Sibling rivalry ruled the day in the Group One Arabian World Cup held at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe meet yesterday. General, who had been beaten by his full sister, Al Dahma, during their previous outing together at the Emir's Sword in Qatar in March, reversed the form under jockey Alain Boulaeu, to put two lengths between him and his second-placed family member. "He is a fantastic horse and answered every question that was asked of him," said the jockey, who had punched the air in victory after crossing the line. "He quickened well and has superb pace."
Both horses are trained by Alban de Mieulle and owned by Qatar's Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah. General and Al Dahma - who despite her second place is still the highest-rated Arabian mare in the world - may have kept themselves out of trouble during the contest, but that is more than could be said of Asraa Min Albarq, owned by Qatar's Sheikh Khalifa bin Mohammed, who spectacularly threw his rider on leaving the parade ring, causing a 10-minute delay to the start of the race.
The four-year-old General, winner of four races out of eight and Qatar's highest-rated Arabian, rewarded the faith that his trainer had in him before the race, while Al Dahma's form is all the more impressive when considered in light of the fact that she sustained a double fracture to her off fore in 2008 causing an 11-month lay-off. Prior to the race yesterday, the mare was the winner of the Group One Emir Sword in Qatar this year and unbeaten in four runs.
Group One Kahayla Classic-winner Fryvolous, which is owned by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, trained by Rod Simpson and ridden by Daragh O'Donohoe, did not have quite enough in the tank, finishing out of the first four.