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Arabian Horse Intl Issue 3 - April 2019

Flat Racing

Ebraz wins HH The Amir Sword HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival calendar for 2019

Tadhg O’Shea and AF Maher winners Dubai Kahayla Classic Easter Man wins Grade 1 Sheikh Zayed Cup Oertel-Al Nabooda dominate in Abu Dhabi Arabian Horse Intl

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Tadhg O’Shea and AF Maher, winners Dubai Kahayla Classic Photo: Noëlle Derré / CCA Publishers: Cidinha Franzão, Favio Lorenz Art Director: Cidinha Franzão Publisher Assistant: Nilza Felize Contributors: HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival / Satya Narayan (Inputs from ERA), Dubai Racing Club, Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, Dubai International Arabian (www.diaraces.com), Shadwell Arabian Stallions (http://www.shadwellarabian.co.uk ), Emirates Racing Authority (http://www.emiratesracing.com) Photos: Porfírio Menezes, Cidinha Franzão, Morhaf Al Assaf, Juhaim QREC, R-POLIN, Noëlle Derré/CCA, Debbie Burt-Equine Creative Media Emirates Racing Authority (http://www.emiratesracing.com)

contact@.arabianhorseintl.net

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HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival calendar for 2019 unveiled with 124 races in 90 countries

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Al Busaidi registers superb win

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Beasley scores on Dahess D’Arabie

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Beasley steers Hawafez to victory

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Dupleix wins kicks off Festival’s international calendar

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ES Almas wins with a late run in Wathba Stallions Cup

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AF Maher confirms his class in the Dubai Kahayla Classic

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Ebraz wins HH The Amir Sword

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Al Balushi guides Rassan to Fuweiret Cup sprint victory

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Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR) Sponsorship Programme for 2019

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Madjani passes away

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AF Maher wins Al Maktoum Challenge R3

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Balad Al Reef takes final round of Al Ain Marathon Series

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O’Shea equals Hills record on memorable Abu Dhabi Evening

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AF Mafaten is UAE winner 500 for Tadhg O’Shea

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Oertel-Al Nabooda dominate in Abu Dhabi

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Mubasher Al Khalediah shines in Sharjah’s inaugral GCC Cup

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HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival calendar for 2019 unveiled with 124 races in 90 countries The calendar for the 2019 edition of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival was unveiled on Sunday with a total of 124 races scheduled in 90 countries around the globe. Addressing a press conference at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club racecourse, Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) said, “the 11th year of the Festival initiated by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs will be bigger in the number of races and we thank HH Sheikh Mansoor and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood for making it one of the world’s top events.” 8

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Also attending the press conference and addressing the media were Dr. Abdullah Al Raisi, Director General of the National Archives, Aref Al Awani, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Faisal Al Rahmani, IFAHR President, Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director of Global Promotions-Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Khulood Al –Nuaimi, representative of National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC, Khalid Khalifa Al Naboodah of Al Aweer Stables, Khalil Al Saffar, Deputy Director of Abu Dhabi Sports Channel, and Ali Al Mulla, chairman of Areej, Mohammed Abdullah Al Masood, Sales Manager of Al Masoud Automobiles, Saeed Bin Sulaiman, representative of Emirates Airlines and Festival’s jockey Ambassador Xavier Ziani. “The Festival’s 2019 calendar includes 10 races in the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup series, eight races in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship series, 10 in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship series and 13 in the HH Sheikha Lateefa Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Pony Championship series,” Ms. Lara Sawaya said.


Wathba Stallion Cup Grassroots Series

The Wathba Stallions Cup will once again focus on the grassroots level and 30 races will be held in the UAE (Abu Dhabi and Al Ain) while another 50 races will be staged outside the country with 20 of these in France alone, Ms. Sawaya stated. The World Arabian Horse Racing Forum will be held in Romania from July 2 to 8, 2019. Ms. Sawaya stated that the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Stakes race in Santa Anita, California will in 2019 carry a prize fund of US$ 50,000 and will be run on the Derby day. She explained that the Endurance races this year includes the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup race “Al Wathba Land” on 22 February followed by the HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan race on February 23.

WORLD’s RICHEST RACE FOR ARABIAN HORSES

“The Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown (Group 1), the world’s richest race for

Purebred Arabians will be held on November 24 and this year obliging requests from owners and connections a prep race has been scheduled for October 25,” Ms. Sawaya said. The Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak International awards will also be held along with the Conference on Training for jockeys to make it another memorable year for horse racing connections. The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Ayadi LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi NaArabian Horse Intl

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tional Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.

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Source: HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival / Satya Narayan (Inputs from ERA) Photos: Morhaf Al Assaf


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Al Busaidi registers superb win HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice race in Bahrain

It was a proud moment for Apprentice jockey Quis Al Busaidi as he stepped out to receive the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFHRA) winner’s trophy from none other than King of Kingdom of Bahrain, His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa in Manama on Friday, March 15, 2019. The 1400-metre race, held under the umbrella of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, had attracted nine Apprentice jockeys from around the world with a large crowd in attendance at the Rashid Equestrian and Horse Racing club racecourse. The race was part of the big race meeting which also included two Grade 1 races in the name of the King of Kingdom of Bahrain, His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa. Riding 4-year-old Al Saqlawieh 1733 trained 12

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by Yousif Al Riffa, the apprentice Al Busaidi was in great form as he won by two-and-a-half lengths from Krayaan 1706 under Sara Del Fabbro while in third place was Krushan 1710 ridden by Grace McEntee. Al Busaidi and Al Saqlawieh took a time 1:37.09 for the 7-furlong race and winning jockey is the first to book his berth in the November finals of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFHRA) race series. Apart from His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, Friday’s race meeting was also attended by His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier, King’s Representative for Charity Work and Youth Affairs, Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports and Honorary President of Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (BREEF) His Highness Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khal-


ifa, Chairman of the Supreme Authority of the Rashid Equestrian and Horse Racing Club Sheikh Abdullah Bin Isa Al Khalifa, Deputy Chairman Sheikh Isa bin Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa and the UAE’s Ambassador to Bahrain HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, General Manager of Wathba Stallions, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) among other VIP guests and officials. HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival was one of the most famous equestrian events in the world and thank the leaders of Bahrain for supporting the event. Ms. Lara Sawaya said the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice series was an important element of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and thanked His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the Emirates, President of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood for their support. She also thanked the Bahraini authorities for

all their support in hosting the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival event. The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Ayadi LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort. Source: HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival / Satya Narayan Arabian Horse Intl

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Easter Man wins Grade 1 Sheikh Zayed Cup in Houston

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In 2018 Eastern Man finished in a dead heat with Quick Sand AA but on Saturday in the 2019 running of the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Amethyst (Grade 1) race at the Sam Houston Racing Park the 7-year-old was ridden to a superb victory by Ernesto Valdez-Jimenez. Valdez-Jimenez and Easter Man cruised home in the 1400-metre race organized by the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival in front of a large crowd at the Sam Houston Park racecourse. Trained by Jerenesto Torrez for owners Joseph and Betty Gillis, Easter Man finished ahead of Updown Sandy under Jose Garcia while last year’s joint winner Quick Sand AA under Sasha Risenhoover was third. Easter Man finished in a timing of 1:31.97 in the 11-horse field. Earlier in the meeting, trainer Torrez and jockey Valdez-Jimenez scored in the Festival’s Wathba Stallions Cup, also run over 1400 metres. Dance With Me romped home under Valdez-Jimenez with Bryan McNeil on Fortaissa and Erick McNeil on Last Call MHF finished second and third in that order. The winning time was 1:36.97. Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH

Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, General Manager of Wathba Stallions, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) said “It has been an exciting start to the Festival’s activities in the US. Some of the best Purebred Arabians currently racing in the US were in the lineup and we congratulate the winning connections of the winners of both the Sheikh Zayed Cup and the Wathba Stallions Cup.” The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Ayadi LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates

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Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort. Source: HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival / Satya Narayan

Dance With Me ridden by Ernesto Valdez-Jimenez 18

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Beasley scores on Dahess D’Arabie

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Wathba Stallions Cup For Private Owners Only race in Al Ain Dahess D’Arabie under Connor Beasley won the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Wathba Stallions Cup For Private Owners Only race in Al Ain on Friday, February 15. The opening race of the meeting, for horses in private ownership, attracted the maximum field allowed of 15, but very few were ever able to get involved with the race developing into a duel throughout the straight between AF Tathoor and Dahess D’Arabie. The former had taken up the running just after the halfway point, having tracked early leader, Nawwaf KB with Connor Beasley matching the move on Dahess D’Arabie, trained by Helal Al Alawi for Abu Dhabi Racing. Beasley’s mount gained the initiative about 300m out, running on strongly to win quite comfortably in the end with AF Tathoor holding on for second. In doing so, the 5-year-old gelding was doubling his career tally having made a winning local debut, last March, in a 1200m maiden on the Abu Dhabi turf.

ES Almas under Richard Mullen finished third. The winner completed the Dh 70,000 1400-metre race in 1:36.87. Al Alawi, who trains at The National Stables in Al Ain, said: “Our horses are performing well, so we were quite hopeful one of our three runners in the race could win and that was a good performance. He has now won on dirt, which he was racing on for just the second time, and turf, so hopefully it opens up more options for the future. Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), Faisal Al Rahmani, IFAHR Chairman and Al Ain racing chief along with others gave away the trophies. Source: HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival / Satya Narayan (Inputs from ERA)

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Beasley steers Hawafez to victory Run just after the Group 1 HH The President’s Cup in Abu Dhabi, the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Wathba Stallions Cup For Private Owners Only race saw Hawafez score at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club racecourse on Sunday, Feb 10, 2019. Hawafez, produced to lead close home by Connor Beasley and sporting the colours of Salem Ali Murshed Al Marar for trainer Ridha ben Attia. “I won over 1400m here at Abu Dhabi on this horse in December,” Beasley said. “He was then 24

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third and caught in the final strides, both over 1400m. This drop in trip has suited him.” In winning the 6-furlong race, Hawafez finished ahead of Ashton Tourettes under Fabrice Veron and Noof KB came third under Tadhg O’Shea. Earlier, one of the biggest races of the season in the Capital, was highlighted by the 2200m AED 2,500,000 Group 1 HH The President Cup for Purebred Arabians. Ali Rashid Al Rayhi-trained Dubai-based Al Zahir was able to become the fourth horse to win the race more than once, defending the crown he first wore 12 months ago


and defeating France’s Al Shamoos, winning of November’s rich Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown (G1) organised by the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival. Retained by owner His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, Jim Crowley was in the saddle on the winner once again as he made the winning move with 750m remaining and ultimately outstayed the aforementioned mare. Source: HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival / Satya Narayan (Inputs from ERA) Photos: Morhaf Al Assaf

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Dupleix wins kicks off Festival’s international calendar Dupleix, owned by the UAE’s Faisal Seddiq Al Mutawa and ridden by Jules Mobian won the year’s first international event of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival which was held in Pau, France over the weekend, February 2. The 6-year-old son of Madjani won the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Prix Wathba Stallions Cup - Haras de Gelos run over 1950 metres with a total prize fund of Euros 17,000. The Charles Gourdain -trained Dupleix won with over two and a half lengths to spare from Jadeeda under Roberto Montenegro while in third place was Jaahez under Francois Bertras.

FESTIVAL TO STAGE 25 RACES IN FRANCE

Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson

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of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) hailed the success of year 2019’s inaugural international race in Pau and said, “It was a strong field that contested the race which is part of the Festival under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs.” Ms. Sawaya said there will be 25 races in France throughout the year, including 21 races in the Wathba Stallions Cup, one for the Sheikh Zayed Cup, one leg of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Women’s World Championship and one for the HH Sheikha Lateefa Bint Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Ponies world championship series. Source: HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival / Satya Narayan Photo-R-POLIN


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ES Almas wins with a late run in Wathba Stallions Cup ES Almas came up with a late run to win the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Wathba Stallions Cup For Private Owners Only race, a 1400m handicap, at the Al Ain race course on Friday, February 1, 2019. It looked unlikely at halfway but ES Almas ultimately recorded a fairly comfortable victory, surging home under Richard Mullen, the pair having had only three of their 14 rivals behind them entering the straight. 28

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However, they made relentless progress over the final 400m, hitting the front inside the concluding 100m to deny Ubu Al Mels, trained on the Al Ain track by Mohamed Ramadan. Saddled by Khalifa Al Neyadi for Al Awda Stables, the 7-year-old mare was recording a second career victory having, on her final outing for Ibrahim Aseel, won a 1200m handicap at Sharjah on seasonal debut in November. “She was a long way back early on, but always travelling nicely enough,” Mullen said. “Halfway


up the straight I was pretty confident but the runner-up, Ubu Al Mels, proved hard to pass but my mare picked up nicely to be it front where it mattered. In fairness, the trainer was pretty confident and has certainly been proved right.” The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Ayadi LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Wathba

Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort. Source: HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival / Satya Narayan (Inputs from ERA)

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“Statistics and records are there to be broken” The 2019 edition of the US$ 1 million Dubai Kahayla Classic sponsored by Mubadala will go down as one of the most thrilling in the history of the Group 1 PA race. Neck to neck the locally trained AF Maher and the Polish raider Fazza Al Khalediah battled it to the line of the 2000m race that is run on dirt. With 300m to go, AF Maher lost his advantage that he had held since the gates opened, but he fought back and slowly but surely got his head in front once more to pass the winning post as the new victor of this Purebred Arabian classic. AF Maher and AF Al Sajanjle: A dual UAE champion trainer already and leading the way this season, Ernst Oertel saddles both AF Maher and AF Al Sajanjle in the only Purebred Arabian race on the card, the Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic sponsored by Mubadala. Both are homebred by Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, virtually guaranteed to be champion owner locally this season. “It was indeed a very big high to have AF Maher win the Dubai Kahayla Classic at Dubai World Cup 2019. From the beginning AF Maher showed his ability to be able to participate with the best of them and we had him run with horses of high ratings in Sharjah for the Gulf Cup where he came third behind the Al Khalediah horses running over 1700 metres. He rang the bell showing

his ability, then immediately Ernst (Oertel) entered him in the Maktoum challenge Round 3 over 2000 metres, which he won against some very high level horses. It was then that we decided to enter him in the Dubai Kahayla Classic Group I in the Dubai World Cup despite the fact there were only three weeks between the Maktoum Challenge and Dubai World Cup. Af Maher showed up and proved his ability to win with the best”, said Al Nabooda. Owned by Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, AF Maher offered Ernst Oertel his first victory in this race and the trainer said: “This is what Arabians

do. They battle. I’m so happy and I’m lost for words. I am just so proud.” “It was great to give Mr. Al Nabooda a first Group 1 winner when AF Maher landed the third round of the Al Maktoum Challenge,” Oertel said: “Tadhg O’Shea has stuck with AF Maher, but both, we hope, can run big races and seem in great form.” “The horse got a great reception coming back in. My wife Debbie and my two boys are at home watching on the couch. They rang before the race to say good luck and there would have noone cheering louder than them. I had such a willing partner out there today. The runner-up came 32

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AF Maher confirms his class in the Dubai Kahayla Classic

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and gave us a bump and many horses would have downed tools but he battled right to the line”, said O’Shea. “You need courage and that is what he has,” said his jubilant jockey Tadhg O’Shea, who had had the choice between the 6-year-old son of AF Al Buraq and AF Raad and the other Ernst Oertel-trained runner AF Al Sajanjle. Only a few hours before the race, he said he was hoping to have made the right choice after AF Maher had impressively disposed of Ziyadd in his prep race, which statistically has not been the greatest pointer towards the Kahayla Classic. “Statistics and records are there to be broken,” he continued. “I have had great belief in this horse and already told Ernst (Oertel) a long time ago that I thought he was very good. He was still very unexposed and it was always the plan to take him to the front and set the pace. It’s been ten years since I won this race on the mighty Mizzna and it’s just absolutely amazing to win it again.” With such a strong pace from the start, last year’s winner Tallaab Al Khalediah was not able to dictate the pace from draw number 12. He travelled on the outside and when AF Maher and Fazza Al Khalediah quickened coming out of the bend, he was quickly outpaced. In the end, it was Goshawke who finished ten and a quar34

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ter lengths behind the leading pair in third, while Tallaab Al Khalediah had to accept the first defeat in his career and finished fourth. Credit: Dubai Racing Club Photos: Noëlle Derré


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EBRAZ wins HH The Am 36

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mir Sword

In the presence of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar’s biggest racing event, HH The Amir Sword Festival, came to a thrilling conclusion with H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s Ebraz and H.H. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s French King winning the Purebred Arabian and Thoroughbred features respectively on Saturday, February 23. Julian Colin Smart enjoyed his fourth straight win in the USD 1 million H.H. The Amir Sword (Gr1 PA), sponsored by Al Hazm and Al Emadi Co., with EBRAZ (Amer x Massamarie) winning the 2400m feature under Maxime Guyon. Once Umm Qarn’s YAZEED (Munjiz x Al Dahma) went past pacemaker Aaley Al Magam, Ebraz’s older stablemate GAZWAN (Amer x Arc De Ciel) struggled keeping up with Olivier Peslier’s mount, but Ebraz came into his own and caught up fast on the leader before steadily taking the advantage and winning by three quarters of a length to spare. The win was Ebraz’s second in the race, having won in 2017, before finishing second behind Gazwan last year. It was also Smart’s seventh victory in the all-important Arabian feature. Mohammed Jassim Ghazali Jahromi’s third winner in the Festival weekend was Trials runner-up FAKHIR (No Risk Al Maury x China Orientele), who found some extra reserves of energy in the final 100m of the race to win the USD 250000 H.H THE AMIR SILVER SWORD (Sponsored by Ooredoo) (4yo PA) by one and a halflength. With Harry Bentley in the saddle, the colt steadily went past the leader and Trials winner AJS Moaddie, helmed by Qatari Faleh Bughanaim, to hand his owner Khalifa Bin Sheail Al Kuwari his sixth winner of the flagship racing weekend in Qatar. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s SHARESA (Burning Sand x Margouia) extended her unbeaten run this season much to the delight of her trainer Julian Colin Smart on Saturday, February 23. The 6yo won the QATAR INTERNATIONAL CUP (GR1 PA) (Sponsored by Daam) (4yo & older) in spectacular fashion with Theo Bachelot letting the filly surge forward 250m out and she duly obeyed taking a slight advantage and then winning by half a length for her fifth straight victory, beating the Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle-saddled Al Naama, ridden by Qatari jockey Faleh Bughanaim, by half a length. Arabian Horse Intl

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Harry Bentley and Fakhir H.H The Amir Silver Sword

AAHIL takes thrilling Gulf Cup victory

In the second day of the HH The Amir Sword Festival, February 22, in a thrilling finish, Aahil (Munjiz x Daniah) was the second straight winner on the day for Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle, when the Umm Qarn colt topped the USD 100000 GULF CUP (4yo & older PA bred in the GCC). Ronan Thomas was astride the 5yo colt when he was a neck behind Molheb Al Naif last month. And when the two came down the home straight in a duel of sorts, it was close yet again, but Thomas and his mount had managed to hold off Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi’s trio, including Harry Bentley ridden Molheb Al Naif, Oisin Murphy helmed Rassan and Istibdad, with Gerald Avranche astride. The win by a nose was Aahil’s second this season and fourth overall. Ronan Thomas and Aahil Gulf Cup

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Theo Bachelot and Sharesa Qatar International Cup Umm Qarn’s Barra (Munjiz x Daniah) led a one-two for trainer Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle in the six furlong PUREBRED ARABIAN SPRINT CUP on Friday. The colt was coming off a 11-month sabbatical but showed no signs of rust as he raced to his first victory on turf, having won thrice before on dirt. With Ronan Thomas in the saddle, the 6yo beat stablemate Daloob, ridden by Qatari jockey Faleh Bughanaim, by a length and three quarters. Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle had a maiden winner after missing out narrowly in the first race of the afternoon when Umm Qarn’s BIN GENERAL (General x Noorah) made a smashing debut. The 4yo won a thriller holding on under Ronan Thomas as two Julian Colin Smart wards, Taish, ridden by apprentice jockey Ali Khalid Al Mosallam , and Maxr, with Theo Bachelot in the saddle, gave chase in the final furlong of the 2000m PUREBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN PLATE (Div 1) (4-6yo). H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s AL WANNAH (Burning Sand x Massroura) proved that her tenth place finish on debut over C&D in December was just a blip, with the Julian Colin Smart trained filly notching her second straight victory since. On Friday, with Ryan Curatolo in the saddle, the 4yo raced to a fine three quarters of a length victory in the mile-long LOCAL PUREBRED ARABIAN NOVICE PLATE (Fillies & Mares) (4yo & older). Qatari jockey Yousef al-Hajri registered his third victory this season when he guided Osama Omer Al Dafea’s EVOLUTION DU CROATE (Dahess x Salsa Du Croate) to a comfortable victory in the opening race of the day. The colt, though winless coming into the fixture, had five top three finishes to his credit but on Friday the 5yo changed that by winning the 2000m PUREBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN PLATE (Qatari Riders Only) (Div 2) by two and a half lengths on his 12th outing. Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle’s wards Razad, ridden by Rashid Ali al-Marri and Ibn Al Ameed, helmed by Faleh Bughanaim completed the top three.

Bentley rides ISHFAQ to Al Zubara Trophy win on first day

The HH The Amir Sword Festival got off to a great start with some quality action with Asian and Qatar Equestrian Federation President Hamad Bin Abdulrahman Al Attiyah presenting the trophies to the winners of the AL ZUBARA TROPHY, the feature for Local Purebred Arabians (4yo & older) on Thursday, February 21, at QREC Al Rayyan Park. Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi capped the first day of the Festival with Sheikh Khalifa Bin Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s ISHFAQ (Asraa Min Al Barq x Djazie) topping the USD 150000 feaArabian Horse Intl

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ture in thrilling fashion. The victory was second on the day for the champion trainer, with both winners helmed by champion jockey Harry Bentley. The win means that the 6yo has stayed unbeaten in Qatar so far, winning both his outings. On Thursday, he beat Ibrahim Saeed Ibrahim Al Malki’s ward, SHE’RIS (Mared Al Sahra x Kerbelle Du Loup), with Eduardo Pedroza in the saddle, by a quarter of a length, with Julian Colin Smart-saddled REDA (Burning Sand x Ba’scherit) completing the top three under Stephan Ladjadj. AJS AL MOHEEB (Amer x Gabie De Carrere) led a one-two for champion trainer Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi in the PUREBRED ARABIAN HANDICAP (85 & below). In the mile-long run, the Mohammed Bin Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Attiya-owned 6yo stayed on the heels of Al Shahania Stud’s E’zaaz before champion jockey Harry Bentley gave him the go ahead and off he was, eventually edging out the JP Guillambert-helmed E’zaaz by one and a half lengths for his second victory this season. H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s ANNAN (Jaafer ASF x Djamour Des Forges) had finished behind Al Shaqab Racing’s Gtnah last time round in January this year. On Thursday, however, the 4yo ensured trainer Julian Colin Smart got to a winning start to the three-day Festival with a victory in the mile-long PUREBRED ARABIAN PLATE (4 Year Olds). With Theo Bachelot in the saddle, Annan, who had a couple of places coming into the race, did enough to beat the Ronan Thomas-ridden Gtnah by a head at the post. Source: Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club Photo Courtesy: Juhaim QREC

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HE Issa Bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC) Chairman was elated with the huge success of the HH The Amir Sword Festival held at QREC over three days. His words after the trophy presentation reflected such feelings of pleasure mixed with pride. “The exceptional success of the Festival was completed with the gracious presence of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani”, he said, “The top performance of horses coupled with the remarkable turnout, especially of Qatari families, added to such success as well.” “The races were very classy”, he added, “For the first time ever, we had a runner and connections from Japan. The two top victories were by the well-known leaders of Qatar’s equestrian sport, HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani and HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani, which is, in fact, a natural outcome of the excellence of Umm Qarn and Al Shahania Stud. In addition, the large number of international runners is a clear demonstration of the ever-increasing standing of the event in line with our plans and QREC’s vision to be a leader in organising international races.” “Qatari riders’ presence was a large-scale one. We had 15 jockeys on the day and this number was like a dream for them. It is an outcome of the training camps and courses conducted for them overseas. No doubt, the success of the Festival demonstrates that QREC is on the right track and it entrusts us with more responsibilities in future.”

Julian Colin Smart with Maxime Guyon on Ebraz and Al Shahania Team Arabian Horse Intl

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Ebraz, winner of HH THE AMIR SWORD

Fakhir, winner of HH The Amir Silver Sword

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Sharesa, winner of Qatar International Cup Qatar International Cup

Aahil, winner of Gulf Cup Arabian Horse Intl

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Al Balushi guides Rassan to Fuweiret Cup sprint victory

Jassim Bin Ali Al Attiyah’s RASSAN (Amer x Sandytiki) led a one two for champion trainer Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi in the FUWEIRET CUP (PUREBRED ARABIAN CONDITIONS), Wednesday’s feature on dirt at Al Rayyan Park. In the six furlong sprint, Al Moatasem Al Balushi helmed the 9yo Rassan to a comfortable two lengths and a quarter victory as Harry Bentley helmed Caid De L’Ardus (Mahabb x Jelfa De L’Ardus) in the 7yo’s second straight runner up finish. Ahmed Mohamad Kobeissi trained Ateej (AF AlBahar x Sahara Croixnoire) completed the top three under Eduardo Pedroza. Building on some credible performances over C&D, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s ENNAB (Munjiz x Areej) finally stepped into the winner’s circle for the first time on Wednesday. In the 1700m PUREBRED ARABIAN HANDICAP (70 & below), Anas Al Seyabi part46

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nered with Julian Colin Smart’s charge for the first time and the two did enough to edge out Mohammed Hussain Afroz’s Fanann by a head at the post. Umm Qarn’s GARRAFFAH (Tabarak x Seffa Du Breuil) was in a league of his own in the first race of the day on Wednesday. In the PUREBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN PLATE (4-6yo), the Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle charge had Ronan Thomas for company and the two raced to a dominant 15 length victory in the 1900m run, brushing aside a few midfield finishes. Almost a year after he last walked into the winner’s circle, Al Shahania Stud’s E’ZAAZ (Amer x Naama ASF) was back for the second time in his career with the Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi’s ward topping the PUREBRED ARABIAN HANDICAP (80 & below) in comfortable fashion on Thursday. In the seven furlong run, the 6yo


had Champion Jockey Harry Bentley for company and the two went past the post with two lengths and three quarters to spare. Al Ghazali Stud’s LEKHRAIB (AF AlBahar x Grace T) improved big time when he finished fifth out of 16 in his last outing a month ago, after being well held in his earlier efforts. On Thursday, Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi’s colt shed his maiden status when Anas Al Seyabi helmed the 5yo to a fine one length victory in the mile long PUREBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN PLATE (4-6yo). Al Jeryan Stud’s AJS AL SHAHANIA (AF AlBahar x Karima ASF) picked up a thrilling victory on her debut on Thursday. Trained by Hadi Nasser Rashid Al Ramzani, the Qatar bred filly, topped the seven furlong PUREBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN PLATE (3 Year Olds) by three quarters of a length under a credible ride by John Egan on the jockey’s first day of the season in Qatar. Umm Qarn’s FAHIM (General x Malakbe) was a smooth winner on his second career outing last month, before he put in an impressive run in the Al Zubara Trophy moving up in distance to 2000m. On Thursday, in the 1850m LOCAL PUREBRED ARABIAN NOVICE PLATE, with Ronan Thomas in the saddle once again, the Alban Elie

Marie De Mieulle trained colt was back in the winner’s circle with a fantastic three and a halflength victory. Olivier Materne’s DIESE (General x Divana) had never finished outside the frame since his arrival in Doha in November of 2017. The Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle trained colt continued that run, even notching his fourth career win and second this season having won the first feature race in October last year. In the 1900m PUREBRED ARABIAN HANDICAP (90 & below), with Ronan Thomas astride, the 6yo edged out Rashid Ali Ali Marri ridden Taysh by a neck at the post. It was De Mieulle’s third win on the day and Thomas’ fourth. Umm Qarn’s BADDA (Seraphin Du Paon x Raqiyah) was expected to go one better than her runner-up performance on debut and Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle’s ward did not disappoint, leading a one-two for the famous silks in the PUREBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN PLATE (Fillies & Mares) (4-6yo). This was the second winner on the day for Ronan Thomas, who helmed the 4yo to a thrilling quarter length victory over stablemate Naima, ridden by Mathieu Pelletan. Umm Qarn’s SEALINE (Amer x Jaljalah) made a

Anas Al Seyabi and Ennab

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smashing debut in the six furlong LOCAL PUREBRED ARABIAN MAIDEN PLATE sprint. With Ronan Thomas astride, the 5yo, trained by Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle, beat Ibrahim Saeed Ibrahim Al Malki trained Texas at the post by three lengths to open his acc Al Shaqab Racing’s AL WALID (Dahess x Al Sarwa) has only impressed since his arrival from France, including a fifth place in the million dollar Purebred Arabian feature during the HH The Amir Sword Festival last month. On Thursday, Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle’s charge registered a fine two lengths and three quarters victory under Ronan Thomas, beating Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi trained Spaghetti at the post in the 2200m PUREBRED ARABIAN CONDITIONS. The oldest contender in the field, Al Thumama Racing’s QASSY (Mared Al Sahra x The Write Stuff), raced to his first win since November 2017. Mohammed Hussain Afroz trained 9yo beat some quality opposition, many of them rated more than 100, as Jimmy Quinn guided him to a one and a half length victory in the mile long PUREBRED ARABIAN HANDICAP (90 & above). The miler saw the horse make full use of the weight advantage to beat Ahmed Mohamad Kobeissi saddled Ateej at the post.

Umm Qarn’s DAMAS takes thrilling

Rodat Al Maida Cup victory

Umm Qarn’s DAMAS (Mugadir x Kunooz) edged out a Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi duo in the 1700m RODAT AL MAIDA CUP (LOCAL PUREBRED ARABIAN CONDITIONS). Damas had put up fine runs in the two races coming into dirt feature. On Wednesday, the Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle trained 7yo, with Ronan Thomas in the saddle, tracked Injaaz Stud’s Istibdad (AF Albahar x Mari Chou) for the bulk of the race before making a move a furlong out as JP Guillambert’s mount picked up the pace. Another ward from the stables of Champion Trainer, Rassan (Amer x Sandytiki), joined the party up front under Harry Bentley, and as they jostled for advantage, Thomas made good use of a gap and edged forward to win by a head. Istibdad managedto stay ahead of Rassan for second spot. Mohamed Khaled Elahmed saddled his second winner of the day in the LOCAL PUREBRED ARABIAN HANDICAP (75 & below) when Rashid Mohammed Al Mossallam’s FAZAN (Nizam x Ultafa Al Maury) brushed aside a quiet season winning the 1700m run on dirt in spectacular fashion. Under an impressive ride by Anas Al Seyabi, the 6yo won a fantastic duel on the home straight, edging out Ryan Curatolo ridden Ennab by a quarter of a length. Ronan Thomas and Damas

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Saleem Golam and Raqee After finishing her last season on a high, Umm Qarn’s BINT AMIR (Amer x Al Hanoof) had a quiet season this time round coming into Wednesday’s race. But Alban Elie Marie De Mieulle’s ward found a perfect partner in apprentice jockey Damien Morin in the PUREBRED ARABIAN HANDICAP (80 & below) as she put up a determined run in the last furlong of the six furlong sprint, going past the post with two lengths and a quarter in hand, beating C&D winner Al Neksh in comfortable fashion.

Golam rides RAQEE to The Late Rashid Mubarak Al Shafi Cup victory

HE Mohammed bin Hamoud Al Shafi, Chairman of Municipal Council, crowned the winners of the Late Rashid Mubarak Al Shafi Cup race meeting held on dirt at QREC Al Rayyan Park on Thursday, 14 February 2019. Present during the trophy presentation were the brothers and sons of the late Rashid Mubarak Al Shafi as well as Abdulla Rashid Al Kubaisi, QREC Racing Manager. Brushing aside a dip in the mile-long Trial earlier this month, Hassan Ali Hassan Al Matwi’s RAQEE (Mared Al Sahra x Cath) was back in the winner’s circle adding to his C&D victory last month. On Thursday, in the six-furlong THE LATE

RASHID MUBARAK AL SHAFI CUP (4yo & older PA), at the dirt track at Al Rayyan Park, the 5yo was once again partnered by Saleem Golam, and the duo did well to win a duel with the Mohammed Ali Yousef Al Sheeb-trained KASSER (AF Albahar x Wujdan), ridden by Stephan Ladjadj, by a quarter of a length. Jassim Mohammed Ghazali Jahromi’s ward, RASSAN (Amer x Sandytiki), completed the top three under Theo Bachelot. Qatari apprentice rider Rashid Ali Al Marri notched his second victory of the day with the Abdullatif Saad Al Muslamani-trained ESKANDER YAR (Jaafer ASF x Marwa Bint Oseilah). In a fantastic ride over six furlongs in the LOCAL PUREBRED ARABIAN HANDICAP (85 & below), Al Marri and his ride won by one and a quarter lengths for a fine win. Source: Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club Photo Courtesy: Juhaim QREC

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Harry Bentley and E’Zaaz

Ronan Thomas and Diese

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Jimmy Quinn and Qassy

Damien Morin and Bint Amir

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DUBAI INTERNATIONAL ARABIAN RACES (DIAR) SPONSORSHIP PROGRAMME FOR 2019 The

dates of the 2019 Dubai International Arabian Races programme are listed below

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DUBAI INTERNATIONAL ARABIAN RACES (DIAR) SPONSORSHIP PROGRAMME FOR 2019 The now established Dubai International Arabian Races programme returns to Europe in 2019. The series visits several countries in Europe and sponsors preparation races to encourage Arabian racehorses to get ready for the flagship event in the UK at the end of July. In 2019, DIAR will sponsor 17 races in Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands and France, as well as the United Kingdom. This list includes six stakes races and eight international races. Mirza Al Sayegh, spokesperson for the DIAR programme commented:

“In previous years, we have been delighted to welcome many international runners at Newbury in July, for our final race day, and we are grateful to all the connections of those horses who have made the journey. “The eight Arabian races were incredibly competitive and we witnessed high quality racing. It was a great day for the sport. Olivier Peslier, one of the best French jockeys, rode the winners of the four Group races! Furthermore, two winners

earned a DIAR bonus: they had finished placed in a preparation race earlier in the year and won one of the Bonus races at Newbury. “This race programme can only be achieved thanks to our team and partners, including the racing authorities from Italy, Sweden, France, the Netherlands and the UK. We are very grateful for their support and help in promoting our race programme and our showpiece at Newbury, which is now established as one of the best and most prestigious days of Arabian racing anywhere in the world.” Al Sayegh added: “In 2019, this event will be held on Sunday 28th July and will feature a total of five Group and International level races, including three Gr.1 PA races. “We are delighted to announce the renewal of the travel allowances for international runners competing in the races at Newbury on 28th July and the renewal of the DIAR bonus prize fund for 2019.” The Dubai International Arabian Races is an international programme of Arabian racing run under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Minister of Finance and Deputy Ruler of Dubai. This international programme of Arabian racing, run under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, aims to educate more people about the Arabian breed, the sport of Arabian horse racing and the Arabic culture that underpins it. The DIAR bonus fund encourages international runners to the UK by offering a prize money bonus to horses placed in DIAR preparation races in Europe which then go on to win one of the bonus races at Newbury. More information about Dubai International Arabian Races can be found at www.diaraces.com

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MADJANI passes away

Photo: Debbie Burt, Equine Creative Media Shadwell is sad to announce the death of one of its most respected Arabian stallions, MADJANI. The son of TIDJANI was bred in France from a very successful family with Tunisian roots that has produced many successful racehorses, such as AL JAKBAR, TORNADOR, NOUR THABET and AL SAKBA. MADJANI started his racing career with a winning debut at 3 in France, for his owner-breeder Pierre Hoyeau. He then joined champion trainer Gill Duffield’s stables in the UAE and raced in the colours of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. His racing career ended after 13 victories and three second places in 17 starts. MADJANI won seven Group 1 PA races: he is the only colt who has won the Dubai Kahayla Classic three times, he has won the HH The President Cup (Gr.1 PA) in Abu Dhabi twice in consecutive years, as well as the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 twice. He was crowned Horse of the Year in the UAE in 2005, 2006 and 2007. After these unparalleled performances, he retired to stud in France, at Haras de Saint Faust, at the end of 2008. During his ten years at stud, he has sired winners worldwide in France, Morocco, the UK, UAE, USA, Sweden, Qatar, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Turkey, including Group winners HANDASSA (Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3, Gr.1 PA, twice), AL ZAHIR

(HH The President Cup, Gr.1 PA, twice), RB FRYNCH BROAD (Gr.2) and stakes performers MADJIKMAN, CITRONNIER DE GHAZAL, BON BAISER DE FAUST, ALAZEEZ, MERLOT MHF, RB MADJYK MAN, NIRAAN, RB MOOSE, MADGICALL, among many other winners. His condition deteriorated rapidly after serious complications and the difficult decision has been made to perform euthanasia on humane grounds. Richard Lancaster, director of Shadwell, commented: “MADJANI was a great racehorse and stands alongside the very best Arabians to run in the colours of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum. To win three Kahayla Classics in such competitive times was truly exceptional. He was a lovely character with a great temperament. I am sure his memory will live on through the stock he leaves behind. “HANDASSA, MADJANI’s best son at stud, will be travelling to France in the following fortnight to stand at Haras de Saint Faust. We trust that he will carry on the legacy of his sire. We encourage breeders who intended to breed their mares to MADJANI to contact us or Haras de Saint Faust to discuss their options for the current breeding season.” MADJANI will be remembered as one of the very best Arabian racehorses and one of the greatest and most respected sire. He will be missed by all. Source: http://www.shadwellarabian.co.uk

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AF Maher wins Al Maktoum Challenge R3 Shadwell Arabian Stallion AF AL BURAQ sired his first Group 1 winner on Thursday 28th February at Meydan, in the UAE when the six-yearold colt AF MAHER landed the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (Gr.1 PA) over 2000m on the track’s dirt course. The meeting kicked off with the only Purebred Arabian race on the card. Sponsored by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City District One (PA G1), AF Maher,who was never headed under Tadhg O’Shea, won with style. Perfectly drawn for positive tactics in stall two, O’Shea was able to secure the favoured rail and his mount was always travelling well before shooting clear on the home turn. Last year’s inner Ziyadd gave chase, but never looked likely to 56

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bridge the gap, having to settle for second. O’Shea said: “He is a very straightforward horse and, from that draw, I was always going to be positive on him because he also has plenty of natural speed. I was able to give him a breather and then when I asked him, he proved a very willing partner in the last part of the race. As I keep saying, Mr Al Nabooda deserves all the success he enjoys because he is such a big supporter of local racing and Ernst is a top trainer, especially with these Purebred Arabians.” It was the first attempt at Group level for the son of AF AL BURAQ who has shown remarkable consistency throughout his racing career, finishing in the first three in 19 of his 22 starts. Trained by Ernst Oertel and ridden by Tadhg O’Shea, AF


MAHER carries the colours of his owner-breeder, Mr Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda. This team has achieved outstanding results this season as Ernst Oertel is currently the leading trainer in the UAE; Tadhg O’Shea is leading jockey and Mr Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda is leading owner with 40 winners so far. Shadwell Stud’s director Richard Lancaster commented: “AF AL BURAQ has joined our stallion roster recently and it is his second year standing at stud at Haras de Saint Faust (France). He has produced consistent, brave and tough horses that have performed incredibly well in the UAE. With a Group 2 victory two weeks ago with AF AL SAJANJLE in the Mazrat Al Ruwayah over a mile and this impressive win today over 2000m, we can see the potential and versatility of AF AL BURAQ’s offspring. “We are looking forward to see his first crop of foals born in Europe and we are hoping that they will show the same ability on European racecourses as their elders do in the UAE.” Source: Dubai Racing Club Jumaa Ibrahim, Khalid Khalifa al Nabooda, Ernst Oertel and Adrie De Vries accept the trophy from Mr. Gurpal Singh

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Balad Al Reef takes final round of Al Ain Marathon Series

A 5100m Prestige handicap, the final round of the Al Ain Marathon Series was the official feature at Al Ain on Saturday, March 16, and won for a third time in four years by Balad Al Reef, saddled by Abdallah Al Hammadi for Al Ajban Stables, the pairing also responsible for runner-up, Hareer Al Reef. First contested in 2015, Balad Al Reef landed the severe stamina test in both 2016 and 2017 before disappointing when only fourth last year when the race was won by Ajjaj, third here having found conceding lumps of weight to his ten rivals a bridge too far. Ridden for the first time by Szczepan Mazur, fresh from landing the Group 1 Emirates Championship at Abu Dhabi yesterday on BF Mughader, the 8-year-old was ‘put to sleep’ out the back before making smooth progress halfway around the final bend when stable companion Hareer Al Reef had taken the initiative under Elione Chaves. Mazur’s mount looked likely to win easily, but having entered the long straight on the inside of 60

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his stablemate and locked on the far rail, once in front he made a beeline for the nearside rail, forfeiting considerable ground and offering Chaves’ mount a glimmer of hope. However, once on the rail, he ran on strongly. “I was happy to let him drift because he has done it before, so I was expecting it and there was little point fighting him,” Mazur said. “Once we regained our momentum he was always going to win and clearly relishes these marathon stamina tests.” Restricted to the classic 4-year-old generation foaled here in the UAE, the 1800m Al Ain Derby, a Prestige conditions race, was won in gritty fashion by Maktoob, representing the powerful Al Asayl combination of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his trainer, Eric Lemartinel. Pat Cosgrave was in the saddle. In providing his powerful connections a first win in the race, inaugurated in 2016, the colt was doubling his career tally, on his seventh start and fourth on dirt,


Pat Cosgrave and Maktoob

having won his penultimate start in a course and distance maiden before finishing tailed off over 1700m at Sharjah. “The last time I rode him, I went too early and was caught over this course and distance,” Cosgrave said. “I learned my lesson from that so took my time a bit more today and, in fairness to the horse, he has run on gamely and all the way to the line. I rode him at Sharjah after his victory, but that was just eight days between races, so I’m not sure if it was the surface or the quick return to action he had a three week break before this which has obviously suited him.” Having posted local winner 505 aboard AF La’Asae in the finale at Abu Dhabi yesterday to become the UAE’s winning-most jockey, Tadhg O’Shea wasted no time adding to his record mark, registering a comfortable victory in the opening 1600m handicap on AF Al Baher, like his historic success trained by Ernst Oertel for Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda. In a race restricted to horses in private ownership, O’Shea was happy to track AF Al Mehleb until setting sail for home fully 700m out with his mount, a homebred 6-yearold, soon opening up a decisive gap before galloping strongly to the line. Third on his latest two outings, he won his previous one, a 2000m handicap, under O’Shea. This was his third career victory, all on this course, having also landed a

maiden over 1800m on just his second career outing, in December 2017. “This horse deserved another win because he has been running well but finding a few too good, in his last two races” Oertel said. “We were all delighted to help Tadhg break the record because he is very much part of our team.” An hour later, connections were celebrating a double after a 1400m maiden for those foaled locally was won comfortably by AF Mekhbat, originally first reserve but took full advantage of a late berth in the starting stalls. The maximum field allowed of 15 may have gone to post, but only three ever really mattered with early leader, Saarookh, who eventually ran on for second, passed 600m out by Marayah, who soon lost the initiative to the winner and the runner-up position was snatched from her close home. O’Shea said: “I have won on my last three rides in these colours now and we have all had a great season, but I am just very fortunate to ride for Mr Al Nabooda and Ernst.” Antonio Fresu completed a double, but in totally contrasting fashion, when never headed aboard the very promising Ghazwan Al Kalediah in a 1000m handicap with the pair, having broken smartly from the stalls, soon at the head of affairs and staying on strongly to win a tad cosily. Trained in Al Ain at the The National Stables Arabian Horse Intl

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Tadhg O’Shea and AF Al Baher winners of Wathba Stallions Cup by Helal Al Alawi for Abu Dhabi racing, the now 7-year-old made a winning debut in November over 1400m, on his local track but was then beaten over that course and distance, as well as over the same trip at Jebel Ali. Reverting to 1000m, again at Al Ain, four weeks ago, he ran out a tidy winner but was, arguably, more impressive here and appears progressive. Al Alawi said: “We tried him at Jebel Ali over 1400m but that did not really work out but we think he is a very nice horse and we will try him in stronger company at Abu Dhabi on the turf so we know how to campaign him next season. We were very patient with him and he won first time here, over 1400m, but is now looking a genuine sprinter and is a horse we have always really liked.” Brazilian jockey Bernardo Pinheiro was soon able to get debutante Jayide Al Boraq to the head of affairs in the 1600m maiden and, despite looking about to get swallowed up as several tried to challenge exiting the home turn, the pair were probably never passed. A 5-year-old mare, trained by Khalifa Al Neyadi for Al Wasl Racing, celebrating their second ever winner and this season, she showed a wonderfully determined attitude. Pinheiro said: “The trainer told me to positive on her because she would keep galloping for me 62

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and that is exactly what she has done.” Source and photos: Emirates Racing Authority

Antonio Fresu and Ghazwan Al Kalediah


Tadhg O’Shea and AF Mekhbat Brazilian Bernardo Pinheiro on Jayide Al Boraq

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O’Shea equals Hills record on memorable Abu Dhabi Evening

Tadhg O’Shea and AF Al Moreeb Racing at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday, March 10, was officially highlighted by the concluding 1600m handicap, the only Thoroughbred race on the card won stylishly by Treasured Times ridden by Brazilian jockey Bernardo Pinheiro.  This card will also be remembered as the meeting at which Tadhg O’Shea drew level with Richard Hills at the top of the all-time UAE jockeys’ statistics. The opening 1600m maiden, Derrinstown Stud, restricted to those horses foaled locally, provided the perfect opportunity for O’Shea to move level with Hills on 503 local winners and he was probably never headed aboard AF Al 64

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Moreeb. A 4-year-old colt, he is a homebred by Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, who retains the services of O’Shea and like the vast majority of his string, trained by Ernst Oertel. Third, then fourth, on his first two career outings over 1400m here at Abu Dhabi, he then disappointed on the dirt surface at Al Ain, but bounced back to form in gutsy fashion, fending off the persistent challenge of Al Shaheenya throughout the final 300m. O’Shea said: “This horse has taken a while to learn what is required and for whatever reason, he did not take too well to Al Ain and the dirt the last day, but was much happier back here on the turf. His two Abu Dhabi runs were good ones be-


fore that and he has bounced back to that level of performance. Now he has a win to his name, hopefully it will do his confidence the power of good.” Owner and trainer wasted no time completing a rapid double with AF Makerah in the following 1600m handicap, Shadwell Farm, with Adrie de Vries the man in the saddle on this occasion. Attempting a carbon copy of the first race, O’Shea went straight to the front on AF Alnwha, but De Vries was always travelling strongly in his slipstream, driving his mount to the front with about 300m remaining and they were always holding the numerous challengers giving fruitless chase. Al Nabooda said: “As I keep saying, I have a great trainer in Ernst Oertel who keeps producing the goods and we can use the best jockeys which gives us a big chance all the time. We are making a concerted effort to promote the local Purebred Arabians and have enjoyed some great results in recent seasons, so long may it continues.” De Vries added: “You always know when rid-

ing for these connections you have some kind of chance and that has proved the case again.” O’Shea was then denied a double, Oertel and Al Nabooda a treble, when their AF Kafu was collared 250m from home in a 2200m handicap, Derrinstown Stud, by Hazeme and although he tried gallantly to fight back, he could not regain the initiative. Settled in midfield by Mullen, the pair made smooth progress leaving the back straight before producing their decisive challenge in the final 175m. Previously a maiden after 14 starts, but just three in the UAE, the 6-year-old is trained by Jean de Roualle for Yas Horse Racing Management and was ridden by Richard Mullen, partnering winner number 459 locally, taking him one clear of Willie Supple in the overall list and into a clear third. De Roualle said: “He is just a young, inexperienced horse who was still very green there and can only improve with time and experience.” Mullen added: “Jean does so well with these inexperienced horses and is so patient he deserves wins like this. Now he has won, hopefully,

Adrie de Vries with AF Makerah Arabian Horse Intl

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Richard Mullen (#8) with Hazeme he can progress into a nice horse.” The best of the Purebred Arabian action was a second 2200m handicap, Shadwell, and again Al Nabooda and Oertel were celebrating victory with Brett Doyle, fresh from his Super Saturday Al Bastakiya victory on Godolphin’s Divine Image, the man in the saddle this time aboard AF Yatroq. Well beaten on his latest start, over 2000m on the Al Ain dirt, the 6-year-old clearly relished the return to turf to record a fourth career victory and second, this season, over course and distance having landed a similar contest at the very first Abu Dhabi meeting of the season in November when ridden by O’Shea. Doyle said: “It has been a fair while since I rode an Abu Dhabi winner, so it is nice to get back in the winner’s enclosure here in the capital.” Oertel added: “We have enjoyed a fantastic season and the horses have performed very well throughout, but I am indebted to Mr Al Nabooda for the opportunity to train these horses.” Only horses in private ownership were eligible for the 1400m handicap, For Private Owners Only, and trainer Helal Al Alawi continued 66

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his fine run of recent form by saddling Nawwaf KB to land the spoils with Pat Cosgrave riding in the colours of Byerley Team. A 6-year-old, he was doubling his career tally having only, after 15 previous starts, won a 1400m Al Ain maiden in November 2017, but always looked in control here. Settled just behind the pace in about fifth, he was always travelling well and, once driven to the front by Cosgrave early in the straight, never appeared in danger of being caught. “The trainer and connections were pretty confident and they were proved right,” Cosgrave said. “I just wanted to keep things simple, so tracked the speed and he then quickened nicely when I asked him to win comfortably.”

Source and photos: Emirates Racing Authority http://www.emiratesracing.com


Brett Doyle and AF Yatroq

Pat Cosgrave riding Nawwaf KB Arabian Horse Intl

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ES Ajeeb ridden by Sam Hitchcott

Fabrice Veron and Najem Al Rwasi

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AF Mafaten is UAE winner 500 for Tadhg O’Shea

Tadhg O’Shea ridden AF Mafaten

The sixth and final meeting of the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club (SERC) season on Saturday afternoon, February 23, was highlighted by HH The Ruler of Sharjah Cup, a 1700m Prestige highlight basically thrown away last year by ES Ajeeb, but 12 months later, won in style by the same horse. With the 2018 renewal at his mercy a year ago, the 5-year-old decided he was not going to enter the home straight, veering sharply across the track and ultimately dumping his regular jockey, Sam Hitchcott, on the Sharjah dirt seemingly aiming for the ‘way home’. Trained on the Sharjah track by Ibrahim Aseel, the now 5-yearold carries the colours of his breeder, racecourse chairman Sheikh Abdulla bin Majid Al Qassemi

and proved a class apart on this occasion, over a trip plenty far enough given he is considered a sprint specialist, but he had lasted home to land the 1400m Group 2 Bani Yas in November on the Meydan dirt surface, so was basically, ‘the class act in the race’. Well away, he was soon out in front and, despite racing wide down the back straight and on the home turn, he never looked in any danger of defeat. Aseel said: “This is a great result for everyone involved in this big race here on our home track. This is a very special horse, especially over sprint trips on dirt, but sadly there are few suitable options for him, so we had to stretch him out distance wise. Luckily his class and determination Arabian Horse Intl

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have seen him through on this occasion which, on his ‘home track’, is great for everybody involved.” Hitchcott, completing a double, added: “As I keep saying this is a very good dirt sprinter, but unfortunately suitably ideal races are just not there, so we have to try him over further or on turf. His class has won that today.” The opening 1200m maiden, Longines Dolce Vita, restricted to those foaled in the UAE, was won in determined fashion by Najem Al Rwasi who was making it ‘third time lucky’ having been well beaten in two previous starts on the Abu Dhabi turf during the last campaign. Making a belated seasonal debut, on his first start for Hassan Al Hammadi, the 5-year-old was always prominent under Fabrice Veron who drove him to the front about 350m from home. Veron found a willing partner and the duo never appeared likely to be denied, keeping on strongly to land the spoils. Al Hammadi said: “He had not run since March, so we have to be very pleased with that on what was his first start for us.” Veron added: “He has shown plenty of speed and clearly taken well to the surface on his first dirt outing.” The jockey completed a double, ‘book ending’ the card by partnering RB Grynade to a facile success in the final race of the Sharjah season, the Sharjah Marathon, a 2700m handicap, despite his mount, RB Grynade, looking more interested in what was going on among the crowd throughout the final stages, his head almost turned right, as opposed to ahead, in the final stages. Trained at Al Asayl by Eric Lemartinel for His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the 5-year-old took full advantage of a feather weight to double his career haul having previously only won a 1600m Al Ain maiden on just his second, of now 15 career starts, in January 2017. Veron said: “I was always travelling well just behind the leaders and when the gap appeared we were able to take full advantage.” The season’s leading owner, Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, always looked likely to be celebrating victory after the 1200m handicap, The Longines Master Collection, in which his AF Meghwar, ridden by Fernando Jara for Ali Rashid Al Rayhi, led for the majority of the race, but was unable to repel the late challenge of AF Mafaten, ridden by Tadhg O’Shea for Al Nabooda and his main trainer, Ernst Oertel. This was a milestone victory for the jockey who celebrated his 500th UAE win. 70

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O’Shea said: “If you had told me in 2001 when I first arrived I would ride 500 winners I would have not believed you and laughed. I have been very lucky to ride for some great owners and trainers over the years without whom I obviously would not be celebrating this landmark.” The 6-year-old winning mare was shedding her maiden tag at the tenth attempt and Al Nabooda said: “As I keep saying I have a strong team behind me with Ernst and Tadhg. This mare has been showing a lot of speed in her races, so we hoped the drop in trip would suit and, luckily, it has worked out well.” Owner and trainer were celebrating a double just 30 minutes later, in the Longines Record Collection, but this time it was Sam Hitchcott in the saddle aboard AF Taraha who claimed the prize in a 1700m handicap. Settled just behind the leaders, the 6-year-old mare was sent to the front on the home turn and stayed on strongly to double her career tally, her previous success registered on her second start, in the 1800m Al Ain Derby over 1800m. Hitchcott said: “This was a lovely spare ride because, for these connections, you always know you hold good claims and, luckily, that proved to be the case.” Source and photos: Emirates Racing Authority http://www.emiratesracing.com


Fabrice Veron ridden RB Grynade

Sam Hitchcott (#6) with AF Taraha

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Oertel-Al Nabooda dominate in Abu Dhabi Racing at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday, February 17, evening was completely dominated by owner and breeder Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda who, remarkably, was responsible for all five Purebred Arabian winners, four carrying his colours and trained by Ernst Oertel. The opening 1400m handicap, which actually started an hour late with the meeting delayed by technical issues, was won in style by AF Motaghatres, ridden by Antonio Fresu and another winner for the irrepressible pairing of Ernst Oertel and owner Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda. Held up in midfield by Fresu, the 5-year-old made stealthy progress leaving the back straight to emerge on the heels of the leaders. Once in front 350m out, he was never going to be caught, registering his fourth career win, third this season and number three over course and distance, having also won over 1600m in December. All four victories have been posted here at Abu Dhabi. Fresu said: “He is just a lovely horse and al-

ways seems to run particularly well at this track. I was second on him over course and distance last time but he has always travelled better today perhaps there was a bit more juice in the ground. When I asked him to quicken, he did so impressively, so I have to be very happy with him and the outcome.” Owner and trainer were soon celebrating a double with Tadhg O’Shea, retained by Al Nabooda but only fifth in the opener on his AF Asheham, choosing the right one this time with AF Makerah taking the 1600m handicap relatively comfortably. Held up in the middle of the 13 runners, the 6-year-old mare was driven to the front early in the straight, after which she always looked likely to register a third career success and second over course and distance this season. A rueful O’Shea said: “I picked the wrong one on the first race, which is just one of those things, but I thankfully made the right choice this time.

From left to right: Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, Tadhg O’Shea, Lara Sawaya and Ernst Oertel

Photo: Noëlle Derré/CCA 72

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Tadhg O’Shea and AF Al Montaqem winners of Wathba Stallions Cup

This filly ran a very good second last time and she has probably just reproduced that level of form. She is a lovely filly; very honest and genuine, so that always makes my job easier and she deserved to get her head back in front.” O’Shea promptly completed a double and treble for owner and trainer with the smooth success of AF Mouthirah in the Emirates Fillies Classic, a 1600m race for 4-year-old fillies foaled locally and carrying Prestige status. Winner of her only previous start four weeks ago in the Emirates Fillies Classic, also a Prestige event over the Abu Dhabi 1600m, she was always travelling best of the 16 runners. Once sent to the front by O’Shea, was never going to be beaten. “She is just a lovely and classy filly,” O’Shea said: “We had a disadvantageous wide draw but the race was run at a lovely even gallop and she was always going well within herself. When we hit the front, she pricked her ears and had a good luck around but when the second closed she just galloped away in the style of a nice filly. Credit to Ernst because he always said she was a bit special and she has proved it now twice now the track.” Oertel added: “I am just very lucky, especial-

ly to train for this owner who has so many nice horses. It has been a great start to the evening.” Al Nabooda then completed what is almost certainly an unprecedented quartet when AF Saab ran out the smooth winner of the 1600m Emirates Colt Classic, another Prestige race. Like the first three winners, the 4-year-old was bred by Al Nabooda, but having landed the 1400m Abu Dhabi Colts Classic for his breeder and Oertel, he has switched to Musabbeh Al Mheiri and the ownership of His Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Ridden by the owner’s retained jockey, Jim Crowley, he always looked to have the measure of his six rivals and basically cantered to the front leaving the home turn before storming clear to win by nine lengths. He was actually chased home by AF Alwajel, ridden by O’Shea for Oertel and Al Nabooda, the pair who also supplied the distant third, AF Al Aassi. Crowley said: “Obviously, it is the first time I have ridden the horse, so I was not really sure what to expect but I must admit I was quite taken with him because he has travelled around there beautifully and then gone through the gears Arabian Horse Intl

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when I asked him in the straight. Hopefully he is a very nice new horse for the boss because that was a very impressive effort indeed.” However, O’Shea, Al Nabooda and Oertel did not have too long to wait to make a further visit to the winner’s enclosure with AF Al Montaqem running out the ready winner of a 2200m handicap restricted to those horses in private ownership. Settled in midfield, the 6-year-old making taking progress leaving the back straight. Once hitting the front, he always looked likely to double his career tally having won his penultimate start, a course and distance maiden. O’Shea said: “As I keep saying, Ernst is a top trainer and has a great team behind him. From the very start of the season the horses have been flying and it is a credit to him and his staff. I will say it again, but I am just the lucky one who gets on them and privileged to ride for Mr Al Nabooda and Ernst.” Source: Emirates Racing Authority Jim Crowley and AF Saab

AF Motaghatres ridden by Antonio Fresu 74

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Tadhg O’Shea with AF Makerah

Tadhg O’Shea and AF Mouthirah Arabian Horse Intl

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Mubasher Al Khalediah shines in Sharjah’s inaugral GCC Cup

Mubasher Al Khalediah ridden by Abdullah Al Fairoz

The inaugural running of the GCC Cup was the highlight of Saturday, February 16, afternoon’s race meeting at the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club (SERC) and the AED200.000 new initiative went to Saudi Arabia. Trainer Mutlaq bin Mashref saddling both first and second in a thrilling contest, with Mubasher Al Khalediah denying stable companion Nader Al Khalediah. In doing so, the 4-year-old, who received weight from his ten rivals since he was the youngest horse in the field, reversed form with his stablemate and also ensured Bin Mashref has saddled the winner of every UAE race in which he has been represented. The trainer’s sole previous local runner having been Tallaab Al Khalediah who won last year’s Group 1 Kahayla Classic on the Dubai World Cup card at Meydan last March. Ridden by Abdullah Al Fairoz, the winner was in the right place when the trainer’s third runner, Moheb Al Khalediah, who had led from the outset, almost stopped early in the straight, seemingly hampering AF Maher and perhaps not helping the chances of Nader Al Khalediah who stayed on strongly, but could not get to his stablemate. Bin Mashref said: “We came here thinking of nothing else but victory, so we brought some of 76

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our strongest horses because we wanted to go for the historic title and then work towards the Dubai Kahayla Classic. That said, none of these will go to the Kahayla Classic, but we do have Tallab Al Khalediah and Murad Al Khalediah who will.” Jockey Al Fairoz, added: “It feels great to have won this title, which is a first ever race, on my first ride here in the UAE. It was a great race and the horse performed very well, so I am delighted.” A 1700m race with Prestige status and restricted to horses foaled within the GCC countries, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and, of course, the UAE, the inaugural GCC Cup must be considered a success with four runners from Saudi Arabia with one representing Oman among the 11 runners. The maximum field allowed of 16 may have contested the 1200m handicap, but very few were ever able to land a blow, and once Arif swept past AF Meeqat just after the halfway point the race, as a contest, was basically over. Ridden by Szczepan Mazur for trainer Younis Al Kalbani and sporting the distinctive silks of the Omani Royal Cavalry, the 6-year-old entire was recording his third career victory. It was also a breakthrough for Arif at the eighth attempt on a dirt surface,


Arif ridden by Szczepan Mazur having previously won twice over 1600m then 1400m on the Abu Dhabi turf in consecutive outings in February and March 2017. Mazur said: “The yard have been in good form all season and this horse, last time I rode him three starts ago, showed plenty of speed over 1000m at Al Ain, so we hoped this first attempt at 1200m would suit him and it has. He has shown how versatile he is, both in trip and regarding surface, so it should give the trainer plenty of options.” The opening 1200m maiden restricted to horses foaled in the UAE, was won quite impressively by debutant ES Ma’Rouf who was always at the head of affairs of those drawn high before grabbing the overall lead, from SS Jalmod, with about 350m to run after which he never looked in danger of being caught. Homebred by Sheikh Abdulla bin Majid Al Qassemi, the SERC chairman, the 5-year-old is trained on the track by Ibrahim Aseel and was ridden by Sam Hitchcott, the top Sharjah jockey in each of the last two seasons and again leading this way during this campaign. Hitchcott, partnering his sixth course winner this season, said: “That was a decent performance because he was quite green, so should improve for the outing and experience. He showed plenty

of speed to race prominently and then ran on strongly to win well. Hopefully he can build on this.” Again, only those horses born locally were eligible for the 2000m maiden which involved only one horse from a long way out with Tadhg O’Shea taking AF Eshaar straight to the head of affairs, a lead they never looked likely to relinquish. Homebred by Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda and trained by Ernst Oertel, the 5-year-old was registering his first success at the ninth attempt. Al Nabooda, who retains the eservices of O’Shea, said: “As I keep saying I have a great team behind me with Ernst and Tadhg, so have been lucky to enjoy plenty of winners again this season; they are both experts with these local Purebred Arabians.” O’Shea added: “I rode this horse over 1800m last time at Al Ain when he was third, but just kept plugging on, so I knew this trip would suit and was always going to be positive. Luckily everything went to plan and I am delighted for Mr Al Nabooda who puts so much into these local horses, as well as Ernst whose team have had these horses in such good form all season.” O’Shea is going to have to work particularly hard if he wants to defend his jockeys’ title and remains one winner behind Richard Mullen afArabian Horse Intl

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Antonio Fresu and MH Tawag

ter the latter landed the 1700m handicap aboard MH Tawag for Elise Jeanne and her main patron, Mansoor Khalifa Sultan bin Habtoor who also bred the 7-year-old entire. The pair were also responsible for the third home, MH Areeb, who was staying on resolutely under Antonio Fresu. It was a fifth career success for the horse, but a first on a dirt surface, on which he was racing for an eighth time and he and Mullen were following up a 2200m victory at Abu Dhabi two weeks ago. “As I said at Abu Dhabi the other day,” Mullen reported. “Elise may not have that many horses, but she does very well with the small string she does have and you always know you have a chance riding for her. That return to the winner’s enclosure last time seems to have boosted his confidence and he was always traveling well today, so knowing stamina was not an issue, I was able to stay slightly wider and then commit for a home a long way out.” Source: Emirates Racing Authority 78

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Tadhg O’Shea and AF Eshaar


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ARABIAN HORSE INTL FLAT RACING ISSUE 3  

The Arabian Horse Intl Endurance and Arabian Horse Intl Flat Racing is a free to view digital magazine, available worldwide to Endurance an...

ARABIAN HORSE INTL FLAT RACING ISSUE 3  

The Arabian Horse Intl Endurance and Arabian Horse Intl Flat Racing is a free to view digital magazine, available worldwide to Endurance an...

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