© Debbie Burt – equinecreativemedia.com
In a year full of challenges, the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was delighted that Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC) had confirmed that the Qatar International Stakes would go ahead as part of the Qatar Goodwood Festival 2020. The most valuable race of their calendar, the one-mile contest will be held on the rescheduled date of Saturday August 1st and is the first in front of a crowd of invited racegoers. The 12 entries received (subject to eligibility), however at the top of that list is Ebraz, returning, like 2017 winner Tayf, for a fourth consecutive year. The domestic entries are headed by Mehdaaf Athbah who is untried at the historic Sussex Downs course.
The £200,000 Group 1 PA event forms the first stage of the Doha Triple Crown, the Qatar Arabian World Cup at ParisLongchamp on Arc weekend is the second stage and the HH The Amir Sword, highlight of Qatar’s annual February Festival, concludes the challenge. This year, on the back of his 2019 wins at Goodwood and ParisLongchamp, Ebraz won a record-breaking third HH The Amir Sword, and in doing so claimed the Doha Triple Crown. His place in Arabian racing history is more than deserved.
Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC) CEO Nasser Bin Sherida Al Kaabi commented: “Supporting and Promoting Arabian racing at this difficult time is an achievement which QREC has been able to realise through coordination with ARO and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and we do appreciate their cooperation. This year’s edition will be exceptional as it comes during the Covid-19 pandemic and the related new challenges. Therefore, racing at the Qatar Goodwood Festival will remain special as ever”.
ARO Finance and Commercial Director Genny Haynes is looking forward to the race saying: “We are most grateful for the continued support by Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club and Goodwood racecourse of UK Arabian racing at this most testing time. Though our season has been pushed back in the calendar due to the current circumstances, we are all delighted to have the opportunity to showcase our sport with a top-level race in front of a crowd eager for live racing.”