It was another success for owner-breeder Faisal Seddiq Al Mutawa in the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Wathba Stud Farm Cup For Private Owners race held at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club racecourse on Sunday, February 7, 2016.
Al Mutawa’s Latifa Princess, a 7-year-old bay mare by Big Easy, scored a fine win under Sam Hitchcott in the Dh 80,000 race run over 1200 metres.
Trained by Veronika Aske, Latifa Princess led with about 300 metres left and staved off a brave challenge by Huyam under Hector Crouch while Richard Mullen steered Af Ashras to third in the 12-horse race. Only a neck separated the winner and Huyam and Af Ashras also finished a neck behind in what was a closely contested race.
Aske, previously assistant at Al Asayl Stables, has now registered three wins in her first season, all supplied by Latifa Princess and Dubai-based jockey Hitchcott, with the other two having been achieved at Al Ain.
“It is my first winner here in Abu Dhabi, so I am delighted,” said Aske. “She will go for a race at Al Ain in three weeks which will probably be her last run of the campaign.”
Earlier the Al Wathba Stables owned by HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs tasted more success. The stable rainer Nacer Samiri continue a landmark first season with a licence in the UAE saddling the 1-2 in the Group 3 Al Ruwais (1000m), the feature at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club meeting on Sunday evening.
The Samri-trained Shateh, having his first outing since December 2014, flew out of the gates under reigning Qatar champion jockey Harry Bentley and the pair were never headed, always holding the challenge of stable companion, Sha’Red, seeking a third consecutive win in the race and sixth in six years owner HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Sheikh Mansoor had to settle for second this time but was unlikely to be too disappointed; the winner carries the colours of his son, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mansour Al Nahyan. Remarkably, the fledgling owner is yet to see his silks defeated; his only other horse, to date, Areem, having won both his outings this season.
“That was a good training performance as this horse had been off for over 400 days,” said Bentley. “He has a lot of natural speed so we were able to get to the front and then I managed to get a bit of a breather into him on the turn.
“He then quickened nicely and was always holding on. There are not many of these 1000 metres races sadly but he stays 1600 well and is a really nice horse.”
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 Partner, 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 with and sponsored by 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, Viola Communications, 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.