Dubai: Ebraz justified his reputation as the best Purebred Arabian racehorse in the world when winning a second successive Qatar International Stakes on the final day at Glorious Goodwood on Saturday.
Ridden by reigning French champion jockey Maxime Guyon, Ebraz finished ahead of Deryan, the mount of four-time former French champion Ioritz Mendizabal, with Tayf, who won the race in 2018, third under the legendary Olivier Peslier.
The International Stakes, which carrier a purse of 200,000 pounds and is run over a mile, was contested by nine top-class Arabian horses from the Middle East, France and the UK.
For a fourth consecutive year, the two world’s highest rated Arabian racehorses, Ebraz and Tayf, went head to head but it was the improving Deryan, owned by the as Horse Racing Management, who split the rivals.
The race was scheduled to be held in front of UK spectators for the first time this season since the onset of COVID-19, but the British government withdrew its permission to allow public at the Chichester venue, due to a spike in cases.
The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was delighted when Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC) confirmed that the race, the most valuable race in their calendar, was going ahead.
It forms the first stage of the Doha Triple Crown, comprising of three Group 1 PA contests over a mile, a mile-and-a-quarter and a mile-and-a-half. The Arabian World Cup at Paris Longchamp on Arc weekend is the second stage and the Amir Sword, highlight of Qatar’s annual February Festival, concludes the challenge, making it a true test across three countries.
To date, Ebraz, who is trained by leading Purebred Arabian handler Julian Smart, is the only horse to win the Doha Triple Crown which carries a $1 million bonus.
In what was a truly historic achievement, following his Goodwood success last year, Ebraz delivered a high quality performance to win the Paris showpiece before going on to clinch a third victory in the Amir Sword this February.
Dual Group 1 Purebred Arabian winner Tayf had beaten Ebraz in the International Stakes at Goodwood in 2017 in what was a thrilling race where the two Arabian fought out the final furlong.
Deryan came into Saturday’s contest on the back of a recent Group 1 success beyond the mile along with three further pattern race successes to his name.
Earlier this month he denied Ebraz a win on his European reappearance but the latter duly gained revenge at Goodwood on Saturday.
Commenting on the event, ARO Finance and Commercial Director Genny Haynes said: “We are honoured that a contest of this quality will be our opening race of the season. That two of the leading contenders are renewing their rivalries in this race for a fourth time and are previous winners, underlines the appeal and durability of the breed.
“Though our season has been delayed, we are very grateful for the continued support of Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club and Goodwood racecourse of UK Arabian racing at this most challenging 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 on the world’s stage once more.”