Qatar is making an impact in the racing game as well as the world game.
Qatar’s Sheikh Fahad topped the Tattersalls December Sale last week when he paid 1.30 million guineas (AUD 2.16 million) for Green Desert mare Diary.
Qatar’s al Thani family were also in the headlines earlier this year when they purchased 2010 English 2000 Guineas winner Makfi (Dubawi). He will stand at Tweenhills Stud in England in 2011.
The Tweenhills Stud connection with Qatar will continue on December 23 when Trade Fair filly Miss Starlight contests the Qatar Derby at Al Rayyan Park racecourse.
Miss Starlight (3f Trade Fair — Redeem by Doyoun) is by a young Zafonic sire who shuttles between Tweenhills and Lynward Park in Western Australia. She won at Wolverhampton and Leicester earlier this year and was twice stakes placed at Newmarket before trainer Charlie McBride went searching for a black-type victory on the continent.
Miss Starlight won the G3 Sheikh Hamdan Trophy at Hamburg in July and was all set to start in the German Oaks but was sidelined with an infection. She was then sold privately to Qatar based businessman Hassan Al Abdulmalik.
The Trade Fair filly travelled to Qatar as part of a draft of horses that included Hearts Of Fire (Firebreak). He was a G1 winner of the 2009 Italian Gran Criterium and was bought by Qatar trainer Ibrahim Al-Malki for 550,000gns (AUD 916,915) at the Tattersalls HIT Sale in October.
Miss Starlight delighted connections when she scored a first-up victory in the Thoroughbred Derby Trial in Qatar last week. Along with Hearts Of Fire, she will be set for the Dubai Carnival in March.
Trade Fair’s first southern crop included the precocious filly Absolute Pleasure. She scored on debut at Ascot in January and was also G2 placed in the Karrakatta Plate. Trainer Trevor Andrews brought her back this season to win first-up at Ascot on November 10.
Trade Fair doesn’t have any Sunspeed bred two year-olds this season but he has a bumper catalogue of 36 yearlings entered for the 2011 Perth Magic Millions in February.