The Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC) organised the eighth race meeting in the 2022-23 season at the Al Rayyan Racecourse turf track on Thursday, 3 November. The feature and nineth race in the card, Al Gharafa Cup, rounded off an entertaining day’s racing and was won in stunning style by Al Jeryan Stud’s AJS Jamran (BEL) (AF AlBahar x July Du Falgas), on his just second career start and following a runner-up finish last time. The M.H.K Al Attiyah-trained 3YO colt took the 1500m contest for 3YO Purebred Arabians by 1¼ lengths. He was steered to success by Alberto Sanna who excelled himself by chalking up his fourth winner on the card. With four wins on the same card on Thursday, the Italian jockey did confirm his mark on the day as it was also a remarkable day for him last year, when he capped off the same day riding three winners!
The feature race had a field of 12 runners. Under Faleh Bughanaim, Al Shaqab Racing’s Felowah (FR) (Dahess) was the first to announce challenge as the 3YO filly took the lead early in the race with King Albahar (FR) (AF AlBahar) just behind her in second. Kai Du Soleil (FR) (General) completed the trio in front in the early stages while Alberto Sanna kept AJS Jamran towards the rear. At the first bend, the two leading runners maintained their places and the eventual winner’s stablemate AJS Medawi (BEL) (AF AlBahar) was pushed by jockey Szczepan Mazur to take the third place. In the home straight, Felowah kept progressing while AJS Jamran stole several lengths from behind to close the gap and take the second place. At that stage, Felowah seemed a potential comfortable winner as she was not less 3 lengths from the nearest rival with King Albahar and AJS Jamran contesting for the minor honours. However, in the final strides, AJS Jamran made a very strong sweep to take the lead and the race 1¼ lengths ahead of the long-time leader, the Eric Lemartinel-trained Felowah. AJS Medawi, in the colours of Al Jeryan Stud as well, completed the frame as he was further 2¼ lengths back in third.
Following the feature race, QREC Racing Manager Abdulla Rashid Al Kubaisi presented the trophies to the winners.
Earlier in the afternoon, Al Gharafa Cup Day began with a one-two in the colours of Wathnan Racing as trainer Alban de Mieulle saddled the first two home in a 1500m Maiden for 3YO Local Thoroughbreds with Torkia (QA) (Migwar x Firdous), under Ronan Thomas, edging her stablemate Touraya (QA) (Migwar) by a neck in a brilliant debut by the two fillies.
Alban de Mieulle and the colours of Wathnan Racing were back to the winner’s enclosure soon with a quick-fire double in the second race as Aziza (QA) (Amer x Waqaar) swept all the way from behind in the final strides of the 1500m contest to take a Maiden for 3YO Local Purebred Arabians by a ¼ of a length under Carlos Henrique’s well-timed ride.
Al Hajaj Stud’s Mister Staple (IRE) (U S Navy Flag x Media Luna) on his Qatar debut and third career start got off the mark in the third race with an impressive 5-length win for trainer Hamad Al Jehani. Hugo Besnier was the man in the saddle in the 1500m Maiden for 2YO Thoroughbreds.
In the fourth race, Mohammed Abdulhadi Al Hajri’s New Star (IRE) (New Bay x Dashing Approach) ran away with a 1750m Maiden for 3YO Thoroughbreds as he came clear to win by 2½ lengths, completing a double on the day for jockey Carlos Henrique and a quick-fire double for trainer Hamad Al Jehani.
Naheb Al Naif
Al Naif Racing’s homebred Naheb Al Naif (QA) (Arkan Al Naif x Assala) picked up where he left off last season, prevailing over Mutahaffiz (QA) (AF Albahar), in the fifth race, by the smallest of margins in a 1750m Novice for 4YO Local Purebred Arabians. The same trainer-jockey duo of Georgina Ward and Alberto Sanna who ended his last campaign with success were again with him in the winner’s enclosure this time.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s Coefficiente (GB) (Siyouni x Al Reem), on her seasonal debut, doubled her tally winning a 1750m NOVICE for 3YO+ Thoroughbred Fillies & Mares. The Rudy Nerbonne-trained 4YO hit the line 2 lengths ahead of her rivals in the sixth race in the card. It was a quick-fire double by jockey Alberto Sanna.
Mohammed Khamis Eisa Al Kaabi’s Dhamir (FR) (Elusive City x Parandeh) proved to be the best with a cosy 2-length win in a 2200m Handicap (65-85) for 3YO+ Thoroughbreds in the seventh race. Tomas Lukasek was the man onboard. It was a one-two for trainer Ibrahim Saeed Al Malki who saddled both the winner and the runner-up, Ponderosa (IRE) (Dubawi).
Sharida Bin Nasser Bin Sharida Al Kaabi’s Shgarde (USA) (AF AlBahar x Dormania CS) completed a double, adding the sixth win to his record, in the penultimate race of the evening. The Mohamed Khaled Elahmed-trained 4YO colt prevailed by ¾ of a length in a 1500m Handicap (0-100) for 4YO Purebred Arabians. He was ridden by Alberto Sanna, who completed an impressive treble on the day before he went on, 30 minutes later, to grab his fourth victory on the day in the feature race.
Source: Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club