Doha, 31 January 2021 - Soufiane Saadi guided Abdulaziz Jassim al-Buainain’s Superior Moment to the colt’s second victory this season as the newly-opened Al Uqda Equestrian Complex hosted its first competitive action yesterday.
The state-owned horse racing asset is being operated by the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC) in co-ordination with the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
Yesterday, a short six-race card opened the racing action at the complex, with Zuhair Mohsen-schooled colt, Superior Moment, landing the finale in an exciting finish.
In the six-furlong Thoroughbred Handicap race for horses rated 70-80, Saadi had Superior Moment stay on the inside after a Gate 3 start and whipped the colt into upping the pace coming off the final bend. As the field widened, Marco Casamento-ridden Doha Incanto and Faleh Bughanaim-ridden Warsaan too stayed alongside Superior Moment and others. In the final furlong, Saadi nudged Superior Moment forward and he obliged as they won by almost two lengths at the post.
The penultimate race, also a Thoroughbred Handicap, Abdullah Nasser al-Attiyah’s Ras Mlaejy too landed his second career victory, albeit almost three years apart. The Hossin Ashour-trained 10-year-old had lined up in the run for horses rated 70 and below coming off a disappointing run back in November. Yesterday, however, a fantastic ride by Carlos Henrique saw the chestnut son of Pivotal land the 2200m race by a little less than two lengths.
The win was second of the day for Henrique, who had earlier guided Alban de Mieulle-saddled Umm Bab to a maiden victory in the first ever competitive race at Al Uqda. The 1300m Purebred Arabian maiden was the Noora Racing filly’s second start, and she did well to build on a money finish in November with a one-and-a-half-length victory.
HE Sheikha Iman bint Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani’s Saad made a fine start to his career when the Julian Smart-trained colt made a winning debut, bagging the 2000m Local Purebred Arabian Maiden Plate under Francois Herholdt. The mile-and-a-quarter race saw drama on the home straight after Saad went wide on to the outside rails coming off the bend. However, any time lost on the rest of the competition was quickly made up by the grey son of Munjiz with his pace after Herholdt kept his mount on the outside rails for the rest of the straight. They won by a length at the post.
Apprentice jockey Khalid al-Balushi rode his fourth winner of the season after Al Gaiah Stud’s Fajr bounced back from a forgettable outing 10 days ago to win the 1300m Purebred Arabian Handicap for horses rated 75 and below. The Khaled Mohamed Alahmad-saddled seven-year-old won by a length at the post.
Injaaz Stud’s Cotai Again, trained by Jassim Ghazali and ridden by Marco Casamento, won the only Thoroughbred maiden of the day in an impressive finish that saw the gelding win by three lengths.
Race 1: PUREBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN PLATE (Distance: 1,300m)
1. Umm Bab (Carlos Henrique), 2. Starlit D’Ibos (Michael Forest), 3. Cocktail Du Loup (Francois Herholdt), 4. Nakheel (Ronan Thomas). Won by: 1 ½, ½, ¾. Time: 1:27.47. Owner: Noora Racing Limited. Trainer: Alban de Mieulle.
Race 2: THOROUGHBRED MAIDEN PLATE (Distance: 1,300m)
1. Cotai Again (Marco Casamento), 2. Flirty Rascal (Rashid Ali al-Marri), 3. Hadeer (Alberto Sanna), 4. Cruella Dovil (Ali Khalid al-Mosallam). Won by: 3, 1 ¼, 1 ½. Time: 1:18.91. Owner: Injaaz Stud. Trainer: Jassim Ghazali.
Race 3: PUREBRED ARABIAN HANDICAP (75 & below) (Distance: 1,300m)
1. Fajr (Khalid al-Balushi), 2. Badira (Ali Khalid al-Mosallam), 3. Quitham (Meteb Ali al-Marri), 4. Taysh (Rashid Ali al-Marri). Won by: 1, 2 ½, 2. Time: 1:26.18. Owner: Al Gaiah Stud. Trainer: Khaled Mohamed Alahmad.
Race 4: LOCAL PUREBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN PLATE (Distance: 2,000m)
1. Saad (Francois Herholdt), 2. Bakir (Ronan Thomas), 3. Monati (Ivan Rossi), 4. Chrome (Marco Casamento). Won by: 1, ½, 2 ½. Time: 2:21.55. Owner: HE Sheikha Iman bint Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani. Trainer: Julian Smart.
Race 5: THOROUGHBRED HANDICAP (70 & below) (Distance: 2,200m)
1. Ras Mlaejy (Carlos Henrique), 2. Barbarous Relic (JP Guillambert), 3. Noble Ancestry (Saleh Salem al-Marri), 4. Jurz (Ali Khalid al-Mosallam). Won by: 1 ¾, 1 ½, 1 ¼. Time: 2:21.39. Owner: Abdullah Nasser al-Attiyah. Trainer: Hossin Ashour.
Race 6: THOROUGHBRED HANDICAP (70-80) (Distance: 1,200m)
1. Superior Moment (Soufiane Saadi), 2. Doha Incanto (Marco Casamento), 3. Warsaan (Faleh Bughanaim), 4. Third Order (Rashid Ali al-Marri). Won by: 1 ¾, Nk, ½. Time: 1:12.20. Owner: Abdulaziz Jassim al-Buainain. Trainer: Zuhair Mohsen.