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The HH The Amir Sword Festival never disappoints in terms of quality PA racing and this year’s event concluded with a magnificent display from Mon’nia. The race had been billed as a clash between the old guard of three-time Amir Sword and Triple Crown winner Ebraz, and Tayf, who had beaten Ebraz in the Qatar Arabian World Cup in October. Add in to the mix the diminutive Lady Princess, who also has three Group 1PA wins to her name and you have the recipe for a great race.
Whilst all eyes had been on the Julian Smart trained Ebraz in the preliminaries, he had another ace up his sleeve in the form of the five-year-old filly Mon’nia. She caught the eye at last years’ Festival, winning the four-year-old Purebred Arabian Plate by four lengths. She remained in Doha to strengthen, instead of heading for a European campaign, and it was a decision that has paid off this Gulf season, winning the Umm Salal Oaks Trial on her reappearance and then the Qatar Guineas. Not at her best in the Qatar Derby (Gr2PA), she finished fourth behind Lady Princess, Jabalah and Methgal, but made amends in the HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani Trophy (Gr3PA), beating the good yardstick Al Naama by three lengths.
Watch MON'NIA (FR) (2017 gr f Amer x Margouia) and Tomas Lukasek win the HH The Amir Sword over 2400m
As the race unfolded, Bin General in the Umm Qarn colours, set the pace, with Ebraz, Tayf and Lady Princess all held up at the rear of the field. Mon’nia was the most prominent of the Smart trained runners, settled in mid-field. The next Umm Qarn pacesetter Jabalah moved into the lead and it was obvious that whoever won, there would be no hard luck stories attributed to a slowly run race.

Lying fourth at the 800m mark, Tomas Lukasek moved Mon’nia off the rail and to the outside, taking up the lead and accelerating away from the field. The pair quickly put several lengths between themselves and their nearest rivals, and had the edge over Lady Princess, who also possesses a good turn of foot. Ebraz was also working his way through the field, but Mon’nia had flown, and although Ebraz and Lady Princess had made in-roads into her lead, Mon’nia was just too good. 

“First and second, get in!” shouted Smart, adding yet another win to his remarkable record of HH Amir’s Sword victories for the horses of Al Shahania Stud and the first in the colours of HE Sheikha Yasmeen bint Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani.

Mon’nia won in a time of 2.36.40, faster than Gazwan in 2016, faster than Ebraz in 2017, faster than Al Mourtajez in 2015 and faster than her own brother Assy in 2014. At only five years of age, she has already amassed eight wins from 11 starts, the future looks bright for this athletic filly.

Mon'nia beats multiple Group 1 PA winners Ebraz, Lady Princess and Tayf in the 2021 HH The Amir Sword (Gr1PA)
It was a great day for Smart and Al Shahania Stud. The third and final day of the HH The Amir Festival features three Arabian races, with the Qatar International Cup (Gr1PA) the second race on the card. For a second consecutive year, Methgal took the honours, overcoming a far from favourable draw of 15 in the one mile contest. Breaking smartly, Maxime Guyon soon had the five-year-old grey well positioned in the middle of the field, as regular front runner Al Naama led the way. With over 300m to go, Guyon unleashed Methgal who showed good speed up the outside, reaching the mare by the 100m mark, with Arguya and El Afreeta in pursuit. 
Watch METHGAL (FR) (2016 gr h TM Fred Texas x Theeba) and Maxime Guyon win the Qatar International Cup over 1600m
In a matter of strides it was all over, with Methgal giving Smart a three straight wins in the race, having taken it with Sharesa in 2019. Bred by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani’s Al Shahania Stud, Methgal [below] now runs in the colours of his daughter, HE Sheika Reem. 

Trainer Smart commented: “What can I say, he was in great form coming into the race, Maxime has given him a peach of a ride. Being drawn 15 is not easy because we’re using the small track today, which is a real shame as we’ve got the big bend here, we should be using it on a big international day like this, though I don’t like to criticise the track.”
The HH The Amir Silver Sword is run over 1850m for four-year-olds owned by local individual owners. Strongly fancied to continue his winning streak was two-time Group 1PA winner Hadi De Carrere for Khalifa bin Sheail Al Kuwari, one of a contingent of horses brought over from France by Thomas Fourcy. However it was another Fourcy runner, Munir Du Soleil [below] who took the advantage with well-timed ride by Tomas Lukasek, as Hadi De Carrere raced wide on the bend loosing many lengths. As the field entered the straight Munir Du Soleil was already reeling in the leader, Hidalgo Du Croate and won going away by three lengths. 
Munir Du Soleil was bought in utero by Du Soleil Stud at the 2016 Arqana PA Sale. They paid €100,000 for the dam, Rahab, a full-sister to Al Dahma and General, carrying to Munjiz, with Munir Du Soleil being the result. He debuted at Mont-de-Marsan in September carrying the Du Soleil colours of Lisa Demoynaz, finishing third and was sold to Abdullah Fahad Al-Attiyah, though remained in training with Fourcy.
Watch Mon'nia's brother ASSY (QA) (2009 gr h Amer x Margouia) win the 2014 HH The Amir Sword (Gr1PA) 2400m
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