Doha, Qatar: Wathnan Racing’s Jeff Koons wrapped up another sensational meeting at the Al Rayyan Racecourse, clinching the Gr1 Qatar Derby for Thoroughbreds after a thrilling victory last night.

Faleh Bughanaim led the Hamad Al Jehani to a quarter of a length win in the 2000m race, rounding up the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club’s (QREC) 17th Al Rayyan Meeting – the Qatar International Derby Day – which showcased 10 pulsating contests.

After giving a close fight to Jeff Koons, Azka, ridden by Stephan Ladjadj, had to settle for second place in the feature edging Coco Jack by a nose.

Minister of Sports and Youth H E Salah bin Ghanim Al Ali crowned the connections of Jeff Koons while President of the Asian Equestrian Federation and QREC Vice Chairman Hamad Bin Abdulrahman Al Attiya was also present.

Earlier, jockey Maxime Guyon completed his hat-trick of wins on the day, guiding HH The Amir Silver Sword champion Ska De L’Aigle to a comfortable victory in the 2000m Qatar International Derby for Purebred Arabians (Gr2).

Guyon claimed his first win of the day when he steered Gassim Ghazali-trained Seulomonde to Derby Day Thoroughbred Handicap Cup title, before piloting Ponga to win in the Al Rayyan Thoroughbred Handicap Cup.

Meanwhile, the Al Rayyan Stakes for Thoroughbreds was won by Soldier’s Gold, who defeated Ne Me Quitte Pas by a head after an exciting 1400m race under Mickael Barzalona, who also led Matawar to Local Thoroughbred Derby victory on the day.

A day after Qatar Oaks triumph, Jim Crowley also had his name among the victors as he teamed up with Julian Smart-trained Layeq to claim the 2000m Qatar National Derby for Local Purebred Arabians.

The 1600m Qatar Purebred Arabian Derby (Gr3 PA) also saw thrilling action with Kanti De Bozouls sealing the title under the supervision of jockey Aurelien Lemaitre.

Also yesterday, MHK Al Attiyah-trained AJS Kabul emerged winner in the Local Purebred Arabian Derby while Balzac under James Doyle secured the Local Thoroughbred Premium Maiden Cup win.

Action will now move to the Al Uqda Racecourse, which will hold seven races including the 1300m feature for Ras Umm Hasah Cup - Purebred Arabian tomorrow.

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