Thursday, 22 February 2018 05:05 GMT

UAE- Al Naqbi steals the show

(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Rowallan claims 120km Endurance Ride title in Al Wathba

Riders in action at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday. — Supplied photo

Abu Dhabi: Abdulla Rashid Mohammed Saeed Al Naqbi astride 11-year-old Arab gelding Rowallan Dee Jay worked his way through to win the Shaikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Challenge Festival For Private Owners a CEN 120km Endurance Ride to be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday.

Trained by Ahmed Mahfouz at the Al Hayar Stables Rowallan made a smooth progress from the eigth position to hit the front in the final loop and held on very strongly to cross the finish line in four hours 64 minutes and 15 seconds at an average speed of 25.153km/hour more than two minutes clear of compatriot Rashid Saeed Al Kamda and Uruguayan Jonatan Rivera who was six minutes off the pace in third. “The race was tough despite the favourable weather conditions” the winner said later.

“The second phase was the most difficult and the speed was lowered because of the sand” he added. The trainer added: “We are preparing this horse for future challenges including the HH the President Cup. It’s great to see him doing very well in today’s contest.” Shaikh Saeed bin Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum attended the event and gave away the prizes and trophies to the winners alongside Lara Sawaya Executive Director of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival Chairman of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committee in the Int’l Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities ( IFAHR) and Adnan Sultan including the brand new car for the winner and the Dh1 million in prize-money which was distributed proportionately to the riders who have completed the race.

The event has attracted 62 riders representing the different private stables within the UAE. The trace was held under reasonably good weather conditions as the temperature began to read low in the region in the last few days.

Meanwhile 53 riders successfully completed the 40km first stage with the UAE rider Saif Ahmed Al Mazroui leading the way astride the 11-year-old Arab gelding Al Yarmouk trained by Sultan Al Sabousi for the SS Private Stables. Al Mazroui covered the distance in 1 hour 28 minutes and 56 seconds at an average speed of 26.987km/hr. Right on his heels came compatriot Khaled Zayed Hamza Al Blooshi onboard 11-year-old Anglo Arab Colo Lex for Al Hayar Private Stables and behind them came Argentinean contender Gabriel Alejandroo Bellas aboard 11-year-old Arab gelding JC Kaos.

By the end of the second 27km loop a little change happened in the top three places. Al Balooshi advanced to the front Belas moved to second and Abdulla Rashid Mohammed Saeed Al Naqbi took closer order to finish third. The early leader Al Mazroui was relegated to fifth.

Riders continued to reverse places until the end of the 26km third phase as the Argentinean rider led Al Blooshi dropped to second and Rashid Saeed Al Kamda made grounds to attack the leading pair and settled eight minutes off the pace with only 19 riders having passed the third vet gate.

Al Kamda extended his lead by the end of the fourth loop to two minutes in front of runner up Abdulla Al Naqbi before the riders reunited with their horses for the final 16km loop. Sawaya commented: “We are all obliged to Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance for his support to the Arabian horse racing within the UAE and abroad.”

Regarding the upcoming inaugural general meeting of the International Federation of the Horse Racing Academies Sawaya said: “Representatives from 17 countries will sit to draft the statute of the new body among other issues on the agenda. The rules and regulations which govern the federation will be tailored to coincide with the prevailing rules at the Abu Dhabi International Sports Court.

“Generally speaking the 2015 calendar for the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival will include 99 races with participants from 65 countries around the globe expected to take part in the activities.”

UAE- Al Naqbi steals the show

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