Al-Hatab and Lewis Saunders win the Wathba Stallions Cup (0-60) Handicap at Bath

©Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media

Leads home a one-three-four for trainer Peter Hammersley

Saturday 15 June 2024 –

Midlands based Peter Hammersley had plenty to celebrate at Bath today with Al-Hatab coming back to form in the Wathba Stallions Cup (0-60) Handicap over 1m5f. The striking grey six-year-old had run up a hat-trick of wins at the end of last season and having been placed on his last run, connections were hopeful of a return to the winners enclosure. Partnered today by Lewis Saunders, now attached to National Hunt trainer Olly Murphy, he’d had plenty of placed rides on Arabians when an amateur and Al-Hatab was the 20 year-olds first win on the breed.

The pair were settled mid division for most of the race with Saunders asking for an effort as they entered the home straight to reel in recent course winner Victoria and Miss Teagan Padgett, to win by a length. Stablemates Coljani ridden by Paddy Bradley and Belle Angelique ridden by Jack Doughty were third and fourth.

Breeder Julie Kelway, who owns Al-Hatab in partnership with Hammersley was there with a large contingent of supporters to welcome them into the winners enclosure.

Watch Al-Hatab and Lewis Saunders win the Wathba Stallions Cup (0-60) Handicap at Bath


Lewis Saunders, jockey, 1st“It’s been a long time to get my first Arabian winner, two years – I kept getting beat on the line to be second, in my first season especially. It worked out well today, Al-Hatab won quite comfortably. I knew he’d keep going. I watched him at Lingfield, as I was on Aloof who finished second, so I knew he’d keep going and I thought Teagan would go off in front too soon. I’m now a conditional with Olly Murphy and it’s going well for me, last season I had four winners, I‘ve already had one winner for him this season so hopefully it will kick start some more.”

Peter Hammersley, 1st, 3rd, 4th: “They’ve all been working well at home. I thought Lewis rode Al-Hatab well, he said he just hit a bit of a flat spot, but he knew he’d get home ok. He’s run on well at the end, he’s hardly having a blow really. Paddy asked if we had races over further because Coljani would stay a lot further, he enjoyed the ride. Jack was pleased with Belle Angelique, I asked him about the blinkers and he said to keep them on.” 

Lissie Reeves, Arabian assistant trainer, 2ndVictoria was effectively running off top weight, despite Teagan’s claim and I think the trip was just a bit too far for her.”

Julie Kelway, Peter Hammersley, Al-Hatab, Liz Sian and Lewis Saunders

©Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media

Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival commented“We are delighted to be back at Bath on their Ladies Day for another of our Wathba Stallions Cup series races in the UK. We congratulate Lewis Saunders, Peter Hammersley and Julie Kelway for winning today with Al-Hatab.”

“The Festival sponsors 10 races in the UK this year, with the global Festival highlight being the Group 1PA Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown which is held in Abu Dhabi in December. We look forward to returning to Royal Windsor on June 29th for the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup.”

Lewis Saunders, Julie Kelway and Peter Hammersley with the trophies for the Watba Stallions Cup (0-60) Handicap at Bath

© Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer: “We are delighted for Julie and Peter, winning again with Al-Hatab and also for Lewis, getting his first Arabian winner at last. It’s great that these young jockeys who start out on Arabians are still keen to come back once they’ve progressed to thoroughbreds.

“We thank Baker McVeigh International for sponsoring the Best Turned Out Award presented to Sue Wileman for Coljani. We now look forward to Royal Windsor in two weeks time, where we hold the first of our black races, the Group 2PA HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup, which has a long history of producing important winners when it was run as the Za’abeel International Stakes.”


Coljani and Sue Wileman winners of the Best Turned Out Award sponsored by Baker McVeigh International

©Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media