French King repeats big-race success in Qatar

Pantall-trained five-year-old shines again under Peslier.

  • Saturday 22 February
  • News
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French King put his run in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe behind him to complete back-to-back victories in the H.H The Amir Trophy at Al Rayyan racecourse in Doha.

The Alex Pantall-trained five-year-old ran his rivals ragged with a superb all-the-way display.

Victory was assured when he quickened 600 metres out and pulled clear under Olivier Peslier. Graham Motion’s Standard Deviation made late gains for third place in the hands of Oisin Murphy.

“He’s a good horse. He’s very courageous now. He has changed. He is better now,” said Pantall.

“The course was not good for him at Longchamp – next year.

“We hope to come back for the hat-trick in this race next year.”

Peslier said: “I think this was better compared to last year. He stuck to it very well.

“He won a Group One in Germany and he ran in the Arc. His Highness (owner Sheikh Abdulla Bin Khalifa Al Thani) took the horse for this year so we have started well.”

Murphy earlier enjoyed better fortune in the Al Biddah Mile, through the Jassim Al Ghazali-trained Sir Arthur Dayne.

Maystar and Hollie Doyle gave a good account for a long way from their wide draw before fading out of the places, as Murphy powered up the far rail on the former Mick Channon inmate to deny Tom Marquand and Think Big.

Murphy said: “Maystar was dictating and I followed Tom Marquand and got a nice run through.

“They’ve done a good job with the horse, I’d ridden him when he was in England and he used to be difficult.

“I normally team up with Jassim when I come to Qatar and it’s nice to get a winner.”

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