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2008 most prestigious meeting in the world for purebred Arabian racehorses
Author: Longin Błachut | 2008-10-10 | Print
This year’s internationally acclaimed Arabian racehorses festivities commenced in France on October 2nd with the Arqana auction sale of 77 lots of horses at Saint Cloud, of the 81 lots presented in the auction catalogue. It comprised 30 horses in training, aged three, four and five that have shown valour and a speedy turn of the hoof on the ovals around the world. The remaining 51 lots consisted of yearlings, two year olds and mares in foal to rooky stallions like Dahess and Al Saoudi. Fourteen horses from the sales catalogue were eligible and inscribed into three stakes races of the Qatar French Arabian Breeders Cup, destined for three year old colts and fillies and four year old fillies that took place on Friday, October 3rd. One horse offered for sale, lot 6: Al Fatih, was inscribed into the glamorous Qatar Arabian World Cup for four year and older horses that was staged just after the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triumph on Sunday, October 5th at Longchamp. Of the 77 lots presented this year during the Arqana auction, 41 were sold, or 53.25%, that generated a sales turnover of 1,282,000 € with the weighted average price per lot oscillating around 28,750 € and a top price that clawed up to 140,000 €. This is a significant drop in the weighted average price when compared historically with results of 2007: 76,405 €; 2006: 44,586 €, and those of 2005: 41,267 €.

The international championship races, formerly called the French Arabian Breeders Cup Gr.1, now sponsored by Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, started the day after the sale. On Friday, October 3rd, at 3 p.m. fourteen three year old colts (as three were scratched) went to the starting gate to participate in the Qatar Total French Arabian Breeders Cup, Gr.1 at a distance of 2000 meters. They fought gingerly to win a purse of 100,000 €, with guaranteed 50,000 € for first one passing the finish line. The results after 2’20”10 were as follows: Akim de Ducor (by Akbar out of Ishra by Tornado de Syrah, bred by J. Hostier, trained by D. de Watrigate and owned by N.A. Al-Attiyah) kept throughout most of the race in the middle of the group but showed a devastating turn of the foot midway on the last stretch and came first followed by two length by Nayef Al Khalid KSA who took the lead on the last curve, rallied hard but could not sustain his position. Nayef Al Khalid, with quite a bit of American breeding in his pedigree (by Calin du Loup out of RW Countrydoll by Djendel) was bred and owned by Al Khalediah Stables and trained by J.F. Bernard. Third was Chinese Dream, bred, owned and trained by the reputed S.V. Tarrou. Chinese Dream is by Dormane and out of Chine Orientale by Chahata. Fourth came Muqatil Al Khalidiah KSA. He held through leading the group, but was overtaken by Akim de Ducor and could not keep up in the last furlongs before the line. Muqatil Al Khalidiah is by the desert bred champion head stallion Tiwaiq from the Al Khalediah Stables and out of TY by Dormane. Like Nayef Al Khalid, his stable mate Muqatil Al Khalidiah was bred and is owned by Al Khalediah Stables from Saudi Arabia. He is trained by J.F. Bernard.

The fifth race on the card on October 3rd at Saint Cloud was the Qatar French Arabian Breeders Cup Gr.1 for three year old fillies at a distance of 2000 meters with a purse of 100,000 € to be divided between the first four at the wire. Fourteen young ladies went to the post. The fastest turned out to be Izabella by Djarni des Forges (out of Irabella Blaziet by Dormane, bred by the French family Biraben, trained by J.F. Bernard plus T. Thulliez in the irons) that on the last stretch hit home straight on top of the field winning easily after 2’21” by two length at the line for Sheik A. Al Thani. Dorat Nour waited a bit too long in the middle of the field and, despite smooth progress and rallying well, took second position. Dorat Nour is by Orient Express out of Belle Abbesse by Pépé le Mocco, bred and owned by J.-C. Di Francesco and trained by W.J.S. Cargeeg. L’Orientale given a powerful ride kept well with the best but was relegated to third position at the wire, a length behind Dorat Nour. L’Orientale is by Prince d'Orient out of Saeedah by Djel Bon, bred by Haras du Bosquet and owned by Sheik A. Al Thani. Three-fourth of a length after her crossed the line Zamara by Dormanen out of El Ouarda by Hosni, bred by M.C. Biraben-Loustau, owned by Bearn Arabi E.A.R.L. This ambitious filly is trained by Bert de Watrgant.

The eleven four year old fillies competed in the Qatar French Arabian Breeders Cup (Gr.1) race number seven of the day at a distance of 2000 meters, with a purse of 100,000 €. Quessche Du Paon, owned by Al Khalediah Stabeles, with O. Pelsier in the irons kept at the end of the field for the first part of the race, settled in the middle on the last turn, to show a blistering turn of the foot in the last stretch, charging past the leading Quaolina and winning by a neck at the wire. Quessche Du Paon, bred by Hs. Paon di Palm Raffaello and trained by J.P. Bernard, is by Akbar out of Bint El Bedia by Elias. The speedy Quaolina led the field 400 meters before the finish line, rallying hard in the final furlong to take second place. Quaolina, owned by Hamadan Al Maktoum, is by Kerbella and out of Care de Carrere by Passem. She was bred by M.N. Marchesi and trained by D. de Watrigant. Third, a length and a half behind her, came Bright Light from Holland, bred and owned by Mrs. G. Kok-Cornet and trained by Mrs. S.V. Tarrou. She was well positioned between the two top rivals and gamely fought to the end. Her stable mate, Nacrée Al Maury, bred and owned by Mrs R.L. Koch, trained by S.V Taout, came two length behind. Nacrée Al Maury is by Kesberoy and out of Nectarine Al Maury by Baroud III.

The Qatar Arabian World Cup (Gr1) for four year and older pure Arabian racehorses, organised by France Galop and the Association Française du Cheval Arabe de Course (AFAC) and sponsored by Qatar Telecom, took place on Sunday, 5th October at Longchamp just after the Prix de l’Arc de Triumph. It offered the hardest test for Arabian racers who competed in the most prestigious meeting in the world.

Among the 17 horses that took part in the race were no less than ten winners of Group 1 purebred Arabian events from France, Germany, Holland, Russia and the Middle East. The prize of 450,000 € was certainly the key factor that attracted such an outstanding field of contenders and radiated an immediate feeling of an exceptional contest. The Qatar Arabian World Cup has established itself as the most competitive event reserved for purebred Arabians ever to be contested throughout the world.

One could admire in the saddling area the awesome Madjani, three-time winner of the Dubai Kahayla Classic (Gr.1) in Dubai, Nashwan Al Khalidiah, winner of the Prix Manganate (Gr.1) at Deauville and of the President of the UAE Challenge Derby (Gr.1) at Newmarket, Lahib, last year’s winner of the French Arabian Breeders Cup (Gr.1), Dynamite, who won the HH The President Cup (Gr.1) in Dubai, Al Moutawakel, past the wire first in the Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (Gr.1) in Dubai and Al Fatih, who last year triumphed in the French Arabian Breeders Classic (Gr.1).

This truly was a brave and bold titanic battle under a powerful ride with very good tempo throughout the race, with a very close nose and neck length, exciting finish of the first four contenders. The best at the distance of 2000 meters at the finish line after 2’16” turned out to be Lahib. He lingered at the end of the field at the beginning of the race but made smooth progress and went head to head in a bobbing finish, rallying hard stride for a stride, and victoriously passed the line by a nose in front of Nil Blanc. Nil Blanc was eighth in the field on the last turn but progressed in the closing stages and lost nothing in defeat but was just a bit on the unlucky side. Jalab Al Khalidiah KSA joined the head of the field midway on the last stretch and in an outstanding charge, fighting every inch of the way, came third by a neck. A neck length behind came Al Fatih for his owner S. Chiboub. The sure betting crowd favoured UAE trained champion Madjani (Tadjani x Salama) in Hamdan Al Maktoum silks came eleventh and the second favoured seven year old Dynamite (Bibi de Carrere x No Answer) in the silks of Sheik A. Al Thani was fifteenth. The Russian crack of French bloodlines Karmenl De Faust (Akbar x Marifa) bought on the Arqana 2006 sale unbeaten in six starts in Russia including this year’s Moscow Derby on the 24 of August, trained by Mr. Ivanskoy with the Russian jockey A. Derov in the irons came this time sixth. The winner Lahib is by Kairouan de Jos out of Etoile du Loup by Blaise, bred by Cheik M. Bin Zayed and trained by F. Rohaut. Nil Blanc is by Orient Express out of Trabadja by Djamel and bred P. Ben Hamida. The handsome Jalab Al Khalidiah represented the Saudi Arabian stable of Al Khalediah. He is by Amer out of Edèle de Carrère by Djourman, bred by Prince K. Bin Abdulaziz. Fourth at the finish line, Al Faith is also by Amer out of Noorah by Djelfor. He was bred by Sheik A. Al Thani Al Khalediah and trained by a well known French trainer Alban de Mieulle. Al Faith was sold as lot number 6 three days prior to the race for 110’000 € at this year’s Saint Cloud Arqane auction.

The Qatar Arabian World Cup – G1, that took place on Sunday, October 5th, is the first leg in the three Qatar Arabian World Challenge races. It is the first year that such an internationally prestigious race triplet with the richest purse in the world for Arabian horses has ever been organised. The next two stages of the Qatar Arabian World Challenge will take place in Doha on February, 26th (Qatar International Trophy) at a distance of a mile, and the final part will take place on March, 25th (Qatar Emir’s Sword) at a distance of a mile and a half, with a purse of 378,000 €. If any of the participating horses wins all three races, the owner of the victorious horse will receive an additional sum of 200,000 €, plus a golden trophy encrusted with diamonds and rubies.

Since the early 90’s of the last century prestigious international stakes have been won by the French bred horses with less flashy features of generally attributed to Arabians i.e. pronounced dishes, prominent jabhahs, arched necks, high tail carriage etc. There seems to have been a feeling among the majority of Arabian breeders that these French horses were different from whatever had been known before. It will be very interesting to watch the race results of pure French bloodlines when compared with those of the coming back into fashion i.e. the pure desert breed like the sons and daughters of Amer, Tiwaiq or El Rafeea. These surely look to me conformation wise more in “Asil type” directly taken from the nineteen century prints by: Carl Vernet, Albrech Adam or Juliusz Kossak. However, Ed Tweed, the famous American Arabian horse breeder from Scottsdale Arizona, used to say about the fantastic Polish stallion Orzel “beauty is as beauty does”. So let the best win!

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