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Dramatic Dead Heat in Qatar Derby

Qatar Derby PhotoThe Qatar Derby at Al Rayyan, Doha, was settled in dramatic fashion in the judge's box when the original announced decision in favour of victory to Germany's Rogue Runner by a nose was amended to a dead-heat with South Africa's Tannaaf.

Mike de Kock's runner had finished fast and wide up the home straight under Wayne Smith and at the line was the width of the course apart from Mario Hofer's charge, ridden prominently by Colombia-born, Germany-based Eduardo Pedroza.

A re-examination of the photo-finish print with the trainers involved concluded that the two horses were not even a pixel apart and the result was amended to a dead-heat.

For Hofer and owner Eckhard Sauren half the £$500,000 prize was still rich reward for the shrewd €80,000 purchase of Rogue Runner at the Arqana Arc sale in October. 

A trip to Meydan could be on the cards for Rogue Runner, but Hofer is certain of his plans as he will be at Chelmsford on Saturday to saddle Gamgoom  - a record breaker in Germany with 11 wins already this season - in the five-furlong conditions stakes.

Botti and Dettori strike

Marco Botti and Frankie Dettori doubled the tally of British success in Qatar when Rasikh landed the opening race on day two of the International Derby Festival in Doha to follow Brian Meehan's groundbreaking victory for a British stable with Perkunas on Tuesday night.

Rasikh's success came in the Al Rayyan Consolation Trophy for horses who did not make it into the main event won by Perkunas and the two-year-old was brought with a forceful late drive by Dettori to snatch the race from Harry Bentley on Pippin Street.

Rasikh is owned by Khalifa Al Attiyah, general manager of Al Shaqab for whom Dettori is retained rider.

Bentley did not have to wait long for consolation, winning the championship races for purebred Arabians, the Oaks on Najda and $150,000 Derby on Gazwan, for owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani and owner Julian Smart.




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