The Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani presenting the golden sword to H H Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Thani, owner of the horse Assy that won the feature race at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC). RIGHT: The Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani watching the proceedings of the feature race.
DOHA: French jockey Christophe Lemaire powered Assy to the Emir’s Sword glory in a record-breaking feat by Julian Smart-trained horses.
Watched by the Emir, H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Assy pipped stablemates Al Anga and Rathowan to the top spot and a prize of QR1.8m.
Owned by H H Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani, Assy exhibited admirable lung power near the end to race ahead of Al Anga and Rathowan in the 2400m marathon as trainer Smart celebrated a rare 1-2-3 at Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC).
Ridden by Lemaire, Assy wasn’t in the reckoning until the last 50-60 meters in the feature race that brought to end to the week-long horse racing festival watched hundreds of fans at QREC yesterday. Lemaire won the 2011 Melbourne Cup in a photo finish riding Dunaden
Al Anga - who had Harry Bentley in the saddle - bagged the prize of QR600,00 while jockey B Doyle - atop Rathowan - went home with the prize of QR300,000.
Also yesterday, jockey Lanfranco Dettori was the hero by winning the H H the Emir’s Trophy (thoroughbreds) astride Dubday in the 2400 race. Dubday went past the winning post to give popular trainer Jassim Ghazali his biggest glory of the day.
Dubday - who won in a time of 2:28:34 - finished the turf race ahead of Adrie De Vries-ridden Peter Anders and Ghazali-trained Polperro, who had P Convertino in the saddle.
Owned by Al Shaqab Racing, Dubday helped Dettori pick up the top prize of QR 1.14m while second-placed De Vries walked off with QR440,000.
Convertino had to be content with QR220,000.
In the Emir’s Trophy for Pure Arabians, Khabbab brought delight to jockey O Peslier and trainer A de Miuelle in the 2400m race. Khabbab finished ahead of Taraf - ridden by Bentley and Kassam who had Yanis Aouabe in the saddle.
Peslier was rewarded with the top prize of QR456,000 while Bentley won QR176,000. Aouabe pocketted the third prize of QR88,000.
Yesterday’s nine-race card brought the curtains down on a week-long racing extravaganza sponsored by Total E & P and Longines. The H H the Emir’s Sword, for Purebred Arabians, worth QR3m, was sponsored by Total E&P Qatar while the H H the Emir’s Trophy, for thoroughbreds, with a prize fund of QR2m, was sponsored by Longines.
Earlier on Wednesday night, delegates from around 40 countries attended a gala dinner hosted by QREC at the Ritz-Carlton hotel to mark the H H the Emir 23rd International Equestrian Sword Festival.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Faleh Al Thani, QREC Chairman, Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser bin Khalid Al Thani, NBK Chairman, Abdulaziz bin Ahmed Al Malki, QREC Vice Chairman, Sami Jassim Al Boenain, QREC General Manager and IFAHR Chairman, Louis Romanet, President, IFHA Chairman, Burno Quintana, President of Argentine Jockey Club and Asociacion Latinoamericana de Jockey Clubes, Tariq Abdulhamid Al Siddiqi, QREC Deputy Chairman, sponsors of festival events, QREC heads of section, horse owners, trainers and jockeys were present.