There was triple success at Chelmsford City in the Follow @AROACING on Instagram Maiden Stakes, run in association with Equine MediRecord, when recent French import Alajab got off the mark on his UK debut. Ridden by ‘Iron Man’ Neil Callan, it was his first UK winner since returning to these shores after a ten-year stint in Hong Kong. It was also a first UK win of the season for trainer Phil Collington, who had previously recorded two European wins this year. A son of leading UK Arabian sire No Risk Al Maury, Alajab led home a one-two-three for owner-breeders Shadwell Estates, beating promising young debutants Mummayez and Sultana, by a neck and two and a half-lengths.
Callan was clearly delighted to be back in the UK winners circle saying: “I was contacted by Richard Hills to ride the horse and whether it’s an Arabian or a thoroughbred, when you get the chance to ride in the Shadwell colours you don’t turn it down.”
Collington, a former ARO Champion trainer, who also trained the third, Sultana, said: “Alajab arrived a couple of months ago. His two runs in France had been nothing special having watched his videos. I didn’t want to put the headgear back on as he seems genuine enough and his work’s been good at home, but of course horses can be different on raceday can’t they. I said to Neil, to see how he jumps off and take it from there, but to win from the front was fantastic, he’s really kept on gamely hasn’t he.”
Equine MediRecord’s Chief Operating Officer Finlay Dargan commented: “We’re delighted to support Arabian racing in the UK and overseas. That was an impressive run from Alajab, I understand he has an entry in the UAE President’s Cup-UK Arabian Derby, so of course it would be exciting if he gets declared for that next month at Doncaster.”
Genny Haynes, Arabian Racing Organisation Commercial and Finance Director said: “That was a wonderful result for Phil and for Shadwell Estates who we warmly congratulate on their success.
“We also thank Equine MediRecord for joining with us in sponsoring this race today. Their digital system was instrumental in allowing us to race last season and has been a huge help to all our participants moving forward as part of the integration process with thoroughbred racing.”
“ARO also thanks the British Horseracing Authority and Chelmsford City Racecourse for their continued assistance this season.”