ASCOT, England // Moments after winning a Group 1 for thoroughbreds on Harbinger, Olivier Peslier tasted another Group 1 success on an Arabian, riding Raqiyah to victory in the President of the UAE Cup. Peslier stalked the early lead of Aziz, ridden by Richard Mullen, but much like he had done in the King George earlier on the card, the French jockey unleashed his filly to score in impressive style. To Mullen's credit, he kept Aziz going to the line for second, while SR Dorwan, the Danish challenger, stayed on for third.
"Compared to Harbinger, she was more delicate," said Peslier. "She is a lovely filly, I have been very lucky today." Peslier was sporting a butterfly broach on his silks, and he attributed his good fortune to it. "One day I was at a local track in France," he said. "A butterfly came and sat on my legs before the race. When I won, it came and sat on my legs again, so I took it as a sign." Alban de Mieulle, the winning trainer, was relieved at Raqiyah's victory. "I was worried about the Khalidiah mares," he said. "I was especially worried about Rawdat Al Khalidiah, as she has been very good in France, winning three races. I know Raqiyah won well, but you never know until they cross the finishing line."
De Mieulle has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to his Arabians, boasting in his stables last year's Qatar Arabian World Cup first and second, General and Al Dhama. And with improvement to come from Raqiyah, he has some pondering to do ahead of the October meeting, deciding which one will best represent him at Longchamp this season. "She is a very nice filly, and each time she runs she just keeps improving. The best age for Arabs is probably five, so she can only get better. She will be very good next season, also. She goes for the Arabian World Cup, but General is pretty good so we will see who will win."