Having only visited the racecourse for the first time in February, the three-year-old QAISER(FR) (Charm Spirit x Holly Polly) got off the mark at the third attempt a fortnight earlier. He the Class 2 Prix Vans Théault won by five lengths at Lyon, but that form was hard to weigh up. On Wednesday, 28 April, card at La Teste-de-Buch, the representative of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani was not only tackling the 2,400m (12f) trip for the first time, but he was also up against far superior opposition. The Antoine de Watrigant runner lifted the cloud of doubt harboured by his connections after delivering a second career victory full of promise, winning the Class 2 Prix Vans Théault.
In a race in which GOT BRIGHT (Intello x Rumored) set the tempo, QAISER travelled in mid-division in a heat which had been reduced to five runners. The race was run at a modest tempo, but the pace quickened on the turn when the quintet was line abreast. The horses then made a beeline for the stands’ side rail in the straight, and the future winner, responding to a couple of reminders from Olivier Peslier, subsequently took the lead. He prevailed by a length and a quarter, but giving the impression that he was very much in his comfort zone. The JC. Rouget-trained and Jean-Bernard Eyquem-helmed MOTHILL (IRE) (Golden Horn x Jilnaar) was second while The R. Avial Lopez-trained and the Julien Grosjean-ridden PAPER TROPHY (FR) (Spanish Moon x Mislix) was further three quarters of a length behind in third.
Antoine de Watrigant said: “Unlike today’s race, the Lyon victory was difficult to assess. I was a bit worried about the soft ground as this isn’t his forte. It was a bit of a falsely run race, as the other horses in the race were ‘reined’ back, but Olivier Peslier gave him a good ride. QAISER acquitted himself very well and I’m very happy. He was supplemented for this because of the lack of suitable other opportunities in the calendar. We chose La Teste because we were looking for a flat track. I don’t know where he goes next, but he will probably be earmarked for a Class 1 or a Listed race. He’s coming along gradually and is a colt who strengthened up.”
Source: Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club