Qatar’s Lauderdale Lands Saudi International Handicap

February 25, 2022

25 February 2022 – Mohammed bin Hamad Khalifa Al Attiyah’s Qatar-based Lauderdale (IRE) closed resolutely down the King Abdulaziz Racecourse turf straight under Ronan Thomas to win the US $500,000 Saudi International Handicap presented by Al Rajhi Bank for trainer Alban de Mieulle on Friday afternoon. The victory was the first for both trainer and jockey in Saudi Arabia.

Finding the gaps with enthusiasm turning for home, the son of Siyouni reeled in pace-setting Qaader (IRE) and proceeded to hold off stable companion King Shalaa (FR) and Olivier Peslier by three-quarters of a length at the finish. It was another three-quarters of a length back to My Frankel (GB) and Joel Rosario in third.

Qaader, who vied early with Domi Go (IRE), gave way begrudgingly to finish fourth another neck back. After a steady tempo set by the aforementioned, the final time was 2:09.85 for the 2100m.

The victorious five-year-old gelding won for the fifth time in 12 starts and for his third trainer, having won his second career start for original trainer Freddy Head and then his fourth start for Francois Rohaut. He was bred by George Strawbridge, for whom he raced through a fourth-placed finish in Listed company at Strasbourg. The winner had managed a smart runner-up effort in Doha in December prior to today’s triumph.


Albon de Mieulle, trainer of Lauderdale and King Shalaa: “I was not expecting to win with this horse [Lauderdale], I was expecting to win with the other one [King Shalaa]. They both did a good job. It’s a handicap race. In handicaps all horses should finish on the same line. You might have some traffic problems but the race is the race.

“The problem was that King Shalaa was [drawn] 14 outside in the gate; it is difficult. I told Olivier Peslier, ‘You have to wait, you have to be covered with your horse. Try to come in a straight line, you will see where you can find the way,’ and he did, very well. If he has a good draw King Shalaa would beat Lauderdale.

“Today both jockeys did well, and we ran first and second. I am so happy for both owners. It’s my first time here in Saudi Arabia. The track is very nice; it’s an amazing track. Well done to Saudi Arabia to have a track like that. The sand track looks fantastic and the grass is very, very nice. I am very very pleased to see that – well done to them.

“I’ve been in Qatar for more than 25 years. I’m working for His Highness Mohammed Bin Hamad Khalifa Al Attiyah, and I will say thank you to him for this. We’ll decide with the owner on a plan – there’s a race in Qatar in one month, I think we will look there and maybe next season if the rating isn’t too high, we’ll come back.”

Ronan Thomas, jockey, Lauderdale, 1st: “Amazing race! I took my time on him, let him relax – I was following Saiydabad at the top of the straight as I knew he would be one of the big chances. Then he accelerated very well for me. I wasn’t sure if he would stay the full distance – I thought it might be a bit far – but he tried very hard and just held on. He is a pretty smart horse; he was Listed standard in France and he has been finding his form in Qatar before coming here.”

Olivier Peslier, jockey, King Shalaa, 2nd “Nice horse, I was stuck down the outside but he showed a good turn of foot.”

Joel Rosario, jockey, My Frankel, 3rd: “I thought we were going to be in the lead, but he broke a little bit slow, so I had to go to another plan. He did well for a little while there; I had to shake him a little bit in the first turn. He did well – he was fighting there at the end.”

Remaining jockey quotes:

David Egan, jockey, Qaader, 4th: “He ran a good race from a wide draw and we had to be prominent from the gates. I had to shove forward going by the winning post to stop getting caught four-deep. He quickened up alright, but probably just a few other horses had a better turn of foot than he has.”

Ioritz Mendizabal, jockey, Run To The Hills, 5th: “I had a good race in third behind one horse, he was relaxed and was coming to take a good third but he finished a bit tired.”

Martin Dwyer, jockey, Finely Tuned, 7th: “He ran a blinder and probably needs further at this level.”

Elione Chaves, jockey, Master Bloom, 11th: “He travelled nice today. Last time he was too much into the pace and this time we decided to let him relax more. He never picked up the last 800m. I tried and he never went. He was sick in his last race and I think he’s not 100% yet.”

Saudi Cup Press Release

Photo: Lauderdale (Jockey Club Of Saudi Arabia Photo)

@JakeBLues23231 @jonathanstettin @PastTheWire and selections were made at 8/1 12/1/10/1 M/L. Must be we are all so far ahead we pound!

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