QATAR PRIX DE L’ÉLEVAGE - LOFTY AMBITIONS FOR ALMAA AFTER HER FIRST GROUP WIN
TOULOUSE (FRA), 29th April 2017
Gr. II PA, Fillies only, 4yos, 2,000m, € 20,000
A winner on her seasonal debut on the 18th March on this course, Almaa (Amer) climbed up another rung on the ladder when winning her first Group PA, the Qatar Prix de l’Élevage (Gr. II PA). The Thomas Fourcy-trained filly was the quickest out of the gates, and her jockey, Jérôme Cabre, did not interfere with her, but let her go on into the lead. The representative of Al Shaqab Racing settled in her action. The hot favourite, Djaikiri Safinat (Dahess) travelled at the rear, and was very keen in the hands of Jean-Bernard Eyquem. In the final straight, Almaa ran on pleasingly, holding off an attack from Damien de Watrigant’s filly Muneera (Dormane), whilst Djaikiri Safinat finished promisingly. The latter was having her first run of the season, unlike most of her adversaries.
A break before the big races
Thomas Fourcy, who trained the winner, explained: “She is a late-maturing filly, and she will improve with time. She shot out of the starting gates today and found herself in front. I had told Jérôme Cabre not to worry about tactics. He found himself in front, and went from there. The filly was fit and she needs to be running in these races: you can’t let opportunities in Group races pass by! She had worked well, she’s tough and that helped her hold off the others.” On the subject of his runner’s race program, he said: “Almaa will not have much choice after winning a Group PA. Either she goes into races against 4 and 5 year old mares, or we give her a break and run straight into the Qatar Arabian Trophy des Juments (Gr. I PA). I’m leaning more towards this latter option. She needs to mature. I run the horses when they are well, and when I think they can win a race. These are late-maturing horses, and should be respected. She has won her Group PA and is now amongst the top 4 year old fillies. The most important race is that on Arc weekend, and that is our main aim.”
The close family of Nez d’Or
Almaa comes from the first generations of Arabians bred by Al Shaqab Arabians. She is the first winner for her dam. Naiada Al Maury (Baroud III), her second dam, has produced Gr. I PA winners Nez d’Or (Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 & Round 2, Dubai Kahayla Classic), Noreen (The Hatta Stakes), Nirwan (Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2), Mkeefa (Qatar Arabian World Cup, the Hatta International Stakes, the UK Arabian Derby)… Nyriad, as Naiada Al Maury, comes from the breeding operation of Renée-Laure Koch. The third dam, Nevadour (Ourour) is one of the foundation mares of French purebred Arabian breeding.
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