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Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Arab Spring to be Sir Michael Stoute's first runner in Doha

Arab Spring - Destination Doha
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Arab Spring will miss the Group 3 Betway Winter Derby, for which he is 7-2 second favourite with the sponsor, this month as he is set to break new ground for trainer Sir Michael Stoute in Qatar.

Stoute has enjoyed numerous high-profile wins worldwide, including in the US, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and the UAE, but is yet to have a runner in Qatar.

Arab Spring, who made a fine return to action when going down by a short head to Decorated Knight in the Listed Winter Derby Trial this month, is earmarked for the $1 million Emir's Trophy on Saturday week, the highlight of a three-day festival in Doha.

The mile-and-a-half turf contest, staged at the right-handed Al Rayyan racecourse, has attracted British runners in the past but none as high profile as Arab Spring, who has won twice at Group 3 level and was fourth in a Group 1 in Italy last October.

Frankie Dettori, who rode Arab Spring in that Italian Group 1, is set to be reunited with the seven-year-old as he has more experience of the track than Ryan Moore, having won the feature race twice before.

Stoute said: "The plan is to take Arab Spring to Qatar for their big race later this month, where he will be our first ever runner. I don't think Ryan has ridden there before so we've booked Frankie Dettori, who has plenty of experience around there.

"We still have Convey in the Winter Derby and he's a possible runner at this stage." 

The Emir's Trophy, which has local Group 1 status, has been won by trainer Jassim Al Ghazali for the last three years, most recently with the Harry Bentley-ridden The Blue Eye 12 months ago. 

I don't think Ryan has ridden there before so we've booked Frankie Dettori who has plenty of experience around there
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