Najem S’Heel shines in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup

Najem S’Heel, ridden by Tadhg O’Shea, made virtually all to win the 1200m PA Handicap Wathba Stud Farm Cup For Private Owners Only at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club here on Sunday night.

The six-year-old son of former champion Big Easy is trained by Saifaldin Deep on behalf of its owner Faisal Sameer Al Mahmoud.

“He was narrowly beaten last time out because of the wide draw, but this time he was well drawn and launched his campaign from stall nine to win easily. He’s a speedy horse and there’s more to come from him,” Deep said.

“Najem S’Heel has won this race before over 1000 metres early in the season, and it’s something great to see him wining again over the extended distance.

“We are all obliged to the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs for his unlimited support and encouragement of small owners and breeders to boost the Arabian horse in the UAE and elsewhere,” he added.

Meanwhile, Adnan Sultan, director of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Lara Sawaya, director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, chairman of Ladies Racing Committee in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing (IFAHR) alongside the sponsors presented the prizes and trophies to the winners.

The opening race, Wrapping UP PA Maiden was won by Tahya Al Reef under Jose Santiago for trainer Jaber Bittar in the distinguished colours of the Al Reef Stables.

Dane O’Neill rode Nawwaar to win the 1600m HH The President Cup Prep (Conditions) authoritatively in the blue silks of the leading international horse breeder and owner Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Minister of Finance and Deputy Ruler of Dubai at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club here on Sunday night.

Immediately after the starter said go, the Irishman left the machines very quickly and opened a five, six and seven lengths gap before he stormed home unchallenged.

“The obvious target is the main race next month, but we need to see first how he would come out of this race and listen to the owner,” a delight former champion trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe said.

Godolphin retained jockey Silvestre De Souza teamed up with Majid Al Jahouri to steer Raaziq home in the Arabian version of the 220mm HH The President Cup Prep Conditions early in the evening.

“I didn’t want to lose the momentum and I have asked my mount to improve in the straight,” said the Brazilian jockey who has lost the stirrup in the most crucial stage of the race. “He’s the best horse in the race and he carried me to the line in a very nice trip,” he said.

Regarding his Dubai World Cup dreams, De Souza said they are doing very well in the Carnival and looking forward to do better in the highlights. “It’s also good to come here to Abu Dhabi and ride a winner,” he said.

Leading jockey Tadhg O’Shea made a forward move on board Skoop and worked his way through the leading pair, but before he touched the line, Haaziq came flying to ‘scoop’ the trophy.

Wadi Al Sail, ridden by William Twiston-Davies, came full of running to earn trainer Omer Daraj Mohammed his first winner of the season in the 1200m Sadeem PA Handicap opening race on the card.

The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with Arabtec Holding PJSC as the Official Partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Al Rashid Investment, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2014, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Racing Post.