TRAINER Julian Smart picked up the biggest race in Qatar as HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani-owned Ebraz won the prestigious Emir’s Sword race last week.
In the process, the four-year-old, ridden by Alan Munro, held off Al Shaqab Racing’s Al Mourtajez in the $1m event for the second straight year.
Thomas Fourcy’s Laft Nethar played the pacemaker, who was duly joined by Smart’s Ba’sil up front. Going into the final bend, jockey Julien Auge gave Al Mourtajez a go-ahead and, while the Dahess colt moved up, he had Ebraz and last year’s winner Gazwan for company, with Umm Qarn’s Tayf taking the inside line.
A furlong out and Ebraz powered up to take the advantage and pulled away for a three-and-a-half-length win, with Alban de Mieulle-trained Tayf edging out Al Mourtajez for the second spot.
Meanwhile, a devastating run from Chopin won jockey Alberto Sanna and the connections the HH The Emir’s Trophy, a million-dollar thoroughbred feature.
Earlier, Frenchman Gerald Avranche guided AJS Gannas, trained by Hadi Al Ramzani, to a memorable win in the 1,850M Emir’s Silver Sword race.
British raider Sovereign debt won the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cup, with Andrew Mullen riding the David Nicholls-trained eight-year-old to half-a-length victory over Aidan O’Brien’s fancied six-year-old Cougar Mountain.
Meanwhile, Umm Qarn’s Majeed stayed true to his top billing by winning the Qatar Local Purebred Arabian Trophy.
De Mieulle’s ward, a consistent performer, did not have it easy, with Jassim Mohammed Ghazali-schooled AJS Al Rayyan coming close at the post under Harry Bentley’s ride.