Qatar Arabian World Cup: the Polish surprise

07 October 2018


Fazza Al Khalediah (Jalnar Al Khalediah) staged a big upset win in The Qatar Arabian World Cup (Gr1PA). Very well drawn, the Polish raider bided his time before making headway on the inside. He then quickended clear in the straight to record an easy victory at the main expense of the French-trained Khataab (Amer) and the Qatari raider Ebraz (Amer). Trained by Michal Borkowski, the four-year-old  had only previously beaten once! Prior to that he record nine consecutive wins.


How they ran

  • 1st – Fazza Al Khalediah : Held up in the second-half of the field, he made his move 400 metres from the wire once he saw dayight.
  • He soon quickened into the lead and pulled clear. Never headed after establishing a clear lead, he proved a clearcut winner.
  • 2nd– Khataab: Having raced in mid-division before making headway at the pavilion, he was never going to peg back the winner despite a good effort in the last 200 metres.
  • 3rd – Ebraz: Well alway and always prominent, he kept on courageously to the line which enabled him to maintain third.
  • 4th – Gazwan: After being held-up in the second-half of the field, he made his effort where the race was unfolding by running-on for fourth.
  • 5th– Yazeed: Held-up towards the rear, he was noted running on well for fifth where the race was unfolding.
  • 6e – Rodess du Loup: Having bided his time raced towards the back of his field, he was noted doing his best work towards the finish in the straight.
  • 7th – Rajeh:  Had an ideal trip after racing close to the pace but was unable to raise his game at the business end.
  • 8th – Mith’Haf Athbah : Bided his time in mid-division but was unable to get on terms with the principals.
  • 9th -Taymour : Well away, he raced in mid-field before backtracking in the straight.
  • 10th – Mehdaaf Athbah: Smartly into his stride, he raced handily in third before weakening in the final 300 metres.
  • 11th – Lightning Bolt : Raced prominently before fading in the straight.
  • 12th -Al Mouwaffak : After racing towards the rear, he never threatened at the sharp end of the race.
  • 13th– Tayf: Having initially occupied a good positon in sixth, he was unable to quicken in the straight.
  • 14th – Reda: Held-up in mid-division and found wanting at the business end.
  • 15th  Avonmouth: Saw plenty of daylight from his mid-field position and was already being scrubbed along in the false straight.
  • 16th– Aaley Al Magam : Smartly away, he set the tempo before giving way in the straight.


The reactions of the connections

Michal Borkowski (trainer of the winner: Fazza Al Khalediah)

"The success is all down to the horse. He’s the best {PA} horse in the world. It’s the first big international victory for Polish {PA} racing since the end of the Second World War. My team has done an extraordinary job."

Thomas Fourcy (trainer of the second : Khataab)

"Khataab ran very well and performed better than expected as I anticipated him finishing fourth or fifth. I’m a little surprised to be beaten by a horse who was coming off a second place in Poland, but races are there to be run and the winning connections were right to make the trip. Khataab has always been a good horse. He has won at Gr1 {PA level} and no one can begrudge him that. He’s going to enjoy a break and the plan is to train him with next season very much in mind – if everything goes well. I’m very disappointed by the performance of Al Mouwaffak as he has been training well in the lead-up. However, the pace was a fast one and, mentally, he was unable to get on terms with the other horses. He was unable to deliver his finishing thrust and will almost certainly be retired as a stallion."

Julian Smart (trainer of the third and fourth: Ebraz and Gazwan)

"I wasn’t familiar with the winner but congratulations all the same! He has to be a champion to beat the best {PA} horses in such a manner. I think that Ebraz hit the front too soon. He didn’t contest the prep race as I was of the opinion that I did too much with him last season. Today my only gripe was the one draw which forced our hand regarding the taking up of a prominent position. It’s a pity as he buckled down to his task {in the straight} and stuck his head out. Regarding Gazwan, Cristian Demuro opined that he needed the race.We are leaving for Doha on Thursday."

Alban de Mieulle (trainer of  the fifth : Yazeed)

"His was an off day and we have no explanation."


For the record

Year           Winner                            Trainer              Owner                                                                     Jockey                 Final time

2018           Fazza Al Khalediah        M. Borkowski   Polska AKF SP Z.O.O.                                           P. Convertino      2’13’’22

2017           Gazwan                           J. Smart             S.E. le cheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani   M. Guyon            2’11’’87

2016           Al Mourtajez                   T. Fourcy          Al Shaqab Racing                                                   J. Augé                2’08’’83

2015           Al Mourtajez                   T. Fourcy          Al Shaqab Racing                                                   J. Augé                2’10’’48

2014           Djainka des Forges         J. Smart             S.E. le cheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani   C. Lemaire          2’11’’89