2017 Qatar G2 Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cup Ante-Post Betting Preview

You may not yet be familiar with horse racing in Qatar, but this is a country that takes equine sport every bit as seriously as the United Arab Emirates does. The  Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cup is a big race, with a huge purse and some decent horses will be going into the stalls for Friday’s feature. Let’s look at the ones that are already attracting plenty of ante-post bets…

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Cougar Mountain

Aidan O’Brien’s 5-year-old was sired by Fastnet Rock and he’s already a G2 winner, having won the Joel Stakes at Headquarters in September. Cougar Mountain has tended to finish in mid-division, when raced in G1 company and victory in this sort of race is probably the best that connections can realistically hope for. Could well start as favourite.

Sovereign Debt

This Dark Angel grey gelding has an excellent strike-rate of 10 wins from 45 starts, although he has only won a single Group race (the G3 Concorde Stakes in October of 2015. However, Sovereign Debt is in good form and has been victorious in 2 of his last 3 races. These included a Listed success at Leopardstown, where he finished 2 lengths ahead of Blue De Vega in the Knockaire Stakes.


Richard Hannon’s inmate flattered to deceive somewhat in the early stages of his career, scooping a brace of Listed wins as a 3-year-old. The 2nd of those came in the Stubbs Stakes (July 2015) and he hasn’t troubled the winners enclosure since then. He’s mainly been competing in G2 and and G3 encounters since then and has never really looked like reaching the lollipop first, but the Tamayuz gelding is finding some each-way market-support.

This race looks fairly open and the likes of Diplomat, Roman Legend, Baltic Knight, Itorio, Moheet and Extremis all look in with a shout.

Racing In Qatar

Qatar Racing Club is a state-of-the-art facility, which was established in the mid-1970s. A new track was built in 1991 and was hen replaced just 3 years later. In 2001 the current course (Al Rayyan) was laid-out and a great deal of modernisation took place.

There is now seating for 1400 spectators, plus several corporate boxes and a hospitality tent. It’s well worth a visit, the next time you find yourself in this fast-paced and exciting country.

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