Al Ghariyah Cup to kick off QREC’s action-packed season on October 18

2023-07-25 | Since 2 Month


Doha, 25 July 2023 - The Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC) management, led by Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, announced the racing programme for the next season 2023-2024, which will include 69 race meetings throughout the season, including 47 at Al Rayyan turf and sand tracks and 22 races at Al Uqda turf and sand tracks.

The programme of the next season is characterised by an increase in the prize money for the various races, standing at QR120,000 for the majority of the standard races, compared to QR100,000 only for the same races last season. It is the first time in the history of QREC to have prize money of such value, which will help raise the level of competition among owners, trainers and jockeys.

Last season saw an unprecedented increase in the prize money of the HH The Amir Sword Festival, as it amounted to $10m, which is the double of its previous value. In the next season, this increase will continue in the festival, in addition to the increase that was approved for the various races.

Speaking about the program of the new season, QREC Chairman Al Mohannadi said, "The beginning of the season will be on October 18, with Al Ghariyah Cup meeting at Al Rayyan sand track. The next day will see the second meeting, Al Hamla Cup on turf. The weekly race days will continue at Al Rayyan racecourse. The start of the races at Al Uqda racecourse will be on Saturday, November 18, with Lekhraib Cup on turf and the second race meeting at Al Uqda, Al Rakayat Cup day, will be held in the following week. The races at Al Uqda will not affect the holding of races at Al Rayyan because they will be run on different days. The season, in general, includes 69 race days, which is the same number of race days as the last season, but with an increase of five race days at Al Uqda and a reduction of the same number of race days at Al Rayyan."

Al Mohannadi added, "The programme of the new season includes many major events and race meetings and the most prominent of these is certainly the HH The Amir Sword Festival, which will be held between February 15-17, 2024. It is the most important event at QREC throughout the season because it includes the mega race; namely the HH The Amir Sword Race. The first day of the festival will be run on sand. The second day will feature Al Zubara Trophy and Al Rayyan Breeders Cup. The third and final day will be for the most important and powerful races with eight races, including three offering $500,000 each, three offering $400,000 each, the Gr1 QA HH The Amir Trophy for thoroughbreds over 2,400m offering $2,500,000 and the feature race, the Gr1 PA HH The Amir Sword for purebred Arabians over 2,400m offering $2,500,000 as prize money as well. Horses from outside Qatar run in some of these races, given the importance of this event and its ability to attract the attention of owners around the world to run their horses in the races of the festival, especially with the unprecedented increase in prize money since last season, reaching $10m throughout the three days of the festival. We all saw the size of foreign participation in the festival last season and the level of competition among all participants, which significantly contributed to the success of the festival.’

Bader bin Mohammed Al Darwish, QREC Acting CEO said, "In addition to the HH The Amir Sword Festival, there will be other major races, so that each and every month throughout the season will see one or more of the valuable races. In November, we will have Guinness Cups and Barzan Cup, on November 9, 2023 on turf at Al Rayyan. The following month will see several big races with the running of the Late Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani Trophy on December 16, Qatar Oaks on December 20 and Qatar International Derby Festival on December 21. In January 2024, we will have the HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani Trophy on January 4 and the HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani Rifle on January 20. The big races and days will continue in March with the HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani Trophy on March 14. The last month of the season, April, we will have the Qatar Gold Sword and Trophy April 4."

Al Darwish added, "Undoubtedly, the increase in the prize money of the various races of the next season will contribute to supporting and motivating owners, trainers and jockeys. We thank the state officials for this great support and their keenness to raise the level of Qatar’s horse racing, especially as we progress season after season and seek to continue the development and have the standards of local races matching those of the major international races."

Speaking about the date of the end of the next season, Abdullah Al Kubaisi, QREC Racing Manager, said: "The races at Al Uqda will stop after the Al Bayt Cup meeting is held on March 2 while the races will continue at Al Rayyan until April 25 when the Season Finale Trophy will be held in order to avoid holding races with the onset of high temperatures and humidity at that time. It has been taken into account to start races over short distances at the beginning of the season in order to prepare the horses gradually. The programme has been developed in consultation with owners and trainers, after having listend to their proposals and opinions in relation to the races and the ratings of the horses as well as the best way to benefit from the season program. Therefore, the program fits the nature of horses and helps the owners, trainers and jockeys get going quickly. The distribution of the races suits the way the trainers work with horses. We look forward to a successful season with exciting and powerful races that reflect the standard of Qatari horses and their ability to achieve the best, especially as we have horses, which run in local races at Al Rayyan and in major races abroad as well and prove themselves very well."


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