Qatar International Derby
German trainer Andreas Wohler won the US$500,000, Qatar International Derby (2000m) with Makfi colt Noor Al Hawa (FR), ridden by Adrie de Vries, at Al Rayyan Racecourse at Doha on Thursday, December 29th, 2016, to make it two years in succession that German-trained runners have won the race.
The win was the first for Wohler in Doha who said that Noor Al Hawa will remain in Doha for the upcoming major racing carnival, the Emir’s Sword Festival on February 23rd, 24th and 25th.
"He was always in a nice position and given they did not go that fast he really quickened nicely and won very easily. Noor Al Hawa was my first runner in Qatar, so I am really pleased,” he said.
The trio of Thewayyouwish (IRE), Ard San Aer (IRE) and Al Mohalhal (IRE) led the race before the field spread out coming off the final bend.
The pace quickened and De Vries had the Al Wasmiyah Farm-owned colt move past the early leaders with the Mohammed Hussain-saddled Gerrard’s Quest (GB) chasing; however, Noor Al Hawa pulled away well for a 3L win at winning post.
Gerrard’s Quest (Captain Gerrard) and Pat Cosgrove held second comfortably over Al Mohalhal (Acclamation) and Darren Williams with the margin 3/4L.
Nasser Sherida Al Kaabi, general manager of the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, said he looked forward to more international runners for the HH The Emir’s Sword Festival which comprises 22 races, including the Qatar International Cup (Gr 1 Purebred Arabians) (1600m) for four-year-old's, the Festival’s main thoroughbred feature, the Gr 1 HH The Emir’s Trophy presented by Longines (2400m turf) and the Gr.1 H.H. The Emir’s Sword Trophy, the final leg of the purebred Arabian Triple Crown.