There were smiles all round for Mrs Skepper and her daughter Jane Marson when their homebred stallion Heritage Vadel stayed on well to win the Wathba Stallions Cup (0-55) Handicap Stakes at Southwell today. The seven-year-old kept the consistent Aljawaaher at bay, with his brother, Heritage Valentino a further three lengths behind in third to give them a memorable success.
After the race a delighted Marson commented: “It’s fantastic to come and win a race like this with Heritage Vadel and to be third with his younger brother too, we’re chuffed to bits.”
The pair were trained by James Owen, his representative Alex Chadwick said: “It’s a massive improvement, the cheekpieces definitely helped today, and I think getting a good lead into the race and kicking for home off the bend has paid dividends. We’re delighted for the owners, they’ve been very patient.”
Heritage Vadel was ridden by Newmarket based apprentice Rhiain Ingram who was recording her first win on Arabian having been called up on a regular basis by Owen this year. Of Heritage Vadel’s performance she said:
“He travelled well for me the whole way round, he’s a little bit one paced and the way the race panned out it meant I could just keep kicking and he’s ground it out all the way to the line. It’s nice to ride a winner for James, he’s been really supportive of me since the season started.”
Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival, said: “We’re delighted to bring the Sheikh Mansoor Festival to another UK racecourse and support the country’s grassroots participants through the Wathba Stallions Cup series. Well done to Heritage Vadel and all the connections.”
Mark Clayton, Executive Director of Southwell racecourse was thrilled to welcome Arabians to Southwell saying: “We’ve been waiting to get ARO and the Arabians here for some time. The opportunity to hold the race came via the loss of the Bath fixture, but we’ve grabbed it with both hands, and I hope Arabians will be back again in the future. Now we have the Tapeta surface installed we’d like this to be an annual event.”
Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer commented: “ARO warmly congratulates Mrs Skepper and Jane Marson as well as Rhiain and the James Owen team, for not only winning with Heritage Vadel, but also with Heritage Valentino placing third as well. They are exactly the type of small owner-breeders that the Wathba Stallions Cup series aims to support.
“ARO is most grateful for the continued sponsorship by the Sheikh Mansoor Festival and we also thank the British Horseracing Authority, ARC and all the staff at Southwell racecourse for their assistance in rescheduling this race.”