Arabian Racing Organisation, The Curragh

Recent News

Bio-security reminder issued to Racing industry

The British Horseracing Authority have issued notification that four new cases of Equine Influenza (EI) have been identified in the Newmarket population.  We strongly advise ARO participants to read/ download the guidance circulated by the National Trainers Federation and BHA in regard to the prevention and containment of infectious diseases.

The Arabian racing population has, as yet, remained unaffected by the recent EI outbreak but vigilance and caution are advised; being aware of potential avenues of contamination and knowing how to deal with it are of the highest importance.

ARO is liaising with the BHA to establish what, if any, updated vaccination procedures will be required for Arabians to run on GB courses this season.  In the meantime, please make sure that all horses in your yard have up to date flu vaccinations in line with BHA vaccination rules, which can be found here.

The NTF document on bio-security can be downloaded and viewed here: NTF Codes of Practice 2019

BHA update regarding equine influenza – racing will not resume until Wednesday 13 February at the earliest

  • Decision to be made on Monday 11 February as to whether racing can resume on Wednesday 13 February
  • Decision to cancel racing is based on further scientific advice and discussions with participants

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has this afternoon taken the decision that racing will not resume in Britain until Wednesday 13 February at the earliest, including fixtures programmed by the Point-to-Point Authority.

The BHA’s veterinary team has today been in contact with more than 50 trainers and veterinarians to allow it to make an informed assessment of the risk of equine influenza spreading. Whilst no further positive tests have been received, at least three more days are required before it will be possible to make a decision about whether it is safe to resume racing.

The disease can take up to three days before symptoms are visible, meaning it will take until Sunday at the earliest before the BHA can gather all the information required. This approach will allow samples to be collected and assessed by the Animal Health Trust in order that a fully informed decision can be made on Monday. This may then allow declarations to take place on Tuesday in time for racing on Wednesday, with 24 hour declarations for all fixtures on this day, should racing be able to resume. Declarations for Thursday would revert to the usual procedures.

We are grateful to trainers and veterinarians for the rapid flow of information and feedback  we have received today. Because of this, we have been able to make an informed decision earlier than we expected and before we have any test results back from horses from the affected yards that travelled to the three meetings.

Trainers support a precautionary approach and we thank them for the collaborative manner in which they have worked with us to address this unfolding situation.

This precautionary approach is intended to ensure we put the health of the horse population and control of the virus first, and avoid any unnecessary risk that might come from returning to racing too quickly. We appreciate the impact that this may have on the sport commercially, but disease control in order to mitigate the risk of further disruption to the sport – and safeguard the health and welfare of our horses – must be a priority.

A plan will be constructed for the rescheduling of key races – and those which may provide important opportunities for horses to run – which are lost during this period,

Separately, as a precaution, all of the trainers who had runners at the fixtures at Wolverhampton, Ludlow and Ayr this week have been informed that their yards have been placed under a temporary hold which means that they will not be able to make any declarations until their horses have been tested and cleared.

Further information and guidance

It remains the case that anyone visiting a racing yard should exercise appropriate caution and check with a trainer before visiting, and trainers are advised to limit where possible the movement of people to and from their yard, and put in place appropriate biosecurity measures. There is a Code of Practice for dealing with infectious diseases on the website of the National Trainers Federation.

All British thoroughbreds are vaccinated against equine influenza however cases have been seen in vaccinated horses. The disease may be serious in unvaccinated horses, although symptoms in vaccinated horses are usually mild and transient. Symptoms may include a raised temperature, a cough and nasal discharge. It is highly contagious. Humans are not at risk from the virus, though can spread the virus on clothes and equipment.

This is a wider horse health issue which is not confined to horseracing. Unlike thoroughbreds in Britain, it is not compulsory for the wider horse population to be vaccinated against equine flu. Whilst the BHA is not specifically responsible for non-racehorses, the general advice to owners would be to contact your vet if you have concerns.

The Animal Health Trust are the equine monitoring agent for disease surveillance in the UK and information is posted on their website and twitter feeds.

Equine influenza Q&A

From the BHA – 07/02/2019 @ 13:30:00

Below is a Q&A designed to give as much information as is currently possible  in relation to the current outbreak of equine influenza.

Our main priority is to do all we can to prevent the spread of the equine influenza virus and to protect the welfare of our horses. We stopped racing today to restrict horse movements. When we have received the results of further tests, we will make a decision on racing over the next few days. That is likely to be by early evening, but it is important that we are led by the scientific evidence and follow established protocols for dealing with infectious diseases. We ask trainers and owners, in particular, to be patient and thank them for their support.

How serious is this strain of equine influenza? Is it likely to prove fatal or is it a mild form?

It is a requirement that all racehorses be vaccinated against flu, as this is an important barrier preventing spread of the virus and will mitigate the impact. However, the presence of the virus in vaccinated horses demonstrates that it’s not completely effective against this strain.

The disease may be serious in unvaccinated horses, although symptoms in vaccinated horses are usually mild and transient. Symptoms may include a raised temperature, a cough and nasal discharge, and a horse’s performance is affected. It is highly contagious.

What symptoms have appeared in the cases detected yesterday? Are they serious?

They are showing typical signs of mild infection, i.e. nasal discharge, cough, raised temperature. There is nothing to suggest that these particular cases are unusually serious, but implications for the wider horse population and horse movement are potentially serious and we must prevent further spread of the infection as quickly as possible.

What’s the treatment for infected horses?

Much the same as for human flu. Rest, and other medications for symptoms as needed. Anyone with concerns about their horse or horses is advised to contact their vet immediately.

How long does the flu last?

In vaccinated horses, typically 24-48 hours, though with performance potentially affected for several days, or sometimes weeks. If a horse is unvaccinated, it can range between 2 – 10 days.

Is there any risk to human health from the equine influenza virus?

There is no known human health risk associated with the virus.

How did the virus arrive in this country and how has it spread?

We are working to identify the most likely source of the outbreak but we have not confirmed this yet. We expect there is a link between this outbreak and other recent outbreaks elsewhere in Europe.

When did you first know about this strain and what did you do?

We first became aware of the European outbreak in December 2018 and notices were issued by the BHA in relation to this. Trainers were advised to vaccinate any horses which had not been vaccinated in the previous six months and were reminded of the appropriate biosecurity precautions.

Should you have taken steps to stop foreign horses coming into the UK or British horses going overseas where they might risk picking up the infection?

This is a wider horse population issue, not a racing specific one. Equine influenza is endemic in the UK. Whilst the racehorse population is vaccinated, and owners of other horses often choose to vaccinate their horses, up to 70% of horses in UK may be unvaccinated. Stopping movement of foreign horses would therefore be unlikely to prevent spread of disease in this country.

Whilst racehorses don’t generally mix with other horses in their stables or on racecourses, situations inevitably arise where they may come into contact with unvaccinated horses.

What restrictions on movement are in place now?

Trainers whose horses may have come into contact with affected horses will be contacted today and will need to quarantine all horses in the yard. This means that these horses must have no contact with any other equines (e.g. separate lots on gallops) until restrictions are lifted. This is likely to be until samples have been taken from horses and negative test results received.

What steps have you taken since you were notified of the outbreak yesterday evening?

The first step was to call off racing. We have also stopped some Irish horses from returning home after racing in Britain on 6 February. These horses are now in quarantine. We have put restrictions in place on horses from yards likely to have been in contact with horses from affected yards. Testing of all horses on stopped yards is taking place, funded by the Levy Board.

What’s your advice to trainers?

a) If they think their animals may be infected?
b) If they want to protect their animals from infection?

Immediately isolate any animals who may be infected. They should contact their vet as soon as possible to arrange testing. All confirmed cases must be reported immediately to the BHA.

What should be done about race entries and declarations?

Entries and declarations can be made as usual until advice is given to the contrary. Trainers in affected or potentially affected yards will be contacted with specific guidance.

How should trainers get in touch if they have any concerns?

Their first contact should be with their vet if they have any concerns.

The National Trainers’ Federation have an excellent code of practice on their website which documents all the steps trainers should be taking. We are working closely with them.

What is the advice to people working with racehorses?

Everyone should be vigilant and alert to possible clinical signs. They should put increased biosecurity measures in place – as a minimum, hand washing and change of clothes should be required on arrival at any yard.

What is the advice to owners of other horses not part of the racing industry?

We can’t speak on behalf of other equestrian sports or the leisure industry, but the general advice if anyone has any concerns is to contact their vet.

When will the ban on racing be lifted? Might it be lifted partially in some areas of the country?

We will issue a further update on racing fixtures as soon as possible. For fixtures on Friday 8 February, and the weekend of 9-10 February, we expect to provide an update this evening (7 February).

How serious might this be? Could this be as bad as the outbreak that hit Australia in 2007?

The situation in Australia was very different. The virus is not endemic in Australia and horses were not vaccinated and had no immunity to the virus. As such, we would not expect an outbreak here to be as serious or significant.

Did you have contingency measures in place for dealing with this kind of outbreak?

Yes, these include the measures enacted in the last 24 hours. We will continue to put restrictions on racing and the movement of horses as appropriate.

Have you been in contact with DEFRA/Welsh/Scottish governments? What’s their role in managing this outbreak?

While Equine influenza is not a notifiable disease in the UK and therefore not controlled by Government, we will be in touch with Defra to advise them of the situation and the actions being taken.

Could the Cheltenham Festival be under threat?

It is far too early to say.

In general, we would not expect the situation to be as bad as in Australia in 2007, when racing was stopped for an extended period, as British horses are vaccinated and the virus is endemic in the UK. The situation is very different in Australia where the virus is not endemic and horses and not vaccinated.

How many horses will you swab – and how, when and why?

A vet would take a nasal swab. We will be swabbing all horses from in-contact yards tomorrow, as testing is most reliable 48 hours after likely/possible exposure.

In general, swabs are taken if symptoms are identified. We recommend that owners or trainers immediately contact their vet to arrange this. All swabs for racehorses are paid for by Levy Board funding.

Rumours are circulating that particular yards have been affected. Can you confirm which yards have been affected?

We’re not going to identify any specific yard affected, but we did need to confirm at the earliest opportunity that the yard concerned had runners at Ayr and Ludlow on Wednesday 6 February, and/or at Wolverhampton on Monday 4 February, so that other trainers could take appropriate action immediately. However, we wish to emphasise that horses in the affected yard had been vaccinated.

We would strongly request media and other members of the public to stay away from any yard they believe to be affected, as this could risk further spread of the flu virus.

If this can be identified through visible signals, should the trainer have identified this her/himself? Could the trainer have done more to prevent the spread in her/his yard?

A cough and nasal discharge are common respiratory signs seen in horses and the majority of cases would not be equine influenza. Under rules, trainers are not required to report these symptoms and therefore movement is not stopped until we are aware there is a confirmed influenza result.

You have been aware of the outbreak for weeks, could you have done more to prevent this? Should racing have been shut down earlier?

BHA have made efforts to communicate to all trainers and other participants that an outbreak was occurring in Europe. It would have been disproportionate to shut down racing, based on the evidence available at that stage.

The decision to stop racing made within hours of the confirmed outbreak on 6 February.

Alison Lidderdale resigns from her post as Sponsorship and Commercial Manager

On Friday 1st February Alison Lidderdale resigned from the Arabian Racing Organisation.  Alison will work with ARO by way of a hand over and will officially leave at the end of the month.

All future enquiries please contact:

Willie McFarland, ARO Racing Operations Manager,

tel: 01635 524445 mob: 07977 047770

Genny Haynes has been co-opted to the ARO Board of Directors to oversee Commercial and Financial activities for the foreseeable future, tel: +44 (0) 7812 989699.

Rodess du Loup powers home to give thrilled Gourdain back-to-back President of UAE Cup triumphs

By Russell Smith

FRENCH trainer Charles Gourdain is backing Rodess du Loup to take high order in the echelon of Arabian racehorses after the colt recorded a silky smooth success in the President of the UAE Cup (UK Arabian Derby) (Group 1 PA) at Doncaster on Saturday 15th September.

Gourdain, who claimed the prestigious £80,000 one-mile-and-a-quarter four-year-olds’ contest with Nafees 12 months ago, was thrilled to repeat the feat with the Khalifa Hamad Al Attiyah-owned grey.

Belgian superstar jockey Christophe Soumillon gave the son of Dahess the perfect waiting ride before producing his mount up the inside to stretch clear of fellow French raider Rijm.

Rodess du Loup forged ahead to pass the post a length clear of old rival Rajeh, who pipped Rijm in the final strides to claim second by a short head as French horses completed a clean sweep of the first three places.

Shomoos Athbah, trained by Phil Collington at Newmarket, ran creditably to be the best of the home team, a further two-and-a-half length back in fourth.

Gourdain said: “We have done it again. I think he is a very, very good horse. The pace was not strong enough for him, so he definitely could be even better if there is a good pace in the race and a good gallop.

“Today the pace was very slow and Christophe told me was he was pulling all the way round.

“He has done it even better than ever. I think perfect good ground like today rather than on the soft was what he really likes.

“I think today he has shown he could be one of the best. I thought he was as good as Nafees and he has confirmed it today.”

Rodess du Loup, who was turning the tables on Rajeh from their last meeting in the Doha Cup – Prix Manganate (Group 1 PA) at Deauville last month, could now head for the Qatar Arabian World Cup (Group 1 PA) at Longchamp on October 7.

“He has been put in the big race at Longchamp against the older horses and he might go there”, he added. “We will see how he recovers in the next three weeks, but it is a bit short.”

Gourdain was also full of praise for Soumillon and his masterful ride.

“I think he is the best that we could have,” he said. “We are very lucky to have him riding the horse. He is a very professional guy and in life he is a very good man. He is a friend and it’s nice to work with him.”

Soumillon also believes Rodess du Loup has a very bright future.

“He is a very nice horse and I won on him in Chantilly and was very impressed,” he said. “He was then a bit fresh at Deauville and was pulling lots.

“Today the pace was a bit slow, but he felt very well and I was happy to be on the rail.

“I think he could be one of the best Arabian horses and just hope he improves like he has done from the beginning.”

Rajeh, from Francois Rohaut’s Sauvagnon stables, near Pau, was never able to get a blow in at the winner under Francois Xavier Bertras for owner HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani, while Rijm ran a cracker for La Palmyre trainer Thomas Fourcy in the colours of Al Shaqab Racing with Faleh Bughenaim on board.

Collington was delighted with Shomoos Athbah’s effort as the Athbah Stud-owned filly stayed on to take fourth place under Tadhg O’Shea.

“I am very pleased with her,” he said. “She was beaten just over three-and-a-half lengths. The race time was 2mins 25secs, which was a little bit slow. To be at her best she needs a good sound gallop – she ran 2.16 at Newbury. I would like to get her in a bigger field with a good gallop.

“She is entered in France in the fillies’ race at Longchamp on the Saturday.”

Rajeh’s stablemate, Goumoh was fifth, with Peter Hammersley’s pair Abiyah Athbah, owned by Dilmun Racing, sixth and Asraa Min Al-Talqa completing the finishers after making the running until the final two furlongs.

Hammersley said: “I am pleased with the filly. For her second run I thought she ran really well. Racheal Kneller said she was very keen early on, but travelled really well and didn’t quite get home.

“I have always thought on breeding seven furlongs or a mile would suit her best, so that will be the way we will be going next year. She will probably go back to her owner now for the winter and will be back in the spring.

“The other one has probably run to his mark.”

Willie McFarland, from ARO, said: “This has been a great day. To be part of a meeting that holds such prestige and heritage to UK horseracing means a lot. It is great to be on this stage and give visibility to Arabian Racing as part of the celebrated St Leger meeting. We must thank our sponsors The President of the UAE for their generous support – they have been supporting ARO for a long time and we are incredibly grateful to them. The team at Doncaster have also been amazing and our thanks must go to them too.”


Al Faaris wins for Champion Trainer James Owen at Doncaster


Al Faaris wins for Champion Trainer James Owen at Doncaster

Arabian racing at Doncaster Racecourse Saturday 2nd June 2018

The ground didn’t quite play into the hands of all on Saturday with a heavy downpour just before the first and a change from officially good ground to soft the 11 runner field was reduced to 10 following the withdrawal of Premier handicap specialist Kamikaze trained by Adam Newey, a horse that on faster ground had been in with a great chance.

The competitive renewal saw Peter Hammersley’s long term campaigner Zayin Zachilles and Ellie Mackenzie make the early running alongside Tatbeeq under Kieran O’Neill in the colours of HH Sheikh Hamdan the pair closely followed by Forta Studs Asraa Min Al-Talqa making his seasonal debut under champion jockey David Turner for Peter Hammersley, followed by another of James Owen’s trio Crahck, and Munawwar for Collington and jockey Marc Monaghan with Majid Bin Krayaan off to a better start from stalls under Racheal Kneller bowling along behind them.

Setting a steady pace over the first few furlongs the field closely grouped at the half way stage with the 2017 winner Saleemah, (Philip Collington) sitting patiently behind and creeping steadily up as the pace lifted, the tightly grouped field remaining pretty much unchanged. As they entered the turn from home the Jayme Plumb trained Elyassat under Muanis Al Siyabi trying to move up the field but was quickly under pressure.

With three furlongs to go and the contest hotting up, the two front runners were gamely contesting the lead closely followed by Saleemah who had taken to the far side rail, with 7 horses moving in a line across the track and all to play for, the grey top weight Al Faaris under Jim Crowley made a bold bid hitting the front and sprinting away to put several lengths between himself and Munawwar to hit the line first for Champion Trainer James Owen and owner HH Sheikh Hamdan, with Munawwar taking second for Phil Collington whose inform stable also took third with last year’s winner Saleemah and Will Pettis, Majid Bin Krayaan and Racheal Kneller fourth for Peter Hammersley and Owen horse Crahck, under Antonia Peck fifth.

Racing Operations Manager Willie McFarland commented: “This looked to be a wide open race, the ground certainly looked to play its part today – a great win for Al Faaris, following on from his Taunton success – so many of the horses have run well, it was a cracking finish after 2 miles – all thanks to Doncaster who always look after us very well – we are really looking forward to coming back for the President of the UAE Cup (the UK Arabian Derby, Group 1 PA) on St Leger day, Saturday 15th September.”

The next ARO meeting will be held at Wolverhampton Racecourse on Sunday 10th June where a seven race card has attracted bumper entries.

The Royal Cavalry of Oman Race Day at Wolverhampton Racecourse Entries ramp up for ARO’s trip to the midlands on Sunday 10th June

Wolverhampton fields look buoyant for the 10th June with more than 12 entries made in each race for the fourth full Arabian fixture, kindly sponsored by the Royal Cavalry of Oman we are delighted to see the arrival of fresh blood to add to the names of horses that have previously campaigned this season.

The first race on the card is the eagerly awaited maiden stakes for 3 year olds only, many of those entered look sure to go onto bigger and better things. Some will have aspirations of lifting the prestigious Group 3 event Dubai International Arabian Races Stakes on DIAR day at Newbury on 29th July, run over the same distance, with an equally interesting Open maiden stakes over 8 furlongs.

The card will also host the second of the hands and heels series, Chepstow hosted the first and it produced a tremendous finish with Rob Woollard proving there is no substitute for experience when he produced a perfectly timed run to gain the upper hand late on. Entries for this 6 furlong event include Fatinah a possible debutant for Yucel Mehmet, and a potential first runner of the season for Anthony Holdsworth. Ultimate Force could also be looking to go one better than when 2nd at both Chepstow and Chelmsford this season, with further potential from possible engagements from the previous winner of the DIAR Silver Final at Huntingdon Syrah Gris one of 2 entered for Marlborough trainer Adam Newey.

Both Muhaajer and Tatbeeq (James Owen), hold entries along with Munawwar (Philip Collington) all heading the weights in this 0-75, although the focus of attention will no doubt be the impressive Chepstow winner The Sohar for the Royal Cavalry of Oman, raised 11lbs for his Chepstow win. Unlikely to have things all his own way this time further opposition from flashy grey Man Of Dreams who is looking to back up yet another seasonal debut win following success at Taunton last time out. Pharitz Fahr finished an excellent 2nd on the same Taunton card, this could be his handicap debut for globe-trotting Beverley Deutrom.
The open handicap looks right out of the top drawer and we think it’s unlikely there will be a classier handicap run all season it has attracted 15 entries with Group 1 winning Mith’haf Athbah receiving 4lbs from his stable companion and dual Group 1 placed Mehdaaf Athbah who was a late withdrawal from the Royal Cavalry of Oman ARO Cup on Bank Holiday Monday, last seen out in May 2017 with an excellent 2nd in a Group 1 at Deauville. Another proven Group 1 performer Mith’haf Athbah also representing the inform Philip Collington stable had an excellent 2017 season with 3 wins from just 4 runs in the UK culminating in a tremendous victory in the HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Group 1 at Chelmsford City. Al Chammy finished a good third on Bank Holiday Monday at Royal Windsor carrying the colours of the race sponsor, such is the quality of the race he finds himself racing from 1lb out of the handicap. His trainer Said Al Badi is also represented with Laheeb last seen when competing in the Arabian Triple Crown Gr3 at Abu Dhabi in March, there is certainly an international flavour from a form perspective.

There looks to be some serious excitement coming to this card with plenty of entries from form horses looking to stamp some authority on the seasons closely fought championships.

Declarations for this fixture open on Wednesday 6th June and will be published on the ARO website after closing on Thursday 7th June.

Racing Operations Manager Willie McFarland commented: “I can’t wait to see what will happen when the declarations come through – we are all really excited about the potential of this meeting, and as ever we are immensely grateful to The Royal Cavalry of Oman for their invaluable sponsorship and commitment to UK Arabian racing – they have had a great start to their season, all three of their runners so far have been in the winners enclosure, and it is clear to see why they are so popular amongst our participants, it’s great for the sport and they are wonderful ambassadors for Arabian racing – we wish them and all our UK supporters every success for this exciting meeting and for the rest of the season and hope our great relationship will continue for many years to come.”

Doncaster attracts classy field for Premier Handicap Arabian racing at Doncaster Racecourse Saturday 2nd June 2018

The 11 runner field looks like a competitive renewal and includes the 2017 winner Saleemah, trained by Philip Collington one of three HH Sheikh Hamdan horses in the trainers care, who can do no wrong at present having collected a trio of wins at the last Arabian meeting at Chepstow. Halib Des Forges a winner last season and second in his seasonal debut at Taunton in May, Munawwar and Thamaraat who is likely to have come on from his 2nd place at Chelmsford in April will also represent the inform stable.

Peter Hammersley comes to Doncaster with a triple hand, buoyed by Zayin Angkor Centurion’s excellent 2nd in the Group 3 Royal Cavalry of Oman ARO Cup on Bank Holiday Monday. His runners include Juvenile conditions winner Forta Stud’s Asraa Min Al-Taqa, the recalcitrant Majid Bin Krayaan for HH Sheikha Maryam Bint M Al Maktoum and long term campaigner Zayin Zachilles for owner Paul Simmons who has ran in this premier handicap for the last two years, making his seasonal debut.

Premier handicap specialist and with three wins to his name Kamikaze trained by Adam Newey and owned by long-term ARO supporters The Almost All Partnership, is better off in the weights since his last win in 2016.

Jayme Plumb aims the Blue Star Racing owned Elyassat from some way out of the handicap whilst at the other end of the scale Taunton winner Al Faaris the mount of Jim Crowley has a chance for ARO champion trainer James Owen who also represents Sheikh Hamdan with Tatbeeq the winner of a Huntingdon Maiden and Crahck racing for the James Owen Racing Club.

A wide open race with many possible options – the soft ground at Chepstow for ARO’s latest meeting certainly made a difference, faster conditions at Doncaster is likely to favour some more than others if the going stays good to firm, it will certainly be an interesting renewal and should offer some pointers for the Dubai International Prep races that will commence on the 14th June at Newbury.

Racing Operations Manager Willie McFarland commented: “ARO is very pleased to see such a great response to this race our participants have strong ties to Doncaster who always look after us very well – we are very excited to be back here later in the year when we will be running the President of the UAE Cup (the UK Arabian Derby, Group 1 PA) on St Leger day, Saturday 15th September.”

The next ARO meeting will be held at Wolverhampton Racecourse on Sunday 10th June where a seven race card has attracted bumper entries.

(c) Equine Creative Media

Philip Collington lifts the Royal Cavalry of Oman ‘Group 3’ ARO Cup for second time Royal Windsor Racecourse on Monday 28th May 2018

The first Pattern race of the UK Arabian racing season, the Royal Cavalry of Oman ARO Cup Group 3 PA run over a mile delivered a high quality field of 9 Arabians for the first race at Royal Windsor Racecourse on Monday.

Having had a successful day at Chepstow the day before with a trio of winners in-form trainer Collington followed up with a fantastic Group three victory for owners Athbah Stud and their filly Shomoos Athbah ridden by Tadhg O’Shea, Collingtons other entry, Group 1 placed Mehdaaf Athbah was a non-runner for the trainer looking for back to back victory in this group 3, on the day his one runner was enough to see him onto the winning podium.

Trainer Pete Hammersley’s Chelmsford City winner, Zayin Angkor Centurion ran a fantastic race finishing second having stepped up to group company for the first time and did owner breeder Paul Simmons proud, a great result for UK breeding and the Zayin Stud based in Dorset, having made much of the early running with Beverley Deutrom’s Swedish Group 3 winner Storm Troupour with jockey Dayverson De Barros aboard he did his best to keep ahead of the field that were held well together as they hit the half way mark. With two furlongs to go the pace lifted significantly and back marker Shomoos Athbah started to move up alongside the Sponsors Royal Cavalry of Oman Al Chammy ridden by Pat Dobbs.

With Shomoos Athbah, Zayin Angkor Centurion and Al Chammy breaking away from the field and chased by the group 2 placed James Owen horse Awzaan under Dane O’Neil, Shomoos Athbah looked to assert her pressure over the valiantly trying Zayin Angkor Centurion to finish in first place, third and fourth going to Al Chammy and Awzaan respectively.

The field put on a great show and demonstrated to a fantastic Royal Windsor crowd how good UK Arabian racing can be – a strong Group 3 for the first Arabian Pattern race of 2018.

Racing Operations Manager Willie McFarland commented: “ARO is thrilled to have delivered such a great race at Windsor and we are immensely grateful to The Royal Cavalry of Oman for their valuable sponsorship and commitment, their support is invaluable to UK Arabian racing – they have had a great start to their season, all three of their runners so far have been in the winners enclosure – we wish them every success throughout the season and hope our wonderful relationship will continue for many years to come.”

(C) Equine Creative Media


Thunderous start to UK Campaign for Royal Cavalry of Oman The Royal Cavalry of Oman sponsors Arabian racing at Chepstow Racecourse Sunday 28th May 2018

The Royal Cavalry of Oman sponsored a full Arabian card at Chepstow Racecourse on Sunday 27th May run under the UK’s Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) banner. Thunder and heavy rain wasn’t quite the welcome ARO had hoped for at Chepstow racecourse, with just an hour before the first race things didn’t look at all promising, but as the horses arrived in the paddock, an enthusiastic crowd welcomed runners and brighter weather as racing commenced with ground changing from good to soft.

The first race The Sultanate of Oman Maiden Stakes looked to offer plenty of promise, James Owens Muhaajer taking up the early pace under Simon Walker with Estfahan for trainer Jennifer Owen and Ciaran Jones on board running green at the back of the field. Setting a steady pace for the first of the eight furlongs a leading break of four set off, Taqdeeraat under Will Pettis for Philip Collington, Al Monther and Charlie Jordan Price, Muhaajer and Rehab the first runner for the 2018 season for sponsors The Royal Cavalry of Oman pulling away at the half way stage with Taqdeeraat and Rehab laying down a stern challenge as they hit the final half furlong, Rehab hit the line first delivering the 50th winner for the Royal Cavalry of Oman and it looked like an easy win for the filly that has come from a busy winter campaign in Oman, the experience certainly seemed to have served jockey David Turner well today. Second place went to Taqdeerat who stayed on in the final stages and third to Al Monther making it two in the winner’s enclosure for the in-form Collington team

(C) Equine Creative Media

Race 2 – Visit Oman Handicap Stakes 0-55 Saw Callymay for Delyth Thomas and jockey Charlie Jordan Price meet up again with trainer Adam Newey’s Synergy ridden by James Harding with two time winner this season Johara Bint Shuwaiman bidding for a treble under Ellie Makenzie all was to play for as the steady pace started to ramp up, closely grouped Conquer for James Owen and jockey Simon Walker and Kallista under David Turner for trainer Paul Simmons were pressing the leaders with Synergy traveling the best of the pack as the field took the final two furlongs. With Trip to Khairo trying hard to make up ground and Conquer dropping back Synergy made her move taking Johara Bint Shuwaiman with her, a close finish saw Synergy just give enough to hold off Ellie Mazkenze who battled hard to get the horse to the line beaten a head.

(C) Equine Creative Media

Race 3 – The Royal Cavalry of Oman Handicap Stakes 0-90 had James Owens Eqleem leading out under Simon Walker with Philip Collington’s horse Halib Des Forges quickly into his stride setting a good early pace, a very close second in his seasonal debut at Taunton he certainly seemed to be enjoying the softer ground at Chepstow. With three furlongs to go Hau Kola, Taunton dual heat winner trained by Christopher Bull, under jockey Morgan Winston was making valiant efforts to close the gap but Ria Tillet and Halib Des Forges certainly wasn’t going to be caught today and leaving the field well stretched out in the final stages made all for a convincing win and a first victory for delighted jockey Ria.

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The 4th race – Hands & Heels Handicap Stakes 0-45 the first of the 2018 series, saw a field of 9 come under orders with several vying for early position. Taer Al Hurr under Charlie Jordan Price for trainer Yucel Mehmet looked keen to get on with matters and battled out the early stages with Insignia and Simon Walker and Mulan under Kaitlen Robinson who was also looking to assert some authority. With Adam Newey’s Southpaw under James Harding running their own race on the far side the field started to drop away leaving Senor Dublecheck who was traveling well to make his move forwards up the centre of the track in the final furlong and steal the show – a second win on the bounce for trainer Claire Taylor and jockey Rob Woolard, Taer Al Hurr was second and Mulan third.

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The 5th race the Muscat Handicap Stakes 0-85 saw Peter Hammersley’s Unity Belle and jockey Laura Pearson set out alone on the far side to take the lead leaving Mike Palmer on James Owen’s Karlos Du Cayrou to front the field stands side. With two to go and horses stretched across the track top weight Anfaas made her bid under Will Pettis with Palmer Angel chasing hard under Charlie Jordan Price leaving Joanna Mason in last on Madany, Anfaas hit the line first to win on her seasonal debut over Parmer Angel who just snatched 2nd on the line from Unity Belle closely followed by Karlos De Cayrou and Madany.

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Race 6 – Nizwa Fort Handicap Stakes – 0-65 saw another frustrating start for Ellie Mackenzie on Majid Bin Krayaan who repeated his previous performance of whipping round at the start leaving him with far too much to do from the outset, David Turner and Ultimate Force took the early lead with Will Pettis and Elyassaat close behind, with The Sohar and Joanna Mason bowling along a few lengths behind leaving Pacific Syrah under Antonia peck and the unfortunate Majid Bin Krayaan strung out behind. As The Sohar moved on with three furlongs to travel it looked unlikely that any one was going to come on terms and Joanna Mason took an easy win with Ultimate Force and Elyassaat battling it out for second and third respectively, Pacific Syrah was fourth.

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Race 7 – UK Arabian Derby Winner Nafees Handicap Stakes 0-75 The field was led out by Ashjaan under Will Pettis who looked like he meant business – with the field holding together in the early stages Rafeef with a win from Chelmsford already under his belt and jockey Simon Walker back on board, started to make his play leaving Zayin Zachilles ridden today by Ellie Mackenzie just ahead of Steve Blackwell’s Aljawaaher under Liam Hamblett and Noble Athlete ridden by Charlie Jordan Price to work out the lesser placings an exciting finish served up as Pettis timed it perfectly delivering Ashjaan to the line to win giving a well deserved treble on the day for trainer Phil Collington.

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Sponsors the Royal Cavalry of Oman certainly came and conquered, despite not having been at either the Chelmsford City or Taunton racecourse meetings the Royal Cavalry of Oman who finished second in the ARO Championship in 2017, asserted some authority with two wins from two runners to put down a challenge for 2018.

With a group three race sponsored and to contend the day after Chepstow at Royal Windsor racecourse it is easy to see how this popular team have so many fans in UK Arabian racing, their generous sponsorship spans a range of races run throughout the Arabian season here from grass roots to a high end finale where they sponsor The Royal Cavalry of Oman Clarendon Stakes, a Group 3 run over 5 furlongs at Newbury Racecourse on 18th August.


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