The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) welcomed a competitive field for the concluding race of the UK’s Emirates Breeders Series, a 0-75 Handicap to be run over a mile and two furlongs at Lingfield Park on Tuesday 26th September. The £4,000 race has attracted a field of nine in which Al-Hatab now aims to end his season on a high with a hat-trick of wins.
Trained by Peter Hammersley, who co-owns the five-year-old gelding with his breeder Julie Kelway, the son of Tabarak will reoppose many of his rivals from his two earlier wins, the most recent of which came at this track over further, with the previous success at the same distance. Also in the line-up and from the same stable is the four-year-old Coljani, who may well follow his stablemate’s steady trajectory to success next season, as he’s still a work in progress at this stage.
Newmarket based James Owen, who opened his yard to the public as part of the Henry Cecil Open Weekend today, will be going all out to secure a sixth ARO trainers’ title with three runners. Heritage Valentino, who has been second and third to Al-Hatab runs, along with Jaahez who beat Al-Hatab into third at Brighton (behind another high scoring horse this season, Upstart Crow), and he will have conditions very much in his favour. Owen’s homebred Mayfair put up a career best on her most recent outing to be placed in a Group 3PA at Haydock and though penalised accordingly, has also been a consistent performer this season.
Owen and last year’s top trainer Phil Collington are tied with five wins apiece, however Owen is ahead on placed horses and Collington has just one representative at Lingfield, Lujain. If the application of a visor and the return of Dylan Hogan to the saddle brings about a similar performance as on her reappearance, when the pair were a solid fourth to three Group performers, he may be in line to secure the top spot for a second year running.
Now into the veteran stage are Delyth Thomas’s Paramer Angel, who has winning form at this trip, though was disappointing at Haydock finishing well behind Mayfair, and Mitch Hunt’s Storm Troupour. Storm Troupour was beaten into third by Mayfair when she scored at Brighton in August. In fourth that day was Jen Harris’s Kayack, who is returning to the scene of his narrowest defeat, a short head over the same distance, back in 2021.
Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer said, “We thank the Emirates Breeders for their generous support of our racing throughout 2023 and are delighted to see this, their final race of the season, so well supported. It is also likely that some of the end of season leaders’ titles may be clarified on Tuesday, which just adds to the excitement.
“We also look forward to welcoming a representative of Baker McVeigh International to select the winner of the Best Turned Out award.”