Iffraaz opens September’s account
By John Scanlon
A step up in trip to a mile and a half proved perfect for Iffraaz at Kempton on September 1, allowing Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed’s Iffraaj gelding to open his winning account for the season.
A promising juvenile who was successful at Carlisle and Yarmouth in juvenile novice events last term, Iffraaz had been racing over nine and ten furlongs since the resumption of racing in June. At Kempton, he faced a dozen rivals in an all-aged handicap over twelve furlongs on what was his first run on an artificial surface.
Partnered by PJ McDonald, Iffraaz was prominent from the outset, tucking into third and racing on the rail as My Vision sought to cut out the pace, pursued by Zuba. Turning for home, Iffraaz was travelling strongly on the inside as Zuba headed My Vision for the lead.
Asked for his effort by PJ, Iffraaz responded well and surged into the lead as the field entered the final furlong. Godolphin’s Arabian Warrior, a winner over a mile and a half at Wolverhampton last time out, stayed on well to mount a challenge in the closing stages, but Iffraaz was always doing enough, and held on to win by three-quarters of a length from that rival, with Landue a further two lengths back in third.
Iffraaz is out of the Danzig mare, Zofzig, and is thus a half-brother to some useful winners including Zip Top and Zorion, both by Smart Strike. Zip Top won a Leopardstown maiden en route to following Camelot home in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster, while Listed winner Zorion was Group 3-placed in the Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown.