Doha, 15 October 2020 - Three years after he last rode at Al Rayyan Park, jockey Alberto Sanna didn’t have to wait long for a feature victory with the Italian guiding Al Azraq Stable’s Bint Saffian to a dominant victory in the Al Ghariya Cup sprint yesterday.
The 1100m dirt feature for Thoroughbred fillies and mares saw Sanna, who has ridden Group winners at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club’s track in the past, give Bader al-Balushi-trained Bint Saffian a fantastic ride as the duo beat the competition by almost six lengths.
Jassim Mohamed Ghazali-trained Hillside Dream, helmed by Saleh Salem al-Marri in the colours of Shaheen bin Khalid Shaheen al-Ghanim, was second in front of another Ghazali ward, Make A Wish.
In the penultimate race of the day, Qatari apprentice jockey al-Marri guided his second winner of the day, Al Shahania Stud’s Rajeh.
After opening the season with riding Jassim Mohamed Ghazali-trained Shellbrook to a maiden victory earlier in the evening, al-Marri and Rajeh held off Alban de Mieulle-saddled Umm Qarn duo – Dabaab and Al Hazm – at the post for a thrilling win by a little less than a length in the 1700m Purebred Arabians event.
De Mieulle too saddled two winners on the day. Umm Qarn’s Badda led a one-two for the colours and the trainer in the Purebred Arabian Handicap event for horses rated 90 and below under Ronan Thomas, while Soufiane Saadi helmed Al Shaqab Racing’s Alsdry to her first career victory in a Purebred Arabian maiden.
The five-year-old mare had three victories out of six course and distance outings coming into yesterday’s 1700m run on dirt, including her last run in March. Yesterday, Ronan Thomas guided the bay mare to a comfortable two-and-a-half length victory ahead of stablemate Maruf, with Soufiane Saadi in the saddle.
Qatari apprentice rider Meteb Ali al-Marri, who saddled 10 winners last season to finish second among Qatari jockeys behind Faleh Bughanaim, opened his account this term with a handicap victory aboard Mohamed Hussain Afroz-saddled Bariq Al Thumama.
The five-year-old horse has been largely unexposed since his arrival in Qatar in 2018 with a second place over a mile the highlight. That changed yesterday as al-Marri guided him to a short head victory in the Thoroughbred handicap for horses rated 75 and below. Luca Maniezzi-ridden Rex Place and Francois Herholdt-helmed Greyscape finished second and third in a blanket finish.
The win was the first of two on the day for trainer Afroz, who later saddled Local Purebred Arabians Conditions topper Tahri Baha. Carlos Henrique-ridden seven-year-old went one better than his last course and distance outing, topping the six-furlong sprint by a head, edging out Faleh Bughanaim-ridden Lekhraib.
Earlier in the evening, Owaida Salem al-Hajri-trained Al Murabitah shed her maiden status under Saadi.
Race 1: 1. Shellbrook (Saleh Salem al-Marri), 2. Dreaming Away (Soufiane Saadi), 3. Forced (Ronan Thomas), 4. Qatar Lion (Rashid Ali al-Marri). Won by: ¾, 3 ½, ¾. Time: 1:06.20. Owner: Abdullah Mohamed al-Kuwari & Sons. Trainer: Jassim Mohamed Ghazali.
Race 2: 1. Al Murabitah (Soufiane Saadi), 2. Lehwaila (Francois Herholdt), 3. Charles De Gaulle (Killian Leonard), 4. Ijtihaad (Eduardo Pedroza). Won by: Hd, Hd, 2 ¾. Time: 1:08.42. Owner: Fahad Rashid al-Hajri. Trainer: Owaida Salem al-Hajri.
Race 3: 1. Alsdry (Soufiane Saadi), 2. Wardan Al Hashm (Rashid Ali al-Marri), 3. Joudy (Alberto Sanna), 4. Maysoon Al Naif (Saleh Salem al-Marri). Won by: 3 ½, Nk, 2 ¼. Time: 1:20.28. Owner: Al Shaqab Racing. Trainer: Alban de Mieulle.
Race 4: 1. Barig Al Thumama (Meteb Ali al-Marri), 2. Rex Place (Luca Maniezzi), 3. Greyscape (Francois Herholdt), 4. Third World (Saleh Salem al-Marri). Won by: Shd, No, ¾. Time: 1:12.98. Owner: Al Thumama Racing. Trainer: Mohamed Hussain Afroz.
Race 5: 1. Badda (Ronan Thomas), 2. Maruf (Soufiane Saadi), 3. Rajab (Luca Maniezzi), 4. Jahfal (Francois Herholdt). Won by: 2 ½, 4, 1. Time: 2:00.39. Owner: Umm Qarn. Trainer: Alban de Mieulle.
Race 6: 1. Tahri Baha (Carlos Henrique), 2. Lekhraib (Faleh Bughanaim), 3. Barra (Ronan Thomas), 4. Raqee (Rashid Ali al-Marri). Won by: Hd, 3 ¼, 7. Time: 1:18.57. Owner: Dhafi Rashid al-Marri. Trainer: Mohamed Hussain Afroz.
Race 7: 1. Rajeh (Saleh Salem al-Marri), 2. Dabaab (Ronan Thomas), 3. Al Hazm (Soufiane Saadi), 4. Baker De Saularie (Luca Maniezzi). Won by: ¾, 3 ¾, No. Time: 1:58.86. Owner: Al Shahania Stud. Trainer: Jassim Mohamed Ghazali.
Race 8: 1. Bint Saffian (Alberto Sanna), 2. Hillside Dream (Saleh Salem al-Marri), 3. Make A Wish (Ronan Thomas), 4. Che Bella (Carlos Henrique). Won by: 5 ¾, 3 ¾, Nk. Time: 1:05.03. Owner: Al Azraq Stables. Trainer: Bader al-Balushi.