Paris, 4 October 2020 - In presence of Qatar Olympic Committee President HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatari-owned horses continued to dazzle in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend with Sheail bin Khalifa al-Kuwari-owned Lady Princess racing to an impressive victory in the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC)-sponsored Qatar Arabian Trophy des Juments (Group 1 PA) at ParisLongchamp yesterday.
QREC CEO Nasser bin Sherida al-Kaabi took part in the trophy presentation of the day’s races.
Lady Princess’ win, barely 24 hours after Group 1 PA victories by Al Shaqab Racing’s Alawsj and al-Kuwari’s Hadi De Carrere at Saint-Cloud, demonstrates Qatar’s leadership in Purebred Arabian racing.
The first day of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend saw a nice race card at ParisLongchamp.
Christophe Soumillon-ridden Lady Princess led a fantastic top-four sweep for trainer Thomas Fourcy, who had also saddled the two winners at Saint-Cloud on Friday, in the 2000m race for four-year-old fillies yesterday.
In second was Um Taj, third Meethag and fourth Ryme Al Cham — all in the colours of Al Shaqab Racing.
Lady Princess was second last through the race, which was run at a very steady pace on heavy ground. Once on the straight, she came immediately on the attack, flying down the centre of the track past her opponents.
“I am having an extraordinary weekend. Yesterday I won the two Group 1’s for the Arabians at Saint-Cloud and now this,” a delighted Fourcy said. “Last year I had a superb batch of three-year-olds and with them this year we have won some good prizes. They haven’t run much due to the confinement and have stayed nice and fresh. To have four horses finish in the first four places is incredible. Lady Princess has a huge heart. She hasn’t got a lot of flair but she knows how to get the job done.”
Soumillon added, “She sat down in the stalls and we didn’t get a great break. Despite this I didn’t want to force her early on, I knew beforehand that she is a lot faster than the rest of the field. I would have liked to have held her up in last place but Quitte lost a bit of ground. We got a little bump turning for home but once I asked her for an effort she accelerated with ease.”
Qatar Prix Du Cadran: Princess Zoe rules
Irish raider Princess Zoe won the Qatar Prix du Cadran, the stayer’s championship, in an extraordinary turn of events.
In heavy conditions and four kilometres to go, one would assume that jockeys would save their mounts for the closing stages. However, Eddy Hardouin had other ideas onboard Alkuin. They set a brutal pace up front and the competitors fell away one by one; some finishing the race nearly pulled up.
In dramatic turn of events, Frederic Rossi’s protege led right until it ceded in the final five metres to Princess Zoe, the only runner who was able to keep up the pace.
Princess Zoe’s jockey Joseph Sheridan struggled to stop his tears of joy on his first Group 1. “It’s a dream come true. I didn’t think I’d win a Group anytime soon, let alone a Group 1. I thank all those who gave me the chance to ride this race. I owe them so much.”
Winning trainer Tony Mullins said, “I thought I was going to have a heart attack in the closing stages. When I saw Princess Zoe hit the lead, I felt a feeling I had never felt before. It’s unbelievable.”
Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein: The Revenant returns
The Revenant put up an impressive performance to defend his title in the Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein (Group 2). Francis-Henri Graffard’s charge had not been seen in competition since an excellent second place in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Group 1) at Ascot last year.
On the home straight, the five-year-old, ridden Pierre-Charles Boudot, got the better of Ziegfeld, who was always close-up, ahead of Motamarris, who on his first effort over the mile, took third place.
Qatar Prix Chaudenay: Valia reigns supreme
The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend opened with the Alain de Royer Dupre-trained filly Valia winning the Group 2 Qatar Prix Chaudenay for three-year-olds impressively.
The 3000m race for stayers saw Soumillon give H.H. Aga Khan’s filly a patient ride in heavy conditions. Held up in last for the majority of the race, Valia then came with a strong run up the middle of the tack and easily got the better of both Nemean Lion and Step By Step.
Qatar Prix Dollar: Skalleti Wins Again
Last year’s winner, Skalleti, lined up for the Qatar Prix Dollar (Group 2) alongside seven other runners, and the Jean-Claude Seroul-owned colt did not disappoint. Jerome Reynier’s ward won brilliantly under Maxime Guyon, despite being hampered in running by Racing Storm, finishing a length and a quarter in front of Patrick Sarsfield.
Qatar Prix de Royallieu: Wonderful Tonight shines
Wonderful Tonight came into the 2800m Qatar Prix de Royallieu (Group 1) having finished fifth in the Prix Vermeille (Group 1) on Qatar Arc Trials day. She was partnered once again by jockey Tony Piccone in the race for three-year-olds. Danger came from Pista, on the inside rail, who was finishing strongly. Fifty metres from the line there was very little between the two fillies. Crossing the winning line, it was Wonderful Tonight who proved superior by a little more than a length.
Jadoomi shows speed in Criterium
A devastating turn of foot 300m from home meant that Jadoomi crossed the line seven lengths clear to take the Haras de Bouquetot – Criterium de la vente d’Octobre Arqana for the training partnership of Simon & Ed Crisford in Newmarket.
Jockey Michael Barzalona looked comfortable with his mount throughout the miler and angled the horse out for a challenge as they entered the home straight. Once he found his cadence, Jadoomi closed strongly on the leaders and soon stretched clear of the field. Django Unchained was second ahead of Pouvoir Royal in third.
Qatar Grand Handicap des Juments: Eudaimonia takes victory
She took a little while to find her stride in the extremely testing conditions encountered but ultimately Eudaimonia was very impressive in taking the 2000m Qatar Grand Handicap des Juments. Trained by young trainer Edouard Monfort, Eudaimonia was ridden to a fantastic five-length victory by Barzalona.
Prix Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club: Queenhope wins
Queenhope got the better of Sunflower by a short head in a thrilling finish to the final race of the day in the 2000m Prix Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club yesterday. Carrying the colours of Patrick Barbe, the Satoshi Kobayashi-trained Queenhope was confidently steered to victory by young rider Megane Peslier.