H.H. THE EMIR’S SWORD - GAZWAN, THE SATURDAY HORSE

15.03.2018

H.H. THE EMIR’S SWORD - GAZWAN, THE SATURDAY HORSE

DOHA (QATAR), 24th FEBRUARY 2018

Gr. I PA - 4 year olds and over - 2,400m - QR 3,650,000

In the big races, Gazwan (Amer) rarely starts as favourite. Often, however, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s homebred brings out his best form on the big days. On the 24th February, he outclassed a top level field in the Emir’s Sword. This was his second win in this race, and without a doubt, the best performance of his career. The winner of the Qatar Arabian World Cup 2017 continues to put his mark on Purebred Arabian racing history. Al Shahania retained their title in this race, and once again confirmed their supremacy over Purebred Arabian races on the turf.

To watch the race: https://youtu.be/zzzi4yKPIAc

PREVAILING OVER THE YOUNGER GENERATION ONCE AGAIN

The feeling amongst the professionals present on race day, and the view of the handicapper, was that Yazeed (Amer) was the likely winner, with Ebraz (Amer) as his main opponent. They had crossed swords in recent months, and the impression given was that this pair were a class above the rest of the field. In the Emir’s Sword, while the Al Shahania pacemaker was doing his job, the eventual winner travelled in third position on the rail, with the two favourites travelling out wide in the second half of the racing group. Cristian Demuro sent Gazwan on when approaching the end of the final turn, while Yazeed and Olivier Peslier looked dangerous. However, entering into the home straight, the veteran laid a knockout blow to his two younger rivals and pulled clear. Under energetic encouragement from Cristian Demuro, this tough horse responded. He weakened sightly in the finish, but the hard work had already been done and he won by a just over a length. Ebraz claimed second, finishing strongly. Al Shahania own the first two horses across the line, writing themselves even further into the history of the Emir’s Sword. Yazeed finished third, on his first run over 2,400 meters.

A ROCK

We asked Julian Smart the following question: "Is Gazwan the toughest Arabian horse you have ever seen?" The trainer replied: "It’s a very good question. He is really tough. However I had a horse called Dent du Loup (Blaise) and he won fifteen legs of the Maktoum Challenge, one after the other. Recently however, I have begun to think that Gazwan is tougher. He hadn’t run since the day of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Between times, we have had a few issues with him, so much so that he couldn’t have a prep race. That was fairly concerning, as usually he is a horse that needs a prep run. But he was sharper than ever today. He has won the Arc for Purebred Arabians, today he’s won the Emir’s Sword… Unfortunately the mile trip doesn’t suit his abilities which will be an impediment to him winning the leg of the Purebred Arabian Triple Crown at Goodwood."

NOTHING WENT AS PLANNED

When talking about the race tactics for his four runners, Julian Smart explained: "Cristian Demuro was definitely a bit disappointed not to be riding Ebraz. However, there was method to my madness! I couldn’t take Ebraz off Théo Bachelot when he had won several races with him. We had intended to send Ba’Sil (Amer) in front, but without setting an excessive pace. Then, Shabih Alreeh (Jaafer ASF) was to take over with Gazwan just behind. Finally, Ebraz was to stay with Yazeed. However nothing went as planned! Shabih Alreeh was unable to do his job, and Ba’Sil decided to put on a show by swerving into the center of the track. But Gazwan was there. He waited for his moment and he’s never travelled like that in a race. Gazwan was in a great rhythm. When Cristian sent him on, he accelerated really well. We saw a different horse to the one that ran at Chantilly, where he had to be ridden early. Today he beat two good horses, Yazeed and Ebraz. However, over 2,400 meters Gazwan is formidable. Unfortunately, it’s not a distance that you come across very often for Purebred Arabians. I am very pleased with the way that Ebraz finished his race. But the winner was too good today."

TOWARDS FRANCE

Concerning Gazwan’s future, Julian Smart explained: "The pressure is off. This race is so important here. All the work done by the Al Shahania team leads to this. The quality of the bloodstock is extraordinary and that is why they are winning races such as the Emir’s Sword. In May, we will head to Chantilly where we will be based for the European season. Gazwan will be aimed back to the Qatar Arabian World Cup after a run in England, like last year. I can’t wait to see the new Longchamp!"

LTHE SON OF AN EMIR’S SWORD WINNER

Gazwan is out of Arc de Ciel (Djendel), Horse of the Year in Qatar in 2000-2001. She won the Emir’s Sword (Gr. I PA). The mare has produced several other smart horses for Al Shahania, such as Rathowan (Amer), second in The President of the UAE Cup - UK Arabian Derby, the Qatar Arabian World Cup and the Emir’s Sword (Grs I PA), as well as Iftekhar Asf (Amer), third in the Hatta International Stakes (Gr. I PA) at Newbury. Gazwan’s second dam, Akie Croix Noire (Tidjani), has produced three Gr. I PA winners, Arc de Ciel, Asraa Min Albarq (Amer), winner of the Dubai International Stakes (Gr. I PA), and Areej (Amer), winning mare of Qatar Arabian World Cup (Gr. I PA) in 2011, at Longchamp. This maternal line is that of Nevada II (Djanor).

   Shabab
  Wafi 
   Sarhah
 Amer  
   Lahoom
  Bushra 
   Rahifa
GAZWAN (H7)   
   Manganate
  Djendel 
   Mandore
 Arc de Ciel  
   Tidjani
  Akie Croix Noire 
   Okie du Cassou

DOHA (QAT), 24th FEBRUARY

H.H. THE EMIR’S SWORD

Gr. I PA - 4 year olds and over - 2,400m - QR 3,650,000

1st        GAZWAN (60) H7  

Amer & Arc de Ciel

Owner & Breeder. : H.H. Sheikh M. Bin Khalifa Al Thani

Trainer: J. Smart

Jockey: C. Demuro

2nd       EBRAZ (60) H5       

Amer & Massamarie

Owner & Breeder. : H.E. Sheikh M. Bin Khalifa Al Thani

Trainer: J. Smart

Jockey: T. Bachelot

3rd       YAZEED (60) H5    

Munjiz & Al Dahma

Owner & Breeder. : H.H. Sheikh A. Bin Khalifa Al Thani

Trainer: A. de Mieulle

Jockey: O. Peslier