Posted on July 31, 2016

Trainer Francois Rohaut, jockey Gregory Benoist and owners Al Shaqab Racing teamed up to win the L'Ormarins Queens Plate for the second successive year as Al Jazi ran out the impressive winner of the Group Three contest at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in Sussex, England on Friday afternoon.

Amy Eria won the race last year for the same connections 12 months ago and Al Jazi was always travelling well for her jockey as the field turned for home. Al Jazi ran on strongly when asked for her effort and she quickly put daylight between her nearest pursuers, eventually running out the one and three-quarter length winner. Rohaut revealed after the race that this race had been in their minds for quite a while. 

"This was quite a long term target," said Rohaut. "When we win a race, we try to win it again! We knew she was good enough to run well. This was the first time she's encountered a very good pace and that is what she needs to win a good race. "A strong pace and good going suits her. She has only run on good to soft at best in France. "She had everything today. Good pace, good draw and good going. She always showed she was good enough to win a race like this. "She';s is a different type of filly to Amy Eria. You must look after this filly. Amy Eria was a big, strong filly. This one is good though."

Appleby hopeful of Rose blooming

Charlie Appleby was delighted with the run of second-placed Mise En Rose in the Group Three L'Ormarins Queen Plate Stakes, the sixth race on day four of the Qatar Goodwood Festival. The three-year- old daughter of War Front travelled kindly for James McDonald in midfield before staying on well to finish a length and three-quarters behind decisive winner Al Jazi. Appleby said:"I;m delighted with Mise En Rose. If you had told me this morning she was going to finish second then I would have taken that quite happily.

"They have gone quite hard early on and she has struggled to lay up a bit. James [McDonald, jockey] said she was just behind the bridle a little bit but she has stayed on nicely. She has got a turn of foot and she utilised it. I'm very pleased. "Seven furlongs is definitely her trip. With quick ground and seven furlongs, we might just nick one somewhere." Reflecting on the week so far, Appleby, who has had one winner, three seconds and two thirds at the meeting, said: "They are all running well and that is all you can really ask for. They have all been running to the line.

"I've been delighted with the performances of my two-year- olds. Boynton ran a great race in the Qatar Vintage Stakes [third, beaten two and three-quarter lengths]. "Blue Point ran well yesterday [second, beaten a neck in the Richmond Stakes] but was also beaten by a good horse [Mehmas] as well so don't take anything away from him." Appleby said:"It's been a pleasing week. I'm glad to have a winner and we will keep going."

Take Cover rules

The only Group 2 race of Qatar Goodwood Festival's fourth day was the Qatar King George Stakes (Gr2) and Take Cover took it back home after finishing eleventh in the King's Stand Stakes (Gr1) at Ascot in June. The 9yo gelding had already won the title in 2014. Owned by Norcroft Park Stud, he was fast out of the stalls. His early speed and the track played an important role in this success. Behind him, Washington DC comes second and Goldream is third only a small nose in front of the Al Shaqab Racing owned filly, Easton Angel. 

David Allan, partner of Take Cover, said:"He's just got raw speed and he really battles in the finish as well. He loves to get on with it, but when something comes at him in the finish, he doesn't half dig in. He's still improving, I think. David's done a really good job of holding his form" Trainer David Griffiths added:"He's a wonderful horse - unbelievable. He's still as good as ever at nine (years of age) and I'm just delighted. He's a bit mad (at home) but he's calmed down a lot. We came here with as much confidence as you can in a Group 2. It's just one of those amazing days. We've been unlucky with the ground this year. The two times he has had conditions absolutely perfect, today and at Haydock, he won them both. In these races there is no margin for error." 

David Griffiths suggested he has a live chance at York,"He definitely has the ability to win the Nunthorpe. He has won at York twice and the plan is to go back there." In his only other appearance in the Group 1 contest, he finished eighth in 2014.

Betfred Glorious Stakes 

Kings Fete registered his first Group success in the Betfred Glorious Stakes (Gr3). Representing Khalid Abdullah's colours, the 5yo gelding raced on the inside behind the leader Ayrad who had set quite a good pace to the race. Ayrad, owned by Saleh al Homaizi and Imad al Sagar, seemed to have won the race from pillar to post before Kings Fete attacked him. They both battled until the end and it was finally the Sir Michael Stoute trained horse who took the advantage. Ayrad took the second place. The two first ones detached themselves leaving their closest rival, Majeed, at least four lengths behind.

Stepped up to Group level for the first time since contesting the St Leger in 2014, the winner missed the whole of last season due to injury and was unlucky in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot. Ryan Moore, jockey of Kings Fete said:"He's had his
difficulties so it's a big effort to get him back at all, really. Everything went smoothly through the race, it was a good performance. A lightly-raced colt, he's improved, for sure." Trainer Sir Michael Stoute explained,"He was pretty smart. This horse got an injury in the Leger in 2014 and they (the vets) did a great job and got him back in fantastic condition. He's much more relaxed now."

Bonhams Stakes

The Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum owned colt, Thikriyaat, flew away in the Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes (Gr3). Travelling among the lot, the horse had a hard time finding a passage down the home straight. He finally found his way through and picked up well to win in front of stable companion Forge. The latter came up fast on the outside attacking Thikriyaat in the final furlongs and taking the second place in front of Light Up Our World. Light Up Our World was attacked by the two first horses but did not disappoint and took the third place.

The Sir Michael Stoute trained 3yo gelding, Thikriyaat stayed on a second place behind Ribchester in the Jersey Stakes (Gr3) at Ascot in June. The horse now counts four wins and one place in five runs. His jockey, Paul Hanagan, said:"He does just enough, really. I had to really sit and suffer on him, but he's got such a lovely temperament - he loves to please. In time, you'll see him step up in trip. Without doubt he'll get further." Sir Michael Stoute, who won one-two in this Gr3, said about the winner:"He's very tough and honest and consistent he's a very admirable horse. I think he'll get a bit further than that (a mile)." About the runner-up, he added:"He's a nice horse in the making."

source: Qatar Tribune