Extra Hope wins Al Ain opener

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The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Wathba Stallions Cup For Private Owners Only race heralded the 2017-18 racing season in Al Ain with 12 runners vying for a slice of the Dh 80,000 on offer at the Al Ain Race Course on Friday, November 24, 2017.

Extra Hope, owned by Ali Haddad, scored his first win on UAE soil in six starts, to open the action here in Al Ain. The Ernst Oertel-trained AF Mukhifah under Tadhg O’Shea finished second and Baynah under Connor Beasley was third.

The 1000 metre handicap was turned into a procession by the Satish Seemar-trained Extra Hope. Ridden by Richard Mullen, the six-year-old mare was soon in front and put the race to bed just after halfway when scooting clear of her 11 toiling rivals.

It was her first UAE victory, on her sixth attempt and second career success having won a 1700m maiden, at Delaware Park in her native USA, in October 2015.

Mullen said: “I am over the moon to ride a winner for Ali who has been a great supporter of UAE racing for very many years but has not enjoyed much luck recently. He is always smiling though and is an absolute pleasure to ride for.

“It is also good to see our horses hitting form after a winner at Meydan last night and now this one. Hopefully there are plenty more to follow.”

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.