(MENAFN- Gulf Times) ‘He was up against some really strong contenders, especially The Blue Eye. But thanks to God, he did well.
He had stayed second almost the entire way but hit the second gear coming off the last corner'
Last year, Courtofversailles refused to load into the gates for HH Sheikh Mohamed Bin Khalifa Al Thani Trophy (Gr2) and had to be withdrawn.
Yesterday, in the 2017 edition of the 2000m turf feature for Thoroughbreds, the Rashid Mohamed al-Jehani-trained horse was walked up the straight to the gates, and once he took his place in Gate 3, there was a loud cheer from the stands.
There was a loud cheer once again a little over two minutes later when Stephan Ladjadj guided the Khalid Rashid al-Mohannadi-owned five-year-old to a thrilling victory in the one million Qatari Riyal race.
'He was up against some really strong contenders, especially The Blue Eye. But thanks to God, he did well. He had stayed second almost the entire way but hit the second gear coming off the last corner, al-Jehani told Gulf Times after the win yesterday. Talking about the loading into the gates situation, al-Jehani, who had picked the horse from an Arqana sale in France two years ago, said, 'He is used to the American system where they lead him with another horse. But we don't follow that system here in Qatar. He is always a little difficult getting into the gates. He missed this race last year because he just refused to go into the gates. But we fixed him after that, and we now know how to get him into the gates.
Ladjadj, who picked up two wins on the day, was a happy man. 'Getting into the gates is the most difficult thing with him. Once he is there, you can relax. All around the track, he was easy but the last 200m wasn't because I was alone up front. I went up ahead a bit soon, but I prefer to go up a bit sooner than later. He carried on well. Big win, he said.
Courtofversailles beat Hadi Nasser al-Ramzani-schooled Zman Awal by a little under a length, while Jassim Mohamed Ghazali's The Blue Eye, the 2016 HH The Emir's Trophy winner, and Julian Smart's Fundamental were locked in a dead heat for third.
Earlier in the day, two Smart wards, both owned by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani, registered their first career wins. Theo Bachelot first rode Anees to victory in the Harran Purebred Arabian Maiden Plate (Div 1) event, before guiding Mosaab to top the Mared Al Sahra Purebred Arabian Maiden Plate.
Another al-Ramzani ward, AJS Al Rayyan topped the penultimate race of the day, beating Smart-schooled Aaley Al Magam by a quarter-of-a-length in the Jaafer Cup for local Purebred Arabians. Ghazali-saddled Rassan completed the top three under Harry Bentley.
Ghazali's wards locked out the top two spots in the Class 4 Assy Thoroughbreds event for fillies and mares with Stars N Angels topping the 2000m run.
Ridden by Pier Convertino in the colours of Mansoor Ebrahim al-Mahmoud, Stars N Angels had stayed right behind Mohamed Riyaz-schooled Tea Leaf, who set the pace early on.
Coming off the final bend, the field picked up pace, and Bentley-ridden Hillside Dream, who moved up the order, coming alongside Stars N Angels, and the duo then gunned for Tea Leaf. Half a furlong out, the duo went past Tea Leaf, before eventually Stars N Angels edged out Hillside Dream for the win. Champion Trainer Ghazali's second winner of the day was Khalifa bin Sheail al-Kuwari-owned Mosayter who led from pillar to post to win the Gazwan Local Thoroughbred Conditions event yesterday. JP Guillambert had the four-year-old colt stay on the rails and up ahead coming out of Gate 1, and even as Umm Qarn's Marjan began a pursuit on the home straight under Jean Baptiste Hamel, Mosayter held on rather well for a two-lengths-and-a-quarter victory in the seven furlong race. Another Ghazali charge, Al Hareth was third under Bentley.
Mohamed Hamad al-Attiyah-trained Geno picked up his second course and distance victory, when Ladjadj, riding the gelding for the first time, guided the four-year-old to victory in the Ebraz Thoroughbred Handicap (Class 4) event for horses rated 80 and below.
Ibrahim al-Malki-saddled Could be was the runner up edging out Mohamed Hussain's Succeed and Excel.
Alban de Mieulle-trained Diese shed his maiden status winning the Reda Purebred Arabian Maiden Plate (Div 2), while Al Jeryan Stud's AJS Anfowan picked up his second career win, topping the Djendel Local Purebred Arabian Graduation Plate.
Race 1: 1. Anees (Theo Bachelot), 2. Ameenah (Tomas Lukasek), 3. TM Full Tilt Boogie (Darren Williams), 4. Baker De Saularie (Carlo Fiocchi). Won by: 6, 3 ¼, 2 ¼. Time: 1:26.93. Owner: His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani. Trainer: Julian Smart.
Race 2: 1. Diese (Jean Baptiste Hamel), 2. Saab Al Manal (Pier Convertino), 3. Di Na Py (Faleh Bughanaim), 4. Al Sabba (Darren Williams). Won by: 3 ¾, 1, ½. Time: 1:33.23. Owner: Olivier Materne. Trainer: Alban de Mieulle.
Race 3: 1. Mosaab (Theo Bachelot), 2. Dhay (Faleh Bughanaim), 3. Aziz'nafs (Gerald Avranche), 4. Hareemah (Jean Baptiste Hamel). Won by: 2, Nk, ½. Time: 2:15.52. Owner: His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani. Trainer: Julian Smart.
Race 4: 1. AJS Anfowan (Tomas Lukasek), 2. Raqee (Marc Lerner), 3. Samhan Al Shajaa (Saleem Golam), 4. Barrelaman (Carlo Fiocchi). Won by: 1, 2 ¼, ¾. Time: 1:31.76. Owner: Al Jeryan Stud. Trainer: Hadi Nasser al-Ramzani.
Race 5: 1. Geno (Stephan Ladjadj), 2. Could Be (Eduardo Pedroza), 3. Succeed and Excel (Marc Lerner), 4. Woodkid (Theo Bachelot). Won by: 2, Nk, Nk. Time: 1:36.30. Owner: Khalid Hamad al-Attiyah. Trainer: Mohamed Hamad al-Attiyah.
Race 6: 1. Stars N Angels (Pier Convertino), 2. Hillside Dream (Harry Bentley), 3. Tea Leaf (Almotasem al-Balushi). 4. Bronze Maquette (Gerald Avranche). Won by: Shd, 1 ¾, 1 ¾. Time: 2:04.10. Owner: Mansoor Ebrahim al-Mahmoud. Trainer: Jassim Mohamed Ghazali.
Race 7: 1. Mosayter (JP Guillambert), 2. Marjan (Jean Baptiste Hamel), 3. Al Hareth (Harry Bentley), 4. Muraqabah (Pier Convertino). Won by: 2 ¼, 1 ¼, 1. Time: 1:26.93. Owner: Khalifa bin Sheail al-Kuwari. Trainer: Jassim Mohammed Ghazali.
Race 8: 1. AJS Al Rayyan (Gerald Avranche), 2. Aaley Al Magam (Theo Bachelot), 3. Rassan (Harry Bentley), 4. AJS Gannas (Tomas Lukasek). Won by: ¼, 1 ¼, 1 ½. Time: 2:13.78. Owner: Al Jeryan Stud. Trainer: Hadi Nasser al-Ramzani.
Race 8: 1. Courtofversailles (Stephan Ladjadj), 2. Zman Awal (Tomas Lukasek), 3. Fundamental (Theo Bachelot), 3. The Blue Eye (Harry Bentley). Won by: ¾, ½. Dh. Time: 2:02.00. Owner: Khalid Rashid al-Mohannadi. Trainer: Rashid Mohamed al-Jehani.
QREC general manager Nasser Sherida al-Kaabi (fourth from right), Al Shahania Stud manager Dean Lavy (centre) and QREC deputy chief steward Abdulla Rashid al-Kubaisi (right) with the winners of the Jaafer Cup for local Purebred Arabians after AJS Al Rayyan won the 2000m race yesterday.
Jockey Stephan Ladjadj celebrates as he crosses the finish line on Courtofversailles to win HH Sheikh Mohamed Bin Khalifa Al Thani Trophy (Gr2) at the QREC yesterday.
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