GRAND PRIX SHEIKH ZAYED BIN SULTAN AL NAHYAN (L. PA) - AOUN: THE LATEST ANTOINE DE WATRIGANT INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS STORY
MARRAKESH (MOR), 24th April 2018
Antoine de Watrigant has developed a liking for foreign travel, as his horses have often excelled outside France. The examples of the Australian Group I win of Gailo Chop (Deportivo), and the internationally campaigned Ziyadd (Bibi de Carrère), who excelled in Italy, Poland and Morocco, spring to mind. The Mont-de-Marsan trainer sent Aoun (Mahhab) on another trip across the Mediterranean, and was rewarded with success in the Grand Prix Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (L. PA) on April 24th. Slowly into his stride, Aoun pursued an inside course, only to be subjected to the full effect of the kickback factor on the sand track of Marrakesh. Half way up the home straight, Metrag (Amer) seemed destined for glory, but that wasn’t taking into account the tenacity of Roberto-Carlos Montenegro’s mount Aoun. Making ground hand over fist, the combination recorded a last gasp win over Metrag. Dalsimata Cole (No Risk Al Maury) was a distant third.
WATCH THE RACE REPLAY
Aoun was a very good 3 year old in 2017 when he won the Prix Tidjani (Gr. III PA). He was third in the Qatar Coupe de France des Chevaux Arabes (Gr. I PA), before ending the year with a second in the Grand Prix de S.A.R. le Prince Moulay Rachid at Casablanca. Speaking about the protégé of owner, His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Antoine de Watrigant said: “Aoun arrived in Marrakesh a few days before the race. He’s a horse that’s made a lot of progress and has toughened up. He’s shown us that he acts well on this type of track and travels well. This opens the doors to the international stage. So why not have a crack at the top Russian prizes this summer?”
THE AKBAR FAMILY
Aoun is a homebred of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He’s a son of Mahhab (Tahar de Candelon) and Shumoos (Djouras Tu). The latter is the dam of the easy winner of the Al Maktoum Challenge Round II (Gr. I PA), Haajeb (Mawood).
The second dam, Sheena (Djelfor), is the full sister of the high class Akbar, the stallion who won 14 races. Sheena also produced Shadiyda (Al Sakbe), the winner of eight races including the Emirates Championship (Gr. I PA), plus the quadruple winning Thakif (Mahabb), whose successes included the Al Maktoum Challenge (Gr. I PA). This is Fantasia (Gosse du Béarn) bloodline, who is one of the foundation mares of the Purebred Arabian breeding scene in France.
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