair Maki trained BROADWAY ICON (Sixties Icon x Funny Girl), helmed by Marvin Suerland, by a close half a length for the win. Deborah Amanda Clare MOuntain saddled CATCH A WAVE (Approve x Casablanca Jewel) completed the top three under Pierantonio Convertino.
After making a winning handicap debut on dirt a week ago, Hamad Ahmed Al Malki Al Jehani’s RICH HISTORY (Dubawi x Polished Gem) followed it up with another victory, this time on turf. Ridden by JP Guillambert, who helmed the 4yo for his last victory too, went past the post three quarters of a length ahead of Deborah Amanda Clare Mountain trained ALIZOOM (Invincible Spirit x Lady Springbank), with Faleh Bughanaim astride. Another three quarters of a length down, another Al Jehani ward, MORE THAN A DREAM (Halling x Chabelle), edged his way into third spot.
Mansoor Mesfer Al Hajri’s HADDAJ DUKHAN (Majd Al Arab x Gantra El Baraka) halted a winless run this season with a thrilling victory in the mile long run. The 6yo had six runner up finishes this season even as a win remained elusive. However, on Thursday, on the first day of HH The Emir’s Sword Racing Festival, Tomas Lukasek-ridden Haddaj Dukhan tracked leaders before taking the lead on the home straight, and held on just enough as Ahmed Mohamad Kobeissi trained KHOR AL ADAID (Amer x Si Vous Plait), helmed by Vaclav Janacek, ran out of track and had to settle for second by a short head. Zakhir Stud’s AL ESHRAH (Majd Al Arab x Gold Label) was third under Marc Lerner.
Mohamed Khaled Elahmed trained SARMAD BU THAILA (Soviet Secret x Appleby) had little trouble stepping up in distance registering his second straight victory this month. A fantastic ride by Frenchman Olivier Peslier saw the Subaiya Awad Ibrahim owned 4yo move up front early on, holding a slight advantage over the rest of the field. The gelding built a gap by the time he was on the home straight and eventually held on well ahead of Harry Bentley-ridden AL JAMAAHEER (Hockney x Inthemoodforlove), as the Injaaz Stud gelding beat Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi trained ABU SAMRAH (Zafeen x Starks) by almost a length and three quarters for the runner up spot.
After shedding his maiden status over a mile on his Qatar debut in December, the Hossin Mohammad Ashour-saddled AL MOUZDAHER (General x Al Zahrah) was too keen over longer trips. However, switching back to a shorter trip, seven furlongs, the 5yo picked up a comfortable victory for his second victory this season. Faleh Bughanaim guided the Al Shaqab Racing’s colt to a victory with a little more than two lengths to spare, while Mohammed Riyaz Ibrahim Kasim’s ANWAAR (Af Albahar x Noisette Al Maury) was second under JP Guillambert, with Alban Elie Marie de Mieulle-schooled DIESE (General x Divana), ridden by Jean Baptiste Hamel, in third.
Credit: Qatar Racing Club