HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s Abbes
Abbes (FR - TM Fred Texas x Raqyah), carrying the colours of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani, made a winning return at La Teste-de-Buch, capturing the Sheikh Mansour Festival – Prix Dormane (Gr3 PA) on Wednesday, 28 April. With Olivier Peslier in the saddle, the Thomas Fourcy-trained colt prevailed by the minimum margin at the main expense of Abdullah Bin Fahad Al-Attiyah’s Munir Du Soleil (FR - Munjiz x Rahab) who was ridden by Julien Auge and was campaigned at Doha during the winter. HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s Hoggar De L’ardus (FR - Mister Ginoux x Alfa De L’ardus) was further 1¼ lengths behind in third under Jerome Cabre. It was a special day for the French trainer recording a 1-2-3 in this contest as both the runner-up and the third are trained by him as well.
With this victory under his belt, Abbes cemented his position as the favourite for the Qatar Derby des Pur-Sang Arabe de 4ans (Gr1 PA), which is the equivalent of the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) for the Purebred Arabian breed, and which forms part of the Chantilly card on June 20th.
The trainer said: “I’ve always held Abbes in high regard. He’s a horse for the big occasion. He was very switched off throughout the race. It’s a very good preparation for the Derby in June. Munir Du Soleil is progressing because ABBES is one of the best PA four-year-olds, if not the best. He has no reason to be ashamed of his second place, and he has also travelled [abroad], with all that entails. He can do very well at Chantilly. Hoggar De L’ardus may also head to Chantilly. He didn’t get the rub of the green in the straight. He’s a horse with a sharp turn of foot and a tendency to do things his own way. He is still somewhat tender at this level. However, it bodes well for the Gr1 PA race. I don’t know if he’ll beat his two stablemates, but we may complete the tricast. All three have the earned the right to tackle the Derby.”
Abbes is out of the high class Raqiyah (Amer) and herself a multiple Gr1 PA, having won at the highest level in France (including two editions of the Coupe d’Europe), Qatar and Britain, where she provided Olivier Peslier with Gr1 PA success on the King George card.
Source: Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club. Photo: Robert Polin
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