Alexander Reznikov rode the Hadi Al Ramzani-trained 4YO gelding to a 1¾-length win. Abdulla Rashid Al Kubaisi crowned the winners of Qatar Cup.
Venedegar had only won once in 18 outings coming into Wednesday’s Qatar Cup. However, a switch to dirt for the first time ever proved fruitful for Hadi Nasser Rashid Al Ramzani’s ward as the gelding bagged the 1700m feature in thrilling fashion.
With Alexander Reznikov in the saddle of the 4yo, Venedegar stayed within striking distance of early leader Shabbab. On the home straight as the pace quickened, Venedegar steadily took the advantage and then held on for a thrilling two length victory.
Zuhair Mohsen Zuhair Maki trained Daneyan (Shamardal X Dayita) was second under JP Guillambert, riding in the colours of Zakhir Racing, while Mansoor Ebrahim Al Mahmoud’s High Commander COMMANDER (Teofilo x Pellinore), ridden by Alberto Sanna for trainer Gassim Mohammad Ghazali, was third.
HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s Ghali Al Athman (Harran ASF x Al Nefor) made a spectacular debut in Qatar. The Qatar-bred colt, trained by Julian Colin Smart, had Tomas Lukasek in the saddle in the Purebred Arabian Maiden Plate.
The 1700m run saw the duo move on the outside and then pick up pace coming off the bend. They steadily took the advantage on the home straight winning by three lengths to spare.
Earlier, Al Thumama Racing’s X Force (Bungle Inthejungle x Nafa) raced to a spectacular victory in the penultimate race in the eight event card.
In the Thoroughbred Handicap (Class 3) (75-95), Soufiane Saadi moved his mount up front coming off wide from the gates. As the Ibrahim Saeed Ibrahim Al Malki trained 3yo hit the home straight, he already had a comfortable gap on the rest of the field, but Saadi let him build on it, as the duo won by a dominant 17 lengths. It was the second victory for the Al Malki-Saadi combine on the day.
The gelding X Force had bagged a C&D Handicap back in March.
In the Local Thoroughbred Handicap (75 & Below), Ali Bin Saeed Aljafali Al Nuaimi’s Ajal (Domestic Fund x My Sweet Natalie) brushed aside a forgettable previous handicap effort to win in scintillating fashion.
The race saw the Majed Mahadi Seifeddine schooled colt switch to dirt for the first time in almost a year, and the 4yo had little trouble making it two in two this season under Alberto Sanna. The duo were unstoppable as the gap kept widening on the home straight between the leading colt and the rest as Ajal won by nine lengths and three quarters.
In the Purebred Arabian Handicap, Nasser Saeed Al Eida’s Anees (Jaafer ASF x Dixie Darlene) had not entered the winner’s enclosure at the Al Rayyan Park since December 2017. That changed on Wednesday when Gassim Mohammad Ghazali’s ward topped the race on dirt.
The 1700m run was a step up from the six furlong sprint a week ago but Qatari rider Saleh Salem Al Marri was always in control astride the gelding as they took the advantage on top of the home straight and then held on for a win by one and a quarter length victory.
In the Thoroughbred Novice Plate (Class 5), Abdulatif Hussain Al Emadi’s Ernest Aldrich (Oasis Dream x Wallis) went one step ahead to register his second career win.
After finishing runner up on his season opener, the Ibrahim Saeed Ibrahim Al Malki trained gelding was given a confident ride by Soufiane Saadi, who was astride the 4yo a week ago too. They went past the post three lengths ahead of the competition for a comfortable victory.
Qatari rider Rashid Ali Al Marri has already done better than last season in terms of wins with the apprentice rider riding his third winner this term so far. In the Thoroughbred Maide Plate (Class 6), Hamad Ahmed Al Malki Al Jehani’s Leafy Moss (Shamardal x Botaniique), a runner up over C&D on his last start, was blistering in the six furlong sprint.
The gelding had little trouble pulling away gamely from the competition to win the dirt race by eight lengths and three quarters.
Mohammed Khamis Eisa Al Kaabi’s Lehwaila (Coach House x Wannabe Free) went one better than her last outing to shed her maiden status.
In the Local Thoroughbred Maiden Plate, the Ibrahim Saeed Ibrahim Al Malki trained 4yo had Francois Herholdt for company, and the duo, runner-up in season opener two weeks ago, eased to a comfortable three length victory in the six furlong sprint.