PIERANTONIO CONVERTINO : « FAZZA AL KHALEDIAH HAS MATURED CONSIDERABLY IN THE SPACE OF A FEW MONTHS »
Pierantonio Convertino has ridden some of the world’s best Purebred Arabians and notably during his time with ’Umm Qarn Farm. However, he had never won The Qatar Arabian World Cup (Gr. I PA) until Fazza Al Khalediah provided him with his first major win.
The French Purebred Arabian. – Granted that you had already ridden Fazza Al Khalediah in a Milanese Listed race, did you expect to win at ParisLongchamp?
Pierantonio Convertino. – The connections of the horse booked me for the ride in Milan.
The horse not only won the race but he laid down an important marker by accounting for Akoya (Muqatil Al Khalidiah), the Qatar Derby des Pur-Sang Arabes (Gr. I PA) fifth at Chantilly. It must be said that the horse had matured considerably between the Milan race and The Qatar Arabian World Cup. For one, he has strengthened physically which is to be expected as he is only a four-year-old and Purebred Arabians are often backward types. Of course, he proved to be a much improved performer in Paris and I believe that ground was in his favour there. The ground in Milan, on the other hand, was very fast and it was very hot…
However, the horse was coming off a Polish defeat was he not?
Yes, there’s no denying that he got beaten. However, he was ridden by a lady and you have to take into account that he’s lazy and needs to be ridden very energetically during a race.
Please describe how the race went…
The horse was slowly away from the gates and we found ourselves behind, on the rails, in a race which was run at a strong gallop. In the straight the gaps luckily came our way and my horse won easily!
What does winning this race mean to you?
It’s very important, particularly as I needed to set the record straight in The Qatar Arabian World Cup. I kicked for home too early on Muntasar (Majd Al Arab) in 2013 and consequently Mushrae (Munjiz) pipped us by a neck at the wire. You could say it was a learning curve. It’s a prestigious race and, in view of the kudos which goes with winning it, it’s very important. I’m hoping that this victory will enable me to ride other horses in the same ownership. It’s possible that Fazza Al Khalediah (Jalnar Al Khalediah) will travel to Abu Dhabi for The Zayed Cup (Gr. I PA), and this being the case, I should be on board.
Where does Fazza Al Khalediah feature compared to other Purebred Arabians which you have ridden?
Tabarak (Nizam) is at the very top of the list. However, he comes next and I would rate him superior to Muntasar and Raqiyah (Amer).
What does the future hold for you in the next few months?
I will be riding for a Bahrain-based trainer in Dubai. The handler will be having his first runners at the Dubai Carnival and, to this end, he will be buying horses at Tattersalls. I am also planning on riding in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Qatar. After this, and in the spring, it’s on the cards that I will be working for Charley Rossi who will be having a lot of young horses in his yard. The Italian scene is proving to be too tough. I’m about to turn 34 and I’ve no intention of engaging in wishful thinking by hoping that the situation in my country will one day improve. Furthermore, Charley is my sister-in-law’s partner. You could say he’s part of the family!
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