Analysing the numbers of the Qatar Arabian World Cup
Playing a leading role in the European PA racing calendar ever since its inception in 2008, this year’s edition of the Qatar Arabian World Cup
(Gr1 PA) heralded the triumph of Ebraz (Amer) at ParisLongchamp on October 6th. To date twelve editions of the race have taken place at two different tracks, which is all the more reason to do some number crunching.
The greatest number of wins. Maxime Guyon (Ebraz 2019 & Gazwan 2017), Julien Augé (Al Mourtajez 2015-16) and Neil Callan (Areej 2011 & Mkeefa 2012) have proved to be the most successful jockeys. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani (2019, 2017, 2014, 2012 and 2011) is the dominant presence in the owner-breeder divisions following five wins, a record which will be hard to emulate. The same applies to the race’s most successful trainer Julian Smart (2019, 2017, 2014, 2012, 2011). Two horses have won the race twice and for this read Al Mourtajez (2016 & 2015) and General (2010 & 2009). These two stallions are respectively based at the Haras de Thouars and the Haras du Grand Courgeon.
Betting patterns and attendance. The favourite Ebraz (2.8/1) justified market support which was reflected in the manner of his win. The punters appreciated the 2019 edition of the Qatar Arabian World Cup as betting volume on the race was up by 49 per cent! On and off course betting handle throughout France totalled € 1,016,503 which was one of the highest figures recorded that day.
Fazza Al Khalediah posted the biggest upset in the race after scoring a 69-1 win in 2018. The shortest-priced winner proved to be Al Mourtajez (1,5/1) in 2016. A total of 40,000 spectators were present at ParisLongchamp on October 5th and 6th. On course betting turnover on the Sunday card rose by 20 per cent to almost two million euros, the highest figure of the year. On Saturday, the equivalent figure was the subject of a 9.3 per cent hike.
The number of runners and draw bias. Two editions have attracted fields of twenty runners. However, the 2019 renewal was the smallest numerically after eleven runners went to post. Stall ten has provided the most number of winners (four): Ebraz (2019), Al Mourtajez (2016), Mushrae (2013) and Lahib (2008). The widest drawn winner proved to be Djainka des Forges after she overcame stall twenty in 2014. Two winners apiece have exited from stalls five and eighteen. Those drawn three, six and fifteen have finished either first or second on three occasions.
Breeding. Greys are to the fore as seven different horses of this hue have triumphed on nine occasions. There is no mystique here as all
share a common heritage of either being first generation (Ebraz, Gazwan, Mkeefa, Areej and General) or second generation descendants of
(Al Mourtajez and Fazza Al Khalediah) of the stallion Amer. Chestnuts have annexed the other three editions: Djainka des Forges, Mushrae and Lahib. The common thread linking them is the presence of Kesberoy (Saint Laurent) in their pedigree. Two winners were bred by commercial breeders which had set up shop in France. We are referring to Djainka des Forges (2014), bred by Catherine and Robert Labarthe, and the dual winning Al Mourtajez (2015-16). Also French-bred, the latter was a joint project involving Hassan Mousli, Nada Mousalli and Faiz Al Elweet.
The biggest splash from a distaff line perspective (five wins) is the influence of Nevada II (Fazza Al Khalediah 2018, Gazwan 2017, Mkeefa, 2012, Areej, 2011 and Lahib, 2008). Only three members of the fairer sex have annexed the race: Areej (2011), Mkeefa (2012) and Djainka des Forges (2014). No sons or daughters out of this trio have as yet graced French racecourses.
The clock and race margins. Al Mourtajez has recorded the two fastest times: posting 2’08’’33 at Chantilly (2016) as a six-year-old and 2’10’’48 at ParisLongchamp in 2015. The same horse also boasts the biggest winning margin after storming home by five lengths in 2015. The smallest winning margin was recorded in 2008 when Lahib (Kairouan de Jos) scrambled home by a nose.
The role of women. The trainer Sandrine Tarrou was the first woman to have had a runner in the race after Nil Blanc (Orient Express) finished second in the inaugural running in 2008. Jadey Pietrasiewicz is the only female jockey to have ridden in the race after linking up with Poulain Kossack (Nougatin) in 2012.
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