Al Shaqab Racing’s homebred Almafjar backs up promising debut with cosy victory at Pau
Bred and owned by Al Shaqab Racing, and by the Al Shaqab Racing sire Mister Ginoux, the three-year-old Purebred Arabian colt Almafjar (FR) was the latest winner in the silver and maroon silks at Pau, France on Tuesday, 8 December.
In the DCT Abu Dhabi Cup-Sheikh Mansoor Festival, over 1,400m, the colt was having just his second career start having finished fourth on his debut at Toulouse three weeks earlier. He was ridden up near the pace and on the rail in third position by apprentice jockey Gary Sanchez.
Coming under pressure from his jockey at the beginning of the straight, he showed some immaturity when drifting to the centre of the track. However, once he found his stride, Almafjar (Mister Ginoux x Al Dhabi by Mahabb) showed plenty of class to accelerate past the front runners, who had gone two lengths clear. He maintained his run to the line to notch a two-and-a-half length victory in front of the hot favourite Namrood (General x Essalda by Al Sakbe).
Trainer Elisabeth Bernard commented, “I am delighted, as Almafjar is very complicated to train. He pulls a lot in the mornings, but he is much easier in the afternoons, like very good racehorses are! He’s a good looking horse. He suffered from sore shins during the summer and needed time. I would like to thank Ioritz Mendizabal who respected the horse when he debuted and gave him an excellent ride. In the race today, he profited from that experience and Gary Sanchez’s weight allowance, which is always important. I think he could run over further, but given his behaviour in the mornings, I am obliged to run him over a shorter trip. But I believe he would stay up to 1,800m.”
Almafjar is out of the Mahabb mare Al Dhabi, who was bred in Qatar. He is her first foal, and she has a two-year-old by General in training with Thomas Fourcy.
Source: Jour de Galop/Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club. Photo: Robert Polin
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