(MENAFN- Gulf Times)
Cristian Demuro rides His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani's Gazwan to victory in the Qatar Gold Sword (Gr1 PA) at the QREC yesterday. PICTURE: Juhaim
Gazwan simply cannot put a foot wrong. The two-time HH The Emir's Sword (Gr1 PA) winner stayed perfect as he added a second Qatar Gold Sword (Gr1 PA) to his name at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC) yesterday.
The action packed evening culminated in Julian Smart-saddled seven-year-old leaving behind Umm Qarn's Yazeed and stablemate Ebraz in the USD250,000 race.
But that was not before Deborah Mountain-trained Quelindo won the Qatar Gold Trophy (Gr1), the Thoroughbred feature, amidst drama. Also yesterday, Champion Trainer Jassim Mohamed Ghazali and Champion Jockey Harry Bentley tightened their grip around the season's championships with four victories together.
'What more does a horse have to prove? He has run twice in Qatar this season, and he has won two Swords, and it doesn't get any better than that. He is an absolute superstar, Smart told Gulf Times after Cristian Demuro helmed Gazwan to a fine win in the 2000m race.
'Small field but quality. A little bit disappointing with Ebraz, but I think Ebraz will be better in Europe on a longer track, and on a longer straight. But when you run against a horse like Gazwan, it is a tough one. Gazwan is running differently. Seven years old, but I have never seen him on the bridle, following the pace, and quickening off on the pace. He is a different proposition now, a proud Smart added.
In the penultimate race of the day, Hassan Ali Abdulmalik-owned Quelindo registered his first victory in Qatar but it was not without a hint of drama.
As Bentley-ridden Galactic Prince and Carlo Fiocchi-ridden Quelindo entered the final 100m in the 2200m race, the former moved wider and ended up touching Mountain's ward before going past the line first. However, the touch, so close to the finish, meant that Quelindo was adjudged to have picked up the win.
'He is a good horse but just took a long time to get used to Qatar. He came from a very cold country, we bought him over late, and he has only just realised that it is really not that bad. He ran a very good race. I mean in Europe he was a nine time champion, champion horse in Poland, but he took his time. He is better now. He will be a bit of fun now, Mountain said.
Earlier in the day, Ghazali and Bentley combined well for four wins, including maiden winner Deebaj, Qatar Silver Sword topper Jethjath, Sealine Sprint Trophy victor Izzthatright and Al Wajba Trophy winner Mualah.
'It's nice when it all comes together on the big day. Jassim has certainly got the horses right for tonight, Bentley said after Mualah's win.
Asked about his imminent win in the jockeys' championship, he said, 'I think it's been my sixth year as the winner of the season, so yeah, it's been a good season. Obviously many thanks go to Jassim. Things are going good.
Yousef Ben Taher's prolific Molheb Al Naif showed no signs of slowing down as the six-year-old Amer colt notched up his 11 victory in 14 outings so far, having won the Qatar Silver Trophy for four-year-olds and older local Arabians.
The Al Naif Racing colt had last won the Qatar International Cup (Gr1 PA) during HH The Emir's Sword Racing Festival, and yesterday had little trouble in taking the advantage early in the mile, and then staying on for a fine win over Pierre Deymonaz's Sharesa and Alban de Mieulle's Majeed.
Last time out, Hamad Ahmed al-Malki al-Jehani-trained Moaddie had finished midfield even as Hadi Nasser al-Ramzani-schooled Cannon picked up a fine win in the 1850m race.
Yesterday, over the course and distance, Moaddie, helmed by Theo Bachelot did enough to stay ahead at the line, edging out Cannon, who had come threateningly close under Cristian Demuro, in a spectacular finish.
Race 1: 1. Deebaj (Harry Bentley), 2. E'zaaz (JP Guillambert), 3. Ezaajh (Theo Bachelot), 4. Amir De Monlau (Carlo Fiocchi). Won by: 4 ¾, ¼, ¾. Time: 1:30.09. Owner: Khalifa bin Sheail al-Kuwari. Trainer: Jassim Mohamed Ghazali.
Race 2: 1. Jethjath (Harry Bentley), 2. Abercrombie (Eduardo Pedroza), 3. Djahab (Tomas Lukasek), 4. Evolution Du Croate (Carlo Fiocchi). Won by: 3 ½, ¾, No. Time: 2:02.37. Owner: Khalifa bin Sheail al-Kuwari. Trainer: Jassim Mohamed Ghazali.
Race 3: 1. Moaddie (Theo Bachelot), 2. Cannon (Cristian Demuro), 3. Al Lusail (Faleh Bughanaim), 4. Salman Bu Thaila (Olivier Peslier). Won by: No, ½, 2. Time: 1:54.27. Owner: Ahmed Hassan al-Malki al-Jehani. Trainer: Hamad Ahmed al-Malki al-Jehani.
Race 4: 1. Izzthatright (Harry Bentley), 2. Anima Rock (Marc Lerner), 3. Receding Waves (JP Guillambert), 4. Victory Laurel (Saleem Golam). Won by: 1 ¾, 1 ¾, 1. Time: 1:09.62. Owner: Injaaz Stud. Trainer: Jassim Mohamed Ghazali.
Race 5: 1. Mualah (Harry Bentley), 2. Berkeley Square (Tomas Lukasek), 3. Es'hail (Gerald Avranche), 4. Poets Dream (Eduardo Pedroza). Won by: 2 1/2, No, 4. Time: 1:52.29. Owner: Khalifa bin Sheail al-Kuwari. Trainer: Jassim Mohamed Ghazali.
Race 6: 1. Molheb Al Naif (Gerald Avranche), 2. Sharesa (Stephan Ladjadj), 3. Majeed (Olivier Peslier), 4. AJS Gannas (Faleh Bughanaim). Won by: 1, 1 34, 1. Time: 1:42.62. Owner: Al Naif Racing. Trainer: Yousef Ben Taher.
Race 7: 1. Quelindo (Carlo Fiocchi), 2. Galactic Prince (Harry Bentley), 3. Qatari Gold (Gerald Avranche), 4. Otwo (Cristian Demuro). Won by: 1/2, 1 3/4, 2. Time: 2:14.88. Owner: Hassan Ali al-Abdulmalik. Trainer: Deborah Mountain.
Race 8: 1. Gazwan (Cristian Demuro), 2. Yazeed (Olivier Peslier), 3. Ebraz (Theo Bachelot), 4. Spaghetti (Harry Bentley). Won by: 3/4, 1/2, 11. Time: 2:09.84. Owner: His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani. Trainer: Julian Smart.
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