BLACK BEACH returned to winning ways after over a year as ‘an also ran’ as he turned in a splendid performance in the feature Wathnan Cup to help trainer Jassim Mohammed Ghazali log in another fine week at the Racing and Equestrian Club in Doha last Thursday night. A 4yo colt, owned by Khalifa bin Sheail Al Kuwari, Black Beach was kept in midfield throughout the 1900m dirt contest by Pierantonio Convertino and was told to go in the final straight. And go he did, snatching the lead off Baitha Alga and holding on to a comfortable three-quarter length success at the wire despite coming under pressure late on from Karraar, who, trained by Mohammed Al Ramzani and ridden by Alberto Sanna, was second.
Baitha Alga was third a good two lengths behind. Black Beach’s win turned Jassim Ghazali into the most successful trainer of the night as it helped the trainers’ championship leader complete the only treble on a ten race card. The Qatari handler was successful in two other Thoroughbred contests in the latter half of the card, with his first victory of the night registered by Shadow Game in a 1700m Thoroughbred classified stakes. Ridden by JP Guillambert for the first time, Shadow Game clinched his second success of the season when he only just managed to win by a neck from stable companion Dubawi Hundred, who was the mount of Jassim’s first choice jockey Harry Bentley. One More Roman, trained by Mohammed Riyaz and ridden by Xavier Ziani, was third.
Jassim’s second success of the night rode in on the back of Emaad in the penultimate race, a handicap over 1700m where Marvin Suerland was the winning rider. It was Emaad’s fifth success and Suerland was comfortable as he guided the 6yo to a one length victory over First To Post, saddled by Ibrahim Al Malki and ridden by Eduardo Pedroza, with Jassim’s other runner Generalship, under Convertino, third. Al Malki had better luck in the eighth race of the night, a 1200m sprint handicap for local Thoroughbreds, which was won by the Tomas Lukasek-ridden Sky Metro, who landed her second career win when she finished a commanding three lengths ahead of the Abdulatif Al Muslamanitrained Al Mayeda, who was ridden by Alberto Sanna.
Third was Al Malki’s Tarablas, ridden by Saleem Golam. Al Malki and Bustawi Ismail were the other two handlers to claim more than the solitary win for the night, with the former’s first success arriving in the Local Thoroughbred maiden for 3yos. Al Uraiq Weapon claimed a dominating seven length success in that 1200m contest under Eduardo Pedroza, with the Zuhair Mohsen-trained Al Watan settling for second under JP Guillambert. Ali Al Marri’s charge Queen Maouya was third. Ismail’s two winners were ridden by Almotasem Al Balushi, who won both a Purebred Arabian and Thoroughbred contest, with Amal Al Zaeem and Kraftwork, respectively.
Al Balushi helped Amal Al Zaeem shed her maiden status in a 1200m race exclusive to fillies and mares, where she was clear by three and a half lengths from Jassim’s ward Sahabat Kheir, under Bentley. Another Ismail charge Anwaar was third under Avranche. In the Thoroughbred contest over 1200m, Kraftwork delivered a good run under Al Balushi to win by a length and a quarter from the Mohsen runner Founder, the mount of Andrew Elliot. A further half length behind was Almasah. Mohammed J Ghazali and Bentley were in the winner’s enclosure at the end of the Thoroughbred classified stakes over 1700m, combining with Al Fouz.
Ridden by jockeys’ championship leader Bentley, the pair finished a length and a half ahead of the Mohammed Riyaztrained Yousef Al Hajri-ridden Lastchancelucas. In third place, a further two lengths adrift, was the Hadi Al Ramzani-saddled Cueca, the ride of Lukasek. Mohsen’s charges may have enjoyed placings later on the card, but the trainer did find himself the winner when Avranche rode Al Qassam to a massive five length win in the 1200m handicap for Local Purebred Arabians. Al Mazyounah, trained by Hassan Al Matwi and ridden by Ziani, was second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Taima, who is trained by Alban de Mieulle and was ridden by Gaetan Faucon.
De Mieulle may have failed in that contest, but he was triumphant in the opening 1200m Purebred Arabian maiden for fillies and mares, where Kamila, the mount of Jean Baptiste Hamel, was first, nearly two lengths ahead of Sahara Sand.