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Afjan wins Qatar Arabian Trophy Des Poulains

Afjan ridden by Christophe Soumillon

Al Shaqab Racing’s horses made an impressive start for the racing action associated with the 2023 renewal of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, as they topped the two Arabian races for fillies and colts at Saint Cloud, Paris on Friday 29th September. In the colours of Al Shaqab Racing Afjan took the Gr1 Qatar Arabian Trophy Des Poulains (colts) and Norma Al Maury dominated the Gr1 Qatar Arabian Trophy Des Pouliches (fillies). In doing so, the two 3-year-olds have declared themselves the leaders of their generation, re-confirming Qatar’s leadership in Arabian racing worldwide.

Present on the race day at Saint Cloud as well were Khalifa Bin Mohammed Al Attiyah QREC, Board Member, Bader Mohammed Al Darwish, QREC Acting CEO, Abdulla Rashid Al Kubaisi, Racing Manager, Ahmed Amanalla Al Sheebani, Director of Support Services Department, Dr Nasser Ahmed Al Hamar Director of Public Relations and External Communications, Salem Khejaim Al Adbi, Director of Marketing, Sami Jassim Al Boenain, Adviser to QREC Chairman, and Saoud Hamad Al Hababi, Director of the QREC CEO Office.

Winner of the Gr.3 (PA) Prix Tidjani – the Al Shaqab-owned homebred Afjan (Tm Fred Texas) produced a showstopping performance to win the Gr.1 (PA) Qatar Arabian Trophy Des Poulains, which followed on from his excellent third place in the Gr.2 (PA) French Arabian Breeders’ Challenge – Poulains at La Teste earlier this month.

Trained by Francois Rohaut, the Purebred Arabian colt was one the fancied contenders for the 2,000m contest at Saint-Cloud. Still lightly raced, the three-year-old was having his only fourth start and is now a Gr.1 (PA) winner.

With Christophe Soumillon in the saddle, Afjan was held up second last of the twelve runners through the early stages of the contest. Still a lot to find on the leader on the turn for home, Afjan gradually improved his position showing a plenty of determination to beat and reverse the form with Extra Time (Valiant Boy) in second. Kanti De Bozouls (No Risk Al Maury) took third.

Speaking after the race, the winning trainer said: “We made a mistake last time out at La Teste when he made the running, he’s a horse that we need to ride cold at the back of field as he can be a bit nervous. We know he has a good turn of foot and that our main dangers today were the ones that finished ahead of us last time out at La Teste. I was worried about the David Morrison-trained Extra Time who ran a remarkable race once again.”

Source: France Galop and QREC. Photos: Juhaim/QREC

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