Algiers Just The Fifth Horse To Take First Two Rounds Of Al Maktoum Challenge

Algiers | Dhric/AK/DRC


Algiers (Ire) (Shamardal) became just the fifth horse in history to win the first two rounds of the G2 Al Maktoum Challenge in the same year.

Stepping up to 1900 metres for this first time in this $350,000 main track event sponsored by Emaar, the chestnut was forced to cover extra ground when leaving from stall eight. Unable to save any real estate on the clubhouse turn, he avoided the kickback generated by pacesetters Secret Victory (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) along the fence and Bendoog (Gun Runner), to that foe's outside. Desert Wisdom (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) was also flashing some early speed in third. Rounding the far turn still three to four wide, Algiers set sail for Bendoog, as Desert Wisdom weakened. He passed all comers without drawing a deep breath, and drew away to win by six lengths as much the best for the training duo of Simon and Ed Crisford and owner Hamdan Sultan Ali Alsabousi.

The margins were 2 1/2 lengths from Bendoog to Remorse (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), who came on for third, 1 3/4 lengths to the good of Secret Victory (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) in fourth.

“It was fantastic, he switched leads at the right time in the race and did what he had to do,” said winning co-trainer Simon Crisford. “Obviously we'll talk to his owner, Hamdan Sultan and make a plan now, but on the back of that effort we'll have to strongly push for the [G1] Dubai World Cup [on Mar. 25].”

“It's the furthest he's run on dirt” said pilot James Doyle. “I didn't want to ride him aggressively, but he jumped so well I could have led. I chose to take him back and then one went up my inside and pushed me wide, so then he over-raced throughout. He did well to achieve what he has without ever being in a rhythm.

“He's the best we have in the UAE and this opens up options now, whether it be here or Saudi.”

A dual listed winner in France back in 2020 and 2021 and placed twice at group level there in the latter year, Algiers took the G3 Jebel Ali Mile a year ago, and was also listed placed at Lingfield in November. He opened his 2023 account with a 6 1/2-length win in the G1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1.

Pedigree Notes

The best foal out of three-time group winner Antara (Ger) (Platini {Ger}), who was also second in the G1 Premio Lydia Tesio, G1 Prix Jean Romanet and G1 Nassau S., Algiers is from the same family as German Group 3 winner Andolini (Ger) (Kallisto {Ger}) and G3 Deutsches St. Leger and G3 Silbernes Pferd hero Aff Un Zo (Ger) (Kallisto {Ger}). Antara, who foaled the winning Wild Tiger (GB) (Frankel {GB}) in 2019, produced a foal in 2021, but it later died.


Friday, Meydan, Dubai
AL MAKTOUM CHALLENGE R2 PRESENTED BY EMAAR-G2, $350,000, Meydan, 2-3, 3yo/up, 9 1/2f, 1:56.08, fs.
1–ALGIERS (IRE), 126, g, 6, by Shamardal
1st Dam: Antara (Ger) (Hwt. 3yo-Ger at 9 1/2-11f
                                 MGSW-Eng, GSW & G1SP-Eng, G1SP-Ity & Fr,
                                $499,204, by Platini (Ger)
2nd Dam: Auenpracht (Ger), by General Assembly
3rd Dam: Auenqueen (Ger), by Big Shuffle
O-Hamdan Sultan Ali Alsabousi; B-Godolphin (IRE); T-Simon &
Ed Crisford; J-James Doyle. $210,000. Lifetime Record:  MSW
& MGSP-Fr, SP-Eng, 20-7-5-2, $627,367. Click for the
   free catalogue-style pedigree. Werk Nick
   Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Bendoog, 125, c, 4, Gun Runner–Nellie Cashman, by
Mineshaft. 1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE. O-Mohammed Khaleel
Ahmed; B-Calumet Farm (KY); T-Bhupat Seemar. $70,000.
3–Remorse (Ire), 126, g, 6, Dubawi (Ire)–Jealous Again, by
Trippi. (70,000gns HRA '20 TATAUT). O-Al Rashid Stables LLC;
B-Godolphin (IRE); T-Bhupat Seemar. $35,000.
Margins: 6, 2HF, 1 3/4.
Also Ran: Secret Victory (GB), Salute The Soldier (Ger), Atletico El Culano (Uru), Military Law (GB), Desert Wisdom (GB), First Constitution (Chi). Click for the Video.

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