Paris, 9 August 2023 - Wathnan Racings Abbes and of AJS Lattam awarded the winners of the Doha Cup and the Al Rayyan Cup sponsored by QREC and were run at Deauville, France.
Both prestigious races are Group 1s for Purebred Arabians and are run over 2,000m. While the Doha Cup is for four-year-olds and older, the Al Rayyan Cup is for three-year-old and each of them is the best race of the summer in France for the relevant age category of the Purebred Arabian breed. The 2023 renewal of the Doha Cup was landed by the Wathnan Racing owned Abbes (TM Fred Texas x Raqiyah) for trainer Alban de Mieulle and jockey Mickael Barzalona while the Al Rayyan Cup was won by the Guy Neivens owned and bred Extra Time (Valiant Boy x Sand Witchh) for trainer.
Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC) Board Member Khalifa Bin Mohammed Al Attiyah awarded the winners of the Doha Cup and the Al Rayyan Cup. By winning this award, ABBES grabs his 5th Gr1 victory. A half-length runner up to Soko (Nieshan) in the same contest in 2022 and putting his experience to good use, it was the Wathnan Racing owned six-year-old purebred Arabian Abbes who got his head in front to take the 2023 edition of the Gr.1 (PA) Doha Cup.
Now a five-time Gr.1 (PA) winner, Abbes under the care of Alban de Mieulle, the French bred Abbes returned to winning ways domestically in the Gr.1 (PA) Doha Cup, having chased home Chezza (AF Albahar) in the Gr.1 (PA) The President of the UAE Cup at ParisLongchamp in May.
The winning trainer Alban de Mieulle announced after the race that, given the fact that Abbes does not like soft ground, the star Purebred Arabian owned by Wathnan Racing will sidestep the autumn season in France and Qatar Arabian World Cup (Gr1 PA) in order to focus on the big races in Qatar, where he has so far been imperial.
In the Al Rayyan Cup (Gr1 PA), Extra Time proved a clear-cut winner at the expense of AJS Lattam and Kanti de Bozouls. Trained at La Teste by David Morisson, he began his career with second place "on home turf" in a Group 3 PA race. We were treated to an international finish, as AJS Lattam is trained in Qatar by Mohammed Hamad Al Attiyah, whereas Kanti de Bozouls is handled by Xavier Thomas-Demeaulte at Mont-de-Marsan.
The trainer of Extra Time David Morisson said: "He is still very immature, and he was up against more seasoned horses than him. However, he’s simply a good horse!. We will either head the Breeders' Cup at Toulouse at the beginning of September or go directly to the Group 1 PA race at Saint-Cloud on the Friday the eve of the weekend of the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. This is a great victory for its owner- breeder Guy Neivens." While the trainer of AJS Lattam Mohammed Hamad Al Attiyah explained: "He had won twice in good style in Qatar. We then took him to England where I am based in the summer. And he ran well there, in a prep race over 1,700m, which was of a modest level. AJS Lattam therefore made the trip to Deauville with several question marks hanging over him, and he answered all of those positively.
"He’s a progressive horse and he has not shown the full extent of his talent. The autumnal climate is uncertain at Saint-Cloud. The idea is rather to return to Qatar and give him a break before gearing him to the top domestic prizes which are run on good ground."