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Ebraz regains Amir's Sword.

Raajiv Tripathi DOHA Ebraz, owned by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Thani, unleashed a late but telling kick to keep the Amir's Sword proudly at Al Shahania Stud as HH The Amir's Sword Festival came to a pulsating end at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club on Saturday. With the Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani and other dignitaries watching the action in New Al Rayyan, the Alhazm-sponsored 2,400m race, one of the two $1-million races on the card, was initially led by Al Shahania Stud's Aaley Al Magam. Umm Qarn's Yazeed followed in the second spot most of the race. On the final bend, Ebraz's stablemate and two-time winner Gazwan replaced Al Walid in the third. On the home stretch, Olivier Peslier, who helmed French King to a fine victory in the other feature HH the Amir's Trophy (QA Gr10) race of the day, brought Alban de Mieulle-schooled Yazeed to the front with defending championi Gazwan (Theo Bachelot) at the side and Aaley Al Magam starting to fall behind. Maxime Guyon pushed Ebraz to shift into higher gears suddenly during the cracking chase. The six-year-old gray colt displayed his full-fledged burst and as the atmosphere at the venue became thick with excitement, Ebraz overtook and held on to his spirited charge to beat Yazeed by three quarters of a length and win the prestigious race after a year's gap. Gazwan bagged the third place, beaten narrowly by head. Tayf, another de Mieulle ward, was ridden to the fourth spot by Ronan Thomas, while Al Walid was fifth under Faleh Bughanaim, keeping out Qatar's famed trainer Jassim Ghazali's wards out of top five. Last year, Ebraz had finished second to Gazwan and this was his fourth winner of the season in six races, taking his overall wins to nine in 22 races. Also this is the fourth year in a row that HH Sheikh Mohammed's mounts have won this race. Peslier manoeuvred HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al Thani-owned French King brilliantly to pull off HH the Amir's Trophy (QA Gr1), presented by Longines. This was the first time that the four-year-old chestnut colt was running in Doha. He provided a royal finish to the $1-million race as he stayed firm on his dash and easily defeated Royal Julius by one and a half lengths to emerge the winner. This was his first victory in four races so far and surely the biggest one, fetching him $570,000 in prize money. French trainer Jerome Reynier, whose Marianafoot claimed the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cup on Friday, was a delighted man as his both trainees won big in Qatar. Hunting, ridden by Ryan Moore, was third by one and a quarter lengths. The Blue Eye, who won the race last year, was fourth under Harry Bentley and Esh'hail, with Gerald Avranche, completed the top five, finishing half a length adrift of Es'hail. Rider Theo Bachelot, owner Khalifa bin Sheail al Kuwari and trainer Smart all had a fine double to make it a memorable day. Bachelot first steered Smart-trained Sharesa to a half-length victory over Al Naama in the Qatar International Cup (Gr1 PA), sponsored by Al Daam. The six-year-old gray filly Sharesa, owned by Sheikh Khalifa bin Mohammed al Thani, has been in incredible form this season and maintained her unbeaten run to five races. Rajeh was third by half a length. Ateej and Al Hantar Monlau were fourth and fifth, respectively. Bachelot then helped Anima Rock of Khalifa bin Sheail al Kuwari, to the Dukhan Sprint title, sponsored by Breeders' Cup with an over a length triumph against Stone Of Destiry (Oisin Murphy). This was his fourth victory in six races this season. Izzthatright was third under Bentley, beating Crisofano Allori by more than two and a half length. The fifth spot went to Harry's Dancer. Bentley later enabled Kuwari to complete his double. Fakhir, trained by Mohammed Jassim Ghazali, was second to AJS Moaddie in the Amir's Sword Trial Race but the four-year-old chestnut colt took his revenge as he defeated him one and a half lengths to bag the title on the big occasion. Tabouk (Cristian Demure) was third. Ali Khalifan al Suwaidi's Asaaf won the Al Rayyan Breeders' Cup 2,000m, overcoming a spirited challenge from Sraab by short head for his first triumph in four runs this season. Global Spectrum, owned by Dr Johnny Hon, celebrated his Doha debut with the victory in the Al Biddah Mile (QA Gr2), sponsored by Almuftah Group. Ridden by Gerald Mosse, the three-year-old bay colt, training under Gay Kelleway, beat Luchador by half length. This was his third victory in as many races. Beachwalk, owned by Abdulhadi al Hajri and trained by Stefano Ibido, was also fired by the big occasion and collected his first victory of the season in five races in Doha as he held off Jewel House to win HH the Amir's Shalfa race, sponsored by Manateq.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Feb 24, 2019
Words:838
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