Frenchbreds' success at Leopardstown Christmas Festival

29 December 2019

Frenchbreds' success at Leopardstown Christmas Festival

Leopardstown : Sport

The Christmas festival at Leopardstown ended this Sunday, December 29, on a very positive note for Frenchbred jumpers since they won 5 of the 7 Grade 1 fixtures in the 4-days festival.

6-year-old Sharjah (Doctor Dino), bred by Haras de Beauvoir in Vendée and now trained by Willie Mullins, came along Petit Mouchoir (Al Namix) between the last two hurdles in the Matheson Hurdle (Gr1), and won by almost four lengths. He had already won this race in 2018, and his former stablemate Hurricane Fly won it four times before him.

Sharjah is the fourth foal out of Saaryeh (Royal Academy), a mare bred by sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum, winner of her maiden at Ascot and sold at 7 on foal to Josr Algarhoud at Goffs Ireland sales in 2005 for €13,500 to MAB Agency (Marc-Antoine Berghracht). She is a daughter of Belle Argentine (Fijar Tango), winner of the Prix La Camargo (L), a 3-year fillies race run in March over the Saint-Cloud mile, and then third in the French 1,000 Guineas (Gr1) won by East of the Moon.

Saaryeh gave Sahawar (Dark Angel), several times placed in Provincial Listed races in France, and, after Sharjah, a son of Siyouni that's still a maiden, and another by Dark Angel, now 4.

Before his Irish career, Sharjah started over the flat with Jonathan Pease after being sold for € 30,000 at the Deauville sales. He joined Henri-François Devin when his previous trainer retired, and finally won at Deauville over the all-weathr at his sixth attempt… Exported in 2017, he won his third Group 1 in Ireland on Sunday.

Also on Sunday in Leopardstown, Stormy Ireland (Motivator) easily won the EBF Mares Hurdle (Gr3) over 4,100 metres, beating another Frenchbred mare, Elfile (Saint des Saints), by more than five lengths. Stormy Ireland was bred by Haras d'Orfausse (Franck Beugnon), in the West of France.