Top owner Sheikh Fahad dreaming of partnering Elliott horses in bumpers
Pallasator set for new jumps career
Sheikh Fahad Al Thani has taken part in charity races, but now one of racing's biggest owners is planning to take his ambitions in the saddle a step further by riding in bumpers.
The Qatari royal, 28, has a small number of horses with Gordon Elliott and is aiming to contest races in his own Pearl Bloodstock silks.
The sheikh is no stranger to the saddle having competed in charity races in Britain and Ireland, including the historic Town Plate in Newmarket, in which he triumphed in 2016 but was injured in this year when he fell from his horse in the closing stages.
Sheikh Fahad's interest in jump racing is becoming more evident, with the Elliott-trained Brutal finishing second in the Qatar Racing colours of the sheikh and his two brothers over hurdles at Perth on Wednesday, when it was also revealed classy Flat campaigner Pallasator would make the switch to Elliott for a new career over jumps.
But David Redvers, Qatar Racing's manager, was keen to stress that this did not indicate a change in approach from the sheikh or Qatar Racing, and was instead a sign of the young royal’s sporting outlook.
He said: “Sheikh Fahad has got a few horses [with Gordon Elliott] which he is hoping to ride in bumpers in the future in his own colours. Sheikh Fahad is a sportsman and loves racing in all its forms, but there is no marked change in his approach at all.”
New career for Pallasator
Connections are also hoping the switch to hurdles will reinvigorate Pallasator, the talented but quirky giant who was last seen finishing eighth of nine in the Doncaster Cup.
The eight-year-old had previously shown high-level form for trainer Sir Mark Prescott, with victories in the 2015 Doncaster Cup and last year’s Henry II Stakes.
Redvers said: “We looked at all the options for the horse and this was the option we felt was best for him. He’s been knocking around in these staying races on the Flat for long enough and seems to have lost his enthusiasm for it.
“He does, however, seem to be getting a little more sensible. Gordon said he’d love the challenge and we’re very much looking forward to seeing what he can do.”
If you are interested in this, you might also like to read: