Marhaba Ya Sanafi Seeking Classic Double 

Marhaba Ya Sanafi heads to Chantilly next | Scoop Dyga

Twelve horses stood their ground for Sunday's G1 Qatar Prix du Jockey Club, led by Jaber Abdullah's homebred G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains winner Marhaba Ya Sanafi (Ire) (Muhaarar {GB}), and there will be one supplementary entry in Feed The Flame (Fr) (Kingman {GB}).

The Andreas Schutz-trained Marhaba Ya Sanafi is joined by Yeguada Centurion's Big Rock (Fr) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}), who has won a pair of Group 3 contests for Christopher Head this season and is the current market favourite.

The unbeaten Feed The Flame is trained by Pascal Bary, a six-time winner of the French Classic, who said, “Feed The Flame had a few issues at two and it was only in February that he started to come to hand and he has improved throughout with each run.

“He has only run twice, but he is professional enough that he can handle the Prix du Jockey Club. He's a very big horse and like all big horses, he needed time to grow into himself. At the time the entries were made I never thought he'd be running this Sunday.

“He only made his debut six weeks ago. I thought he would win but I didn't think he would win that easily. We then ran him again quickly because I felt if he had any chance of running in this, he would need time between a second run and a Classic. When he won easily again we then made the decision the supplement him.”

Almost half the likely field is supplied by two stables, with Jean-Claude Rouget keeping Rajapour (Ire) (Almanzor {GB}), Padishakh (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) and Ace Impact (Ire) (Cracksman {GB}) in contention, while Aidan O'Brien also has the trio of Adelaide River (Ire) (Australia {GB}), Cairo (Ire) (Quality Road) and Continuous  (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}) still engaged.

The French Classic has long been the target for the John and Thady Gosden-trained Epictetus (GB) (Kingman {GB}), who won the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom for owner/breeder George Strawbridge. Another homebred, the G3 Prix Noailles winner Flight Leader (GB) (Frankel {GB}), represents Juddmonte Farms and Andre Fabre.

Malcolm Parrish's American Flag (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) had the beating of Marhaba Ya Sanafi in the G3 Prix de Fontainebleau before running fourth in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains. He represents the Deauville stable of Yann Barberot, while Chantilly-based Alessandro Botti, whose brother Endo recently won the G2 Derby Italiano with Goldenas (Ire) (Golden Horn {GB}), will saddle Listed Prix de l'Avre winner Winter Pudding (Fr) (Seahenge).

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