Leading Qatari trainer to join ranks in Newmarket with backing of Wathnan Racing

Leading Qatari trainer Hamad Al Jehani is setting up a stable in Newmarket. 

Al Jehani, who will continue to train in Qatar over the winter, will be based in the lower yard of Tom Clover’s Kremlin House Stables in a deal negotiated by Richard Brown of Blandford Bloodstock. 

He will initially train a small number of horses owned by Wathnan Racing. 

The 35-year-old started with just three horses in 2013 before saddling his first winner in Qatar the following year. An accomplished showjumper who represented Qatar at national level, Al Jehani has rapidly ascended the training ranks and now has a string of 80 horses in Doha. He has already had 53 winners this season, ten clear of his nearest rival. 

Al Jehani arrives in Newmarket on the back of winning the Qatar Guineas with Lil’ Frank. He also saddled Jeff Koons, previously trained by the Gosdens, to win the Qatar Derby in December for Wathnan. 

Al Jehani said: "I'm excited to have the chance to train in Newmarket. It’s an amazing opportunity for me to work in this historic training centre. I've been attending the sales in Newmarket for many years and have long been an admirer of the world-class facilities. I’m really looking forward to getting started."

Olly Tait, Wathnan Racing adviser, said: "Hamad’s had a brilliant first season training Wathnan horses in Qatar and we're delighted to be giving him this experience. 

"Alban de Mieulle, who also trains for Wathnan in Qatar, takes a number of horses to France in the summer and had great success with Bolthole last year. It would be wonderful if Hamad can do something similar in Newmarket."

Al Jehani has secured the services of Tommy Allen as his assistant trainer at Kremlin House. 

Allen has spent the past three years assisting George Boughey to train the likes of Group 1 winners Cachet and Via Sistina after spells with Ballylinch Stud, Tally-Ho Stud and Willie Mullins. 

Boughey said: "I'm very sorry to lose Tommy after what has been a hugely successful three years together. But he is leaving very much with our blessing. It’s a great chance for him and I’ve no doubt he will be an enormous asset to Hamad Al Jehani. 

"Henry Morshead has worked with me and Tommy for the past season and will take over his place."

Wathnan Racing burst onto the scene last summer with the owner’s first three runners including Courage Mon Ami, who won the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, and Gregory, who landed the Queen's Vase at the same meeting. 

The operation is headed by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. He is a brother of Sheikh Joaan, principal of Al Shaqab Racing and Haras de Bouquetot, while the siblings are cousins of Sheikh Fahad of Qatar Racing, who stands the likes of Zoustar and Kameko at Tweenhills Stud. 

Their first jockey is James Doyle, who described the appointment last autumn as an “amazing opportunity”.