It was third time lucky for HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani’s Ebraz in the Qatar International Stakes, Group 1 PA run at Goodwood yesterday. This was the six-year-olds third appearance in the race and, having been runner-up for the past two years, he made amends with a thrilling two-and-three-quarter length win from the 2017 winner Tayf. Lightning Bolt, third last year, filled the same spot again.
The Qatar International Stakes is run as part of the Qatar Goodwood Festival and is now in its’ fifth year. The prize fund for the race is £400,000, with £200,000 to the winner, making it the most valuable race in the UK Arabian racing calendar, attracting 23 horses at the first entry stage. Of the eight horses to declare, seven were PA Group winners and five were multiple Group 1 PA winners, including the first four home in 2018.
Trainer Julian Smart was delighted with his horses’ performance saying: “We came back to win this race with Ebraz again this year, but halfway through I did not think he would win as he was off the bridle and struggling. That was not like him at all as he usually travels very strongly in his races and pulls himself up. Once he got into a pocket that he really shouldn’t have been in, I had a feeling he was going to win.”
He continued: “This particular race is huge and we have won it now. The Qatar Goodwood Festival is a very prestigious meeting and to have an Arabian race here is very important as it gives us a wider audience.”
Winning jockey Maxime Guyon commented: “We have had a good race finally. The horse loves to battle so I preferred to come between horses. He can stop in front, but he showed a good turn of foot today.”
Ebraz (Maxime Guyon) make it third time luck in the Qatar International Stakes Group 1PA at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director said: “Thanks to the high quality of the entries, this race always produces a spectacle that is the equal of any of the top thoroughbred races run at the Qatar Goodwood Festival. We were delighted with the runners this year, to have the so many of the world’s leading Arabians re-opposing in this race underlines the importance of its’ presence in our calendar. It also showcases our sport during an international week of racing which is a huge boost to its’ profile.”
She continued. “It is an honour for ARO to stage international Arabian racing at this level for the fifth consecutive year. We thank Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, the Duke of Richmond and all the team at Goodwood and Fontwell racecourses for continuing to make this race a success.”