Qatar Cup - Prix Dragon: Ebraz shows he’s the boss


Qatar Cup - Prix Dragon: Ebraz shows he’s the boss

ParisLongchamp (FR), September 12th, 2021

Gr1 PA - 4 year-olds & up - 2,000m (10f) - € 100.000

The minutes preceding the start of the Qatar Cup - Prix Dragon (Gr1 PA) were fraught ones: as the Polish mare Wasma Al Khalediah (Jalnar Al Khalidiah), already upset in the paddock, reared up once loaded in the gates and forced her stall to open. She was subsequently declared a non-runner. Nalink (Amer), whose stall also opened as a result of the concertina effect, was calmly taken in hand by Jérôme Cabre and he came under orders after being reloaded.

From the off, Maxr (Jaafer Asf) fulfilled his role as pacemaker, but none of his rivals gave chase. Consequently, Melabi (Dahess), leading the rest of the chasing pack, was several lengths adrift of the leader. Meanwhile, Ebraz (Amer), buried in the middle of the peloton, experienced traffic problems at the beginning of the straight. So the representative of Sheikha Reem Bint Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani had to ‘slalom' his way through to get close to the leaders. However, he posted the fastest fractions - of all those in the race - that is to say 12''56s from the 400m pole to the 200m marker. At this point, Artémis (Azadi) looked to be heading her way to glory, but Ebraz made up the leeway by fairly eating up the ground and showed his class. At the wire, he recorded a narrow win at the main expense of the filly, while giving the impression that there was plenty left in the locker. Nalink was three lengths further adrift in third.

Ebraz keeps something in reserve for the big day.

Bertrand Le Métayer, the Al Shahania Stud representative, said: "That's great. Ebraz hasn't raced much this year. He ran well at Goodwood but his trainer, Julian Smart, felt given his light campaign, that he needed another race before the Qatar Arabian World Cup. Sometimes the trainer opts to go for the Prix Dragon, and sometimes not. Today the aim was to make a satisfactory return but without getting to the bottom of the horse, in other words to fine tune him. Ebraz is a rascal: as he only does the minimum during a race! In the morning, too, he doesn't do much: and you can tell that he's above his optimum weight, and so he has scope for improvement come the big day. » Maxime Guyon added: "Ebraz is exceptional and he has a considerable turn of foot. He was simply better than the competition. His only fault is that he tends to idle once in front. On reaching the wire, he stopped abruptly. This proves that he has room for improvement. He hadn't seen the racecourse since racing in Britain, and this victory will stand him in good stead for the future. »

Artémis is a solid second. Artémis just wanted to get on with it and Olivier Peslier had to defer to his considerable craft to curb her enthusiasm. Her trainer, Élisabeth Bernard, told us: "The filly was fantastic but alas the chasing pack didn't go after the lead horse. This put us at a big disadvantage because Artémis loves races run at a strong gallop. Artémis finished a head behind Ebraz, who is a magnificent horse. To deliver this sort of performance, given that she is younger, is really great. Ideally, I would like to keep her under wraps and not race her again until early December at Abu Dhabi. In the Gulf States there are some very valuable and prestigious races on offer. Good or fast ground brings out the best in Artemis. We are sure to find such conditions there [Gulf States]. She might run on Arc day depending on what the Al Thani stable decides. However, given that Ebraz ran a blinder, I hope that they let Artemis take her chance at Abu Dhabi. As for Antares Del Ma (eighth), it was the wish of his new owners [editor's note: Fawzi Nass] that he should be tested at this level in France. He performed creditably in an excellent field but didn't cut the mustard. Moreover, he is a very demonstrative horse who was calling out a lot to the other horses a lot during the race. We will need to lower his sights. Olivier Peslier said of Artémis: "She is a mare who tends to idle a bit once she hits the front. I was going almost too easily at the beginning of the straight, and the horse in front of me was really starting to struggle. I would have wanted a bit more pace. Her owners are very happy and it bodes well for the future. »

Beaten by better and tougher horses. Thomas Fourcy gave us the rundown on his three runners, Nalink (third), Um Taj (Al Mamun Monlau) (fourth) and Melabi (Dahess) (fifth): "My three horses have all run very well. Nalink momentarily appealed as a likely winner, but he's s a colt who still needs to toughen up. Given that he was tackling some very tough customers such as Ebraz and Artemis, we have nothing to be ashamed of regarding his third place. He is certainly the best of my trio and should improve further for this race. It bodes well for the rest of his career. Um Taj was doing her best work in the straight. To be honest, she has pleasantly surprised me. Alas, Melabi found himself doing the donkey work for the rest of the peloton in second. As soon as he went by the leader, he idled a bit. Since he doesn't have a big turn of foot, he plugged on. He would have preferred a softer surface, and is perhaps a notch below the best. Overall, we got beaten by the best horses in the race. »

A full brother to Mared Al Sahra. Bred by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani, Ebraz is out of Massamarie (Tidjani). This makes him a full brother to Mared Al Sahra (Amer), the Emir's Sword (Gr1 PA) winning stallion, and the Shadwell Dubai International Stakes (Gr1 PA) victor Mu'Azzaz (Amer). Ebraz is a grandson of Margau (Manganate), a trait he shares in common with the mare Mon'nia (Amer), who accounted for the ‘boys' in the H.H. The Amir Sword (Gr1 PA) during the winter .

It's difficult to list the many good horses of this family extensively. Although it can be affirmed that the grandam is a full sister to the crack performers, Dormane (Manganate) and Djendel (Manganate). She gave birth to a classy sort, Santhal (Djebbel), whose six wins included the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (Gr1 PA). Lastly, the great grandam is none other than Mandore (Grabiec) - the much heralded mare of the Watrigant breeding academy.


















Gr1 - 4-years-old and up - 2,000m - €100,000

1st EBRAZ (58) H8

(Amer & Massamarie, par Tidjani)

Owner: H.H. Sheikha R. Al Thani

Breeder: H.H. Sheikh Moh. Bin Khalifa Al Thani

Trainer: J. Smart

Jockey: M. Guyon

2nd ARTÉMIS (56) F5

(Azadi & Ocyrrhoé, par Al Nasr)

Owner: H.H. Sheikh Moh. Bin Khalifa Al Thani

Breeder: Haseg

Trainer: Mrs J.-F. Bernard

Jockey: O. Peslier

Arqana, Saint-Cloud, vente de pur-sang arabes 2018, 2-years-old, €130,000, Saubouas (bought back)

3rd NALINK (58) H5

(Amer & Nalika, par Dormane)

Owner: Sheikh S. Al Mukhani Bahwan

Breeder: Mrs M.-C. Biaudis

Trainer: T. Fourcy

Jockey: J. Cabre

Arqana, Saint-Cloud, vente de pur-sang arabes 2018, 2-years-old, €100,000, Saint-Faust to Saad Suhail Al Mukhaini Bahwan

Other runner(s) in finishing order: Um Taj, Melabi, Rodess du Loup, Freddy Py, Antares del Ma, No And No Al Maury & Maxr.

Non-runner: Wasma Al Khalediah.

(Turf) Good. 2'14"90. Distances: HEAD - 3 - 2 1/2.