(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Less than three weeks before the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe returns to a revamped Longchamp in Paris, so do the Qatar Arc Trials.
With top quality Arabians all set to put up a show today in the Qatar Cup Prix Dragon (Group 1), the Thoroughbreds will be vying for honours in the Qatar Prix Vermeille (Group 1) besides other Group races.
Last year's Prix Dragon winner, Ebraz, will not feature in the French capital today, but the royal blue and white colours of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani will be represented by the impressive Gazwan and Aaley Al Magam, both trained by Julian Smart.
While Cristian Demuro, who had guided Gazwan to His Highness The Amir's Sword (Gr1 PA) and Qatar Gold Sword victories earlier this year in Doha, will be back on the seven-year-old, JP Guillambert will partner Aaley Al Magam.
The Qatar-based trainer also has Sheikh Khalifa bin Mohamed al-Thani's Reda in the running.
Frenchman Alban de Mieulle would fancy his chances with Yazeed, who has been a bit unlucky past couple of times going up against Smart's wards, but the His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani-owned colt had finished a credible second last year on a comeback from a foot niggle.
With Olivier Peslier set to be in the saddle on Yazeed, Pierre-Charles Boudot will helm the 2017 Qatar International Stakes topper Tayf.
Thomas Fourcy will hope that Al Shaqab Racing's Zikreet will add to his tally of wins with Qatari jockey Faleh Bughanaim astride.
British runners Worth Waiting and Kitesurf would be keen to add to their respective Group victories, which they notched on their last outings in Deauville, when they line up for the 2,400m Qatar Prix Vermeille (Group 1).
While the David Lanigan-trained Worth Waiting had won the 2,500m Prix Minerve (Group 3) at Deauville last month, Andre Fabre-saddled Kitesurf had topped the Darley Prix De Pomone (Group 2) a week later over the same distance.
Worth Waiting's Prix Minerve rival Zarkamiya will line up again today under Christophe Soumillon.
Qatar Prix Foy (Group 2) will see three Fabre wards lining up, with Waldgeist and Talismanic looking promising. The former has a hat-trick of victories coming into today's run, including a course and distance Group 3 victory from May this year. Cloth of Stars will be the third horse to be saddled by Fabre in the race.
Aiden O'Brien will have last year's St Leger victor Capri making a return from a long absence.
Charlie Appleby's charge Brundtland will make a bid for the Qatar Prix Niel (Group 2) as he looks to keep his racing record clean having already won both the races he has run so far.
The O'Brien-trained Hunting Horn will line up too on his return from the United States. The three-year-old is yet to win in France, having finished sixth at Chantilly earlier this year.
The two Group 3 races on the day are the 1,400m Qatar Prix Du Pin and the 1,000m Qatar Prix Du Petit Couvert. While 11 runners will line up for the former, the sprint will see 13 contestants.
The card will open with the 1,850m Qatar Prix Du Trocadero with seven runners while 16 runners will go for the mile-long Qatar Prix Du Palais Garnier. The mile-long Qatar Prix De l'Opera Bastille will be the last race of the day with 14 runners.