Samlla wins the Qatar Derby des Pur-Sang Arabes sponsored by the QREC
By Sports Reporter / Chantilly, France
The Qatar Gr 1 Derby for 4-year-old Thoroughbred Arabians sponsored by the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC) for the seventh consecutive year took place at Chantilly on Sunday. QREC Vice President and Asian Racing Federation President Hamad bin Abdulrahman al-Attiya presented the trophies to the winners. The 2000m competition is the mid-season highlight of the French Arabian racing program and it features the best four-year-old Arabian thoroughbreds of their generation.
Last year’s edition was won by one of the world’s tallest four-year-olds, HE Sheikha Reem bint Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani, owned by Hoggar De L’ardus, who then proved to his top class again at the highest level when he clinched the Arab World Cup from Qatar less than four months later. Samlla (Assy x Djakera des Forges) (FR) was the new star crowned in the 2022 renewal of the Qatar Derby Gr 1 for 4-year-old Thoroughbred Arabian horses and he again clinched the prestigious classic title under the colors of HE Sheikha Reem bint Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani, retaining the title of Her Excellency for the second consecutive year. In doing so, Samlla also added her third Gr.1 victory to her tally.
The chestnut colt was one of the best 3-year-olds of his generation last season and has now won five of his six career starts. Trained by François Rohaut and confidently led behind the pace by Maxime Guyon, Samilla was able to get ahead of his stable mate Yunus (Assy) in the first stages of the 2000m competition. Once on the straight, Samlla slid to lead against the rail and although he was pressed hard by Izadi Star (Azadi) in the closing stages, he tenaciously held on to score with a header on line.
Izadi Star, owned by Helal Alalawi and trained by Elizabeth Bernard, finished second under Cristian Demuro 10th length from third, Sinan Khalaf Sinan al-Harti and X.
Thomas Demeaulte trained Izmir De Carrere (Nieshan), who was ridden by Ioritz Mendizabal.
“Everything went well fortunately,” said winning coach François Rohaut after the race.
“We had great towing in the race. He was pushed to the line by another good horse and that distance is really his maximum. He fought hard and really showed courage to win. The Arab horse world is really developing and there are now real horses. They are much stronger and more willful, and it shows in the results of the last 15 years.
“We had great battles in those races and even big name jockeys love to ride in those races now,” he said.