Racing

Munro scores a double in Qatar

Kranji-based jockey's hit-and-run visit at prestigious Emir's Sword meeting

Kranji-based English jockey Alan Munro made his trip to Qatar count when he claimed two races on Saturday, the first and the last to bookend the prestigious Emir's Sword meeting which was bringing the curtains down on the three-day series.

A winner in the first race aboard Magic Paint at Kranji on Friday night, Munro flew out to the oil-rich Middle-East state straight after the races to take five rides at one of Qatar's richest racing rendezvous at the Al Rayyan Racecourse in Doha the next day.

Munro, who was not at his first Qatar jaunt, having regularly made hit-and-run visits there in the last couple of months (they don't clash with Kranji races as they normally race on Wednesdays and Thursdays), saluted at his first ride aboard Sraab in the US$150,000 (S$58,000) Al Rayyan Breeders Cup over 2,000m before saving the best for last in the premier prize for Purebred Arabians, the US$1 million Group 1 The HH Emir's Sword over 2,400m, landing the race aboard EBRAZ for local trainer Julian Smart.

CONFIDENT

Before heading out to Qatar, Munro had said he was confident of a good run from Sraab, as he knew the grey well from having won on him at his last two starts in Qatar, and they duly delivered again.

Settling the eight-year-old mare trained by Ahmed Kobeissi in mid-pack and four wide, Munro waited for the last furlong to extract the best from his mount, who responded gallantly to swoop down on the outside and beat Asaaf (Eduardo Pedroza) by a neck.

Munro then went through three unplaced rides (French Encore, Catch A Wave and Ponfeigh, all for trainer Deborah Mountain) before hitting the target again in the big race with Ebraz, who won a lot more comfortably than Sraab.

After improving from a midfield spot at the 800m, Ebraz drew clear in the home straight to post an easy three-and-a-half-length win from Tayf (Olivier Peslier).