x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Kiss de Ghazal is a blessing says owner

The French filly booked her ticket to the Qatar Arabian World Cup at Longchamp in France in October with a commanding victory in The President of the UAE Cup race.

Ascot, England // Kiss de Ghazal, the French filly, booked her ticket to the Qatar Arabian World Cup at Longchamp in France in October with a commanding victory in The President of the UAE Cup race on Saturday.

So confident were connections beforehand that they told Jean-Bernard Eyquem, the jockey, to not touch the four year old with his whip.

Eyquem might as well have not carried one, as his mount loomed up alongside the grey Divamer before running out an easy winner of the 2,000-metre feature.

Eyquem, who likes to hone his technique on Gallop Racer, the PlayStation 3 game, could not contain his admiration for his mount, who was winning on her first visit to England.

"I barely had to press the button she was so professional," said the Frenchman. "It was like playing a computer game. I just flicked my hands and off she went. I ride a lot of Arabians and she is the best."

It was Kiss de Ghazal's second Group 1 victory having won the Qatar French Arabian Breeders' Fillies challenge at Saint-Cloud in October. Her form this season has been on the incline, and her victory over Sanagham in the Prix Nefta at Toulouse was franked when the runner-up won the Hatta Stakes at Newbury on Dubai International Arabian Day last Sunday.

Jean Pierre de Gaste, a part owner of the filly, was hardly surprised. "She is a specimen that perhaps comes around once every 50 years," he said. "She is a blessing. A wonderful filly."

Kiss de Ghazal may have a prep race at La Teste a month before Longchamp, according to Jean-Francois Bernard, the trainer.