Duhail made a sparkling return in the Prix Anabaa (6f 110y) at Chantilly this afternoon, Tuesday, March 2, a Fast-Track Qualifier for the Betway All-Weather Sprint Championship at Lingfield Park on Good Friday.
Trained by Andre Fabre and ridden by Vincent Cheminaud, Duhail was having his first start since shouldering joint top weight to victory in a seven-furlong handicap at Longchamp in October.
The 6/5 favourite sat in fourth of the eight runners in the early stages before making smooth headway to challenge approaching the final furlong. He quickened well soon after and readily put daylight between himself and the rest of the field for an impressive four-length victory.
Golden Boy (Stephane Wattel/Theo Bachelot) was second after racing prominently, with German challenger Coco City (Heller Sauer/Pierre Bazire) running on from the rear to take third.
This was a second All-Weather success from as many starts for Duhail, with the son of Lope De Vega also impressing in a similar contest at Deauville in August.
Rupert Pritchard-Gordon, racing manager for Al Shaqab Racing in France, said: “That was very pleasing, particularly as Duhail was running against some horses who are specialists on this surface, although he has already won on the All-Weather.
“We know he is just as effective on soft ground. He won the handicap off top weight at the end of the year on heavy ground, so he is very versatile.
“Duhail will need to improve another 5lb to be competitive in those Group Three and Group Two races, but he could do as he doesn’t have many miles on the clock. Hopefully, now he is a fully mature horse turning five, he will be a horse to look forward to in some of those nice seven-furlong races.”
Duhail wins the Prix Anabaa, picture All Weather Championships