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Al Ghadeer is the big winner of the Gr.1 (PA) Qatar International Stakes at Goodwood Festival

Al Ghadeer ridden by Christophe Soumillon. Photo credits: Goodwood Racecourse/Sam Stephenson


The richest Arabian race on the British racing calendar, the Gr.1 (PA) Qatar International Stakes worth £400,000 in prizemoney produced yet another thrilling finish and went the way of Al Ghadeer (Al Mourtajez x *Gharraa by *Matador) in the colours of Al Shaqab Racing.

As was announced by his trainer Francois Rohaut following his Gr.1 (PA) success on Prix De Diane day at Chantilly, the Al Shaqab Racing-owned four-year-old Arabian Al Ghadeer not only turned up on Day 2 of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, but also dominated the proceedings to land the Gr.1 (PA) Qatar International Stakes.

Partnered by Christophe Soumillon in a select field of eight, of which three quarters were French trained, Al Ghadeer vied for favouritism with his stablemate Moshrif (Dahessx Tashreefat by Bengali Dalbret) before the off, of the 1600m Gr.1 (PA) contest. The only four-year-old in the field and already seeking a fourth success at the highest level, Al Ghadeer travelled strongly in mid-peloton, in a race taken along by Moshrif.

Showing his class on the decent towards home, Soumillon allowed the colt to take closer order and the pair duly put the race to bed in a matter of strides. Al Ghadeer cruised into the lead, passing stablemate Moshrif and passing the post with three and a half lengths to spare over the game, but never-nearer First Classs (Dahess  Toppoftheclass by Genuine Monarch)), who finished second for owner Noora Racing, trainer Jean de Mieulle and jockey Ronan Thomas.

Trainer Francois Rohaut said: “It was amazing what Al Ghadeer did today, first time out against the older horses. I know the quality of Moshrif and Samlla – they are real champions, and to beat them by that far was incredible.

Al Ghadeer ridden by Christophe Soumillon. Photo credits: Goodwood Racecourse/Sam Stephenson

 “Sheikh Joaan [Al Thani, owner] is here, and it is fantastic. He is a lovely horse, a champion, and it is great to be here at Goodwood.”

Jockey Soumillon said: “For me, Al Ghadeer looks like the Frankel of Arabian horses. He is so amazing. You see him in the paddock and he looks great. I have nothing bad to say about him, and going down to the start he really concentrated with a lot of power.

“I want to keep teaching him how to race because sometimes he wants to over-race a bit in the first part of the race. Today we were quite lucky it was a mile and that was a good way for him to try to settle, but the pace didn’t go fast enough for him. So in the last turn, he started to get on the bridle when the wind started to blow in his ears. Finally, I had to come out a bit to let him have a nice blow and, when I took the lead, I was just hoping nobody was behind me with a lot of energy, because the track is very difficult for these kind of horses normally, and he did it like a real champion."

The HE Sheikha Reem Bint Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani-owned Samlla (Assy x Djakera des Forges by Kerbella) ran his usual courageous race and like in the 2022 edition, seized the third place, for the winning trainer Francois Rohaut, late on as he was a further half length behind under jockey Maxime Guyon.

Bred by Mohammad Al-Najafi, Al Ghadeer was the leading French three-year-old colt (PA) in 2022 and landed both the Gr.1 (PA) Al Rayyan Cup at Deauville and the Gr.1 (PA) Qatar Arabian Trophy des Poulains at Saint-Cloud.

Qatar International Stakes (Group 1 PA)
1 Al Ghadeer (Al Shaqab Racing, Francois Rohaut, Christophe Soumillon)
2 First Classs (Noora Racing, Jean de Mieulle, Ronan Thomas)
3 Samlla (H.E. Sheikha Reem MK H Al-Thani, Francois Rohaut, Maxime Guyon)

Source: Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club

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