PARISLONGCHAMP – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3
Rarely has the Qatar Arabian World Cup (Group 1 PA – Purebred Arabians) been so hotly contested. This 14th edition of the race is a high class renewal, and the last two winners are back for another crack: namely Sheikha Reem bint Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani’s Ebraz (2019), and Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s Tayf (2020).
The two veterans remain a formidable presence on the track. They will be facing an ‘explosive’ young generation whose talents continue to bloom on the racecourse. The mare Lady Princess, for one, is capable of devastating powers of acceleration, whereas Hoggar de l'Ardus has proved a very impressive type whose limits are as yet unknown, and as for the mudlark Soko, he re-dimensioned some of the best PA horses in the world after making every post a winning one at Deauville.
No less than 15 horses will come under orders, and the various trainers, owners and breeders will represent diverse racing nations and for this read: the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, France, Oman, Belgium and Poland. Thomas Fourcy is due to saddle a record eight runners in the race.
The consensus is that the Qatar Arabian World Cup (QAWC) is the world’s top prize for the PA breed, and not just because of its huge purse (1 million euros). Indeed, no other international PA race is able to match it when it comes to acting as a magnet for attracting the best PA horses from the major countries which race the breed. It is therefore THE major international PA event – and the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Group 1) plays a similar role when it comes to English thoroughbreds.
Of the major horse racing nations, France is the only one that has developed a large-scale PA programme based on selection, and one which involves breeder/vendors and even an annual PA sale organised jointly by Arqana and AFAC (Association Française du Cheval Arabe de Course). Each year, around 1,500 PA horses are born in France. The nursery of the breed is situated in the South-West, where PA horses have raced since the 19th century almost without interruption. Around 100 races are currently open to the breed in France, and mainly in the South-West. PA racing takes place throughout the world. In some countries, it is a tradition that dates back more than a century (France, Russia, Poland, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, Turkey, etc.). Elsewhere, the PA programme was instigated a few decades ago (Britain, the US, the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Italy, etc.). So the best PA horses from all these nations, providing they measure up in terms of class, will clash at the beginning of October at ParisLongchamp
Thomas Fourcy is due to saddle eight of the 15 runners
He said: «TAYF is a year older, but everything is going swimmingly. He has been working well and is in great condition. He made a very good return at Goodwood. The rains should help him.
ABBES is still a bit tender. He has the ability and I’ve always held him in high regard. He’s a horse who should win the Qatar Arabian World Cup one day. He has the profile... but not this year. He won well at Doncaster but against a lower class of opposition. He's a very cold horse, and we'll equip him in first time blinkers.
LADY PRINCESS is at the top of her game. However, if there is a lot of rain and the ground gets heavy, it might blunt her turn of foot. Otherwise everything is perfect with her.
HOGGAR DE L'ARDUS made a very good reappearance. He was only 80 per cent wound up at Deauville. We have trained him for this race, and the other feature races during the winter, in mind. His has been a good rise up the ranks. He continues to be a 4-year-old who is still a bit tender when it comes to measuring up against the older PA horses such as Ebraz and Tayf...
KHATAAB remains true to himself and he enjoys himself in the company of Tayf each morning! He’s a very handsome horse. Sure to relish the ground and the big field, he likes to take aim and outrun the other horses during a race.
NALINK is a 5-year-old but is still very tender. He hasn't raced much, as we've often had to contend with his growth spurts. He made a very good reappearance at Vichy. He lost no caste in defeat when third to Ebraz and Artemis in the prep race for this. It marked the first time that he was tackling horses of that class.
MOUNJARED AL CHAM has run very well this summer, having been second to Ebraz. He will be ridden for a place, if not better. He likes to feel that things are going his way, just like that. He has the advantage of having considerable powers of acceleration. That could help him
in this ground.
We waited until the last moment before confirming MELABI's presence. If the rains hadn’t come, we wouldn't be here. He’s always thereabouts at the finish. It didn't go well last time as he acted as the one which dragged the rest of the field along, as the horse in front poached a big lead. So he ended up by towing the others into the race. He will be ridden a bit more off the pace, and with the optic of picking up a decent slice of place money. He’s a notch below the very good horses. »
gives the rundown on the 2019 winner Ebraz.
He said: « Ebraz is doing remarkably well. His preparation has gone perfectly. The horse needed some fine-tuning on his return as he hadn't been raced since Goodwood. The horse wasn’t fully extended to win the Prix Dragon - the Qatar Arabian World Cup prep race which wasn’t a goal in itself. Ebraz will attempt to win the big race for a second time. He invariably gives what he has in the locker, but he's not a straight forward horse. For he needs to be produced at the last moment. He's won on all types of ground. »