HH The Amir Sword Festival: Pao Alto and Guyon seal the title of the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cup
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani handed over the Gulf Cup to H.E. Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, following victory for Al Shaqab Racing’s Al Mirage.
Doha: Pao Alto, managed by Maxime Guyon, stole the show on day two of the 2022 HH The Amir Sword Festival, winning the Group 2 Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cup in dominant fashion at Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club.
Also yesterday, Al Shaqab Racing’s Al Mirage, with Faleh Bughanaim in the saddle, recorded a landslide victory to claim the coveted Gulf Cup.
The Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cup – the star race of the 34th Race Meeting offering a total prize pool of $200,000 – produced thrilling action with Guyon and Pao Alto posting clinical performance to emerge as winners.
When Markhor, guided by Anas Al Seyabi, dominated the back straight to quickly take the lead, Pao Alto was in the middle of the field preparing for a push in the final stages of the 1600m race.
Wertheimer & Frere’s Pao Alto gelding then picked up the pace in the second half of the race and was involved in a thrilling duel with Pretreville, who was ridden by Ronan Whelan.
Pretreville, however, couldn’t keep pace with Pao Alto, trained by Christophe Ferland, who took a clear lead in the final 200 metres. The five-year-old continued on the same pace to claim a clear 1.75-length win and $114,000 for his team.
Pretreville had to settle for second while San Andreas, guided by Dylan Browne McMonagle, finished third in the race.
Meanwhile, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani presented the Gulf Cup trophy to H.E. Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani after Al Mirage’s brilliant victory in the $100,000 race.
The colt trained by Eric Lemartinel beat Abida, who was helmed by Olivier Peslier, Inqath securing third position with jockey Lukas Delozier.
The Purebred Arabian Sprint Cup was won by Al Sij Al Sakab of the Al Sakab Stud, who won a half-length with jockey Tomas Lukasek. The race also offered $100,000, with winners receiving $57,000.
Earlier, Bab Al Rayyan of Abdulatif Hussain Al Emadi scored a double as he won the local 1400m Thoroughbreds Trophy, giving the first win of the day to jockey Guyon.
Also yesterday, Kadupul, with Tom Marquand in the saddle, won Filly and Mare Thoroughbred Rose, while Bunglejungleparty, helmed by Jim Crowley and trained by Julian Smart, won the Open Cup Thoroughbred 3-Year-Old.
The opening race of day two of the prestigious festival was won by Blue Star, with Ronan Thomas in the saddle, as they paired up to win the Local Purebred Arabian Graduation Cup, followed by victory for Althagab and the jockey Pranil Arvind Kharat in the Arabian Maiden Purebred Cup.
Meanwhile, QREC Public Relations and External Communications Manager Imran Muhammad Darwish expressed his delight at the huge turnout from fans, who are enjoying lots of fun activities besides watching the heart-pounding action.
“HH The Amir Sword Festival has attracted a good number of fans and it is proving to be a huge success as always. The final day will feature top contenders and all the races are sure to be exciting,” he said.
Staging for HH The Amir Sword race
Today, the prestigious three-day festival will come to a close with the highly anticipated HH The Amir Sword Race, which will see the top entrants in action.
Ebraz, who scored a hat-trick in winning the 2020 edition, and defending champion Mon’nia are also among the contenders in the $1million race.
The headline event will be the eighth race on the final day of the three-day festival.
HH The Amir Sword Festival Day 2
34th Race Meeting – Irish Thoroughbred
Marketing Cup: the winners
Horse, Trainer, Jockey
IRISH THROUGHBRED MARKETING CUP (QA Gr2)
PURE-BLOOD (Class 1)
Pao Alto, Christophe Ferland, Maxime Guyon
Al Mirage, Eric Lemartinel, Faleh Bughanaim
THROUGHBRED ARABIAN SPRINT CUP
Al Sij Al Sakab, Ibrahim Saeed Al Malki, Tomas Lukasek
LOCAL PURE-BLOOD TROPHY
Bab Al Rayyan, Bader Al Balushi, Maxime Guyon
PINK THROUGHBRED FILLY AND MARE (Class 2)
Kadupul, Georges Mikhalides, Tom Marquand
OPEN CUT 3 YEARS THROUGHBRED (Class 2)
Bunglejungleparty, Julian Colin Smart, Jim Crowley
THROUGHBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN CUT
Althagab, Eric Lemartinel, Pranil Arvind Kharat
LOCAL BREED ARAB DIPLOMA CUP
(fillies and mares)
Blue Star, Alban Elie De Mieulle, Ronan Thomas