10 June 2024

Al-Jehani hunting Royal Ascot success with Beshtani

10 June 2024

Overseas entries may be down at Royal Ascot this year, but Hamad Al-Jehani will add some international flavour when Epsom runner-up Beshtani becomes one of his first runners at the meeting.

The 35-year-old is a leading trainer in his native Qatar, winning the Qatar Guineas with Lil’ Frank and also landing the Qatar Derby for owners Wathnan Racing with Jeff Koons in December.

He has recently made the switch to Newmarket to oversee some of Wathnan’s growing UK string, operating out of the lower yard of Tom Clover’s Kremlin House Stable.

Although still to saddle a winner in the early stages of his new venture, Al-Jehani almost made the perfect start at Epsom during the Derby Festival, where Beshtani was beaten a nose and Haunted Dream was a fast-finishing fourth following a less-than-ideal start.

Beshtani could get the chance to go one better than that Epsom near-miss when he lines up in the Royal Hunt Cup at the Royal meeting, where the four-year-old could be joined by stablemate Make Me King, who also has the option of the Buckingham Palace Stakes.

“Hamad has obviously made a very good start and Beshtani running as he did at Epsom was a very good training performance,” said Richard Brown, Wathnan’s racing adviser.

“It fills us full of optimism going forwards with Hamad; he’s a great guy, has settled in really well and the early signs are hugely positive. We could not be happier.

“He will hopefully have a couple running, Beshtani in the Hunt Cup and Make Me King in either the Buckingham Palace or the Hunt Cup.”

Beshtani is as short as 12-1 in places for the Royal Hunt Cup, which takes place on the second day of the five-day summer showpiece. Al-Jehani has currently saddled five runners in the UK, with his next set to be Solar Aclaim at Kempton on Wednesday.

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