Local debutant, Hakeem gave a stunning account of himself and showed he has adapted well to life in the Middle East by winning the prestigious Al Wajba Cup over 6f under Richard Mullen, who himself turned out to be the star performer, taking the riding plaudits after winning four of the 16 races during last weekend’s double header at the Racing and Equestrian Club in Doha. It was Hakeem’s first outing since being gelded and Mullen rode the HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani-owned, Julian Smart-trained 2yo perfectly in the featured Al Wajba Cup.
He did survive a late scare by Perfect Storm and Moi Moi Moi, both trained by Ibrahim Al Malki, who were second and third under Saleem Golam and Eduardo Pedroza respectively. But the groundwork had been done earlier when he had seized the lead. It was Mullen’s only victory Thursday night following up nicely from a hat-trick achieved a day earlier. Tadhg O’Shea, meanwhile, managed two winners Thursday when Bronze Maquette forgot the previous week’s disappointing second behind Zman Awal in the Al Wakra Cup to win a Thoroughbred conditions race for fillies and mares over 1850m.
O’Shea produced the 4yo filly to go in the last furlong and she prevailed by half a length ahead of Fadak ridden by Golam, with Abeer settling for third a further length behind under Gerald Avranche. O’Shea’s second success of the night came on the back of the Jassim Mohammed Ghazalitrained Rasi in a conditions run for Purebred Arabians over a mile, where the 5yo edged Carab by a head, with Zameer another half length behind in third. The 8f Thoroughbred classified stakes was won by Charme Secret, with Xavier Ziani bringing the 4yo colt home a short head ahead of Black Treacle with Could Be a close third. Marjan claimed his second win of 2016 when Jean Baptiste Hamel rode the 4yo to victory in a mile long contest for Local Thoroughbreds rated 85 and below.
Hamel ensured Marjan remained in the hunt and despite moving wide the colt produced enough pace to outdo the O’Shea-ridden Muraqabah by a length and quarter at the finish. Al Moheeb, under Mullen, took third. Kayaan shed his maiden status in style under Darren Williams in a race for Local Thoroughbreds over 6f, beating second placed Al Kayda by six lengths, with Hamamah settling for third. Avranche and Marvin Suerland enjoyed contrasting victories riding Al Marboush and Al Aasi in Purebred Arabian contests Thursday night. While Avranche steered Injaaz Stud’s Al Marboush to a two length win over Al Murabitoon, with Mowhoubat Al Zaidy taking third in the 7f event, Suerland helped Al Aasi beat Al Eshrah by a short head for the first win of his career in the maiden over the same distance, with Majidah in third.
Golam may have come close to winning Thursday’s feature race, but he did take home the honour of winning Wednesday’s prized event, the Class 1 Al Khor Cup over 10f. In the process of riding the Ahmed Kobeissi-trained Fort Moville to a half length victory over Courtofversailles, he succeeded in stopping the latter from claiming his fifth straight win. Fort Moville’s stablemate Crescent took third. However, it was Mullen who dominated proceedings Wednesday night. The Briton opened his account winning the mile long Local Thoroughbred maiden with Qhudoua, who managed to shed her maiden status at the 13th attempt. The 5yo mare was a length ahead of debutante Jakom at the finish, with Muzyanah taking third a further two lengths behind. Mullen’s second success arrived on the back of Receding Waves in the Thoroughbred classified stakes for 3yos over 1200m.
Receding Waves had won the 7f Ain Khaled Cup last month and adjusted well to the shorter trip beating Risk Adjusted by a length and a half, with Shaka Zulu settling for third. Mullen completed his treble for the night when steering the Jassim Mohammed Ghazali-trained Al Hareth to a similar length and half win over Batter in the Local Thoroughbred open over 1400m with Mutawassal in third. It was a second successive win for Al Hareth after last month’s triumph in the Qatari Diar Cup. Trainer Ibrahim Al Malki and stable jockey Eduardo Pedroza combined for a double success, winning the Class 6 Thoroughbred maiden (6f) and a conditions event for Purebred Arabians over 7f.
While What A Surprise claimed a three-quarter length win in the Thoroughbred run beating Thaelab into second with Almasah taking third, the in form Meqdam Al Zaidy claimed his fifth win of the year with a comfortable three lengths from Bahia Du Barthas, with Mindza a further length behind in third. Alban de Mieulle had a onetwo in the Purebred Arabian maiden over a mile, with Sehab and My First General filling the top two spots and Tasslam setting for third, while Bustawi Ismail’s charge The Smart One sprinted to a one and a half length success under O’Shea in the Class 3 Thoroughbred handicap over 1200m. Alkazim ran on well towards the end to snatch second by a head from Littlemissblakeney, who was third.