MH Areeb wins Wathba Cup in Al Ain Three winners on UAE National Day for HH Sheikh Mansoor

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It was the Festival’s Wathba Stud Farm Cup for Private Owners which opened the race meeting and the 7-year-old MH Areeb won under Richard Mullen. It was half a length that separated MH Areeb and AF Muwall’Aa under Szczepan Mazur with UAE Apprentice jockey Saeed Al Mazrooei third on Tamooh S. The winning time for the Dh 70,000 dirt contest over 1600 metres was 1:59.99.

Trained by Elise Jeanne and only raced in the UAE, MH Areeb was recording a seventh career victory and third at Al Ain. Owned by Mansoor Khalifa Sultan Bin Habtoor, MH Areeb was also a winner at Sharjah on the first weekend of this season.

“This horse is a bit of a character but this track really seems to suit him,” said Mullen. “He travelled nicely today and picked up well when I asked him.”

The Al Ain Racecourse staged six other races after the opening Wathba Stud Farm Cup and three of those were won by horses owned by HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Topping the triple triumph was Aslaan, a 4-year-old Bibi De Carrere colt bred and owned by HH Sheikh Mansoor, winning the featured 1600-metre handicap to round of the meeting.

Trained by Helal Al Alawi, it was a second victory of the season for Aslaan, successful at Sharjah a fortnight ago and, on both occasions, ridden by Royston Ffrench.

An Al Ain winner over 1800m in February, Aslaan has had only ten career starts and has now won three. He looks progressive and connections will be hoping he can build on this.

“He won nicely at Sharjah last time,” said Al Alawi. “This was a stronger race but we were hopeful of a big run and he did that nicely. Royston was very pleased with him and we will have to think about where he goes next.”

The owner’s treble was initiated by Antonio Fresu aboard the impressive winning debutant, Shamikh Al Wathba, trained by Jean de Roualle and victorious in a Purebred Arabian 1800m maiden.

“That was a nice performance on his first start,” said Fresu. “He can only improve from this and could be a decent horse.”

Owner and trainer were soon celebrating again after the smooth success of Baddi in another 1800m maiden. Making his dirt debut on his second local and fourth career start, he was always going well under Adrie de Vries and, once the pair hit the front early in the straight, never really looked likely to be caught.

It was a 1-2-3 for HH Sheikh Mansoor who also owned runner-up, Majdd and the third, Ammira, trained by Ahmed Al Mehairbi and Majed Al Jahouri respectively.

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, IPIC as Strategic Partner, 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 Al Aweer Stables, Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, 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, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, 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 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.