Horse, Dog & Sports ‘Hawa’ Leads Qatar Derby Field


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Trainer Andreas Wohler sends out the imposing Noor Al Hawa (Fr) (Makfi {GB}), who is riding a three-racing winning streak, in the $500,000 Qatar Derby (QAT-G1) at Al Rayyan Racecourse in Doha, Qatar Thursday. Never off the board in eight starts to date, the Al Wasmiyah Farm colourbearer annexed Deauville’s Listed Prix de Tourgeville Aug. 2 and quickly followed up with victories at Dusseldorf, in the 1600-metre G3 Grosse Europa Meile Des Porsche Zentrum Dusseldorf Sept. 11 and the 1700-metre G3 Grosser Preis der Landeshauptstadt Dusseldorf Oct. 2.

The French-bred is not the only entrant bringing a solid vein of form into the field, with conditioner Jassim Ghazali’s Opera Baron (GB) (Equiano {Fr}) lining up on the back of three consecutive wins of his own over the local strip, while defeating many of these rivals. The Al Rayyan specialist scored in the one-mile Thoroughbred Guineas (QAT-G3) with Top Face (Tiznow) second Nov. 17 and added the Qatar Derby Trial (QAT-G2), defeating Open ‘n Shut (GB) (Kyllachy {GB}) among others, over 1850 metres last time Dec. 15.

Last out Sept. 3 Listed La Coupe de Marseille winner Thewayyouwish (Ire) (Theywayyouare), who ran second in the G2 Prix Hocquart at Deauville this May, throws his cap in the ring, as does Group 3-placed Noble House (Ger) (Lando {Ger}), whose trainer Mario Hofer won the 2015 edition.

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