All posts by ARO

His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said 1940 – 2020

The Arabian Racing Organisation offers their sincere condolences following the passing of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said on Friday January 10.

Sultan Qaboos was the fourteenth-generation descendant of the founder of the House of Al Said, and was the longest-serving leader in the Arab world. Born in Salalah in Dhofar on 18 November 1940 His Majesty was an only son of Sultan Said bin Taimur and Sheikha Mazoon al-Mashani. Educated in England, in Bury St Edmunds and later at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, he joined the British Army on graduation, and served in Germany for one year. Returning to Oman in 1966, with British support he took over from his father in 1970. He immediately set about modernising Oman, using oil revenues to fund development in a country which at that time, had only six miles of roads and three schools. Changing the country’s name from ‘Muscat and Oman’, he established the Sultanate of Oman, to better reflect its political unity.

Described as charismatic and visionary, Sultan Qaboos brought an end to Oman’s international isolation and pursued a neutral path in foreign affairs. He was able to position himself as a trusted mediator in the region’s tensest situations and received the International Peace Award from the National Council for US-Arab relations in 1998. In his first year as Sultan, slavery was abolished in Oman; granting freedom of religion, though the country is predominantly Muslim, he financed the construction of Catholic and Protestant churches, as well as several Hindu temples.

His Majesty founded the Royal Cavalry of Oman with just 20 horses, today they far exceed that number. Commanded by Brigadier General Abdulrazak Al Shahwarzi, the Royal Cavalry oversees a whole range of equestrian activities including racing, show jumping, polo, breeding and the ceremonial duties for which they are famous worldwide.

For over ten years, the Royal Cavalry of Oman has been one of the UK’s leading advocates of Arabian racing, through both sponsorship and competition. They have supported the Arabian Racing Organisation with racing at all levels, from the grass-roots of the sport, to their most valuable race, the Royal Cavalry of Oman Clarendon Stakes, a Group 3PA run over five furlongs. The highlight of their sponsorship has always been the Sultanate of Oman Day, to which they have frequently brought their traditional Arabic tent, offering dates and Arabic coffee to educate racegoers about Oman and its’ culture.

Thanks to the vision of His Majesty, they have developed their own racing and breeding programme. With the recent success of homebred horses such as three-time Group 1PA winner, Nafees, the future for Omani as a respected competitor in global Arabian racing looks bright.

The Arabian Racing Organisation welcomes His Majesty Hathim bin Tariq al-Said who was sworn in as Sultan Qaboos’s successor on Saturday.

 

Purebred Arabian racing to be integrated further into British racing from 2020

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA), together with The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO), has today announced the further regulatory integration of Purebred Arabian (PA) racing into British racing in 2020.

This is to further align the regulatory practices within PA racing with thoroughbred racing and follows approval from British racing’s Executive Committee and the BHA Board.

A period of further scoping work followed by a phased implementation will now take place over the next 12-18 months which will be funded by ARO with help from the Racing Foundation.

Currently the fixture list and regulations of PA racing are approved by the BHA, with the BHA also providing integrity services for any PA races on thoroughbred cards and for premier PA standalone fixtures.

This commitment by the BHA and ARO will see further integration of regulatory procedures, which might include areas such as more closely aligning the licensing requirements of ARO stable yards with those under Rules, harmonisation of ARO Regulations with the Rules of Racing and the alignment of other raceday regulatory functions, though the exact scope of changes will be determined in due course.

Charles Gregson, ARO Chairman commented:

“This is the most significant breakthrough for our sport since we began racing under the guidance of the BHA following our inception. It has always been the vision of our Patron, HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, that Arabian racing would be fully integrated alongside the British thoroughbred racing industry.

“This season has been a turning point for Arabian racing in Great Britain. The increase of single races against a reduction of stand‐alone fixtures had the benefit of widening our audience and we have been able to open up many more of our races to professional jockeys.

“This has helped to raise the standard of our amateurs, whilst enabling ARO graduates to continue to ride under ARO rules since turning professional.”

He continued:

“The increase in international runners this year is also significant, and the support from their owners, trainers and jockeys cannot be underestimated. We acknowledge the role that Dubai International Arabian Races and its’ supporting series has played in encouraging overseas participation, and also of our other major sponsors, the President of the UAE Cup, Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, the Royal Cavalry of Oman and the HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival, all of which have supported ARO and Arabian Racing in Great Britain for many years.

Gregson concluded:

“We thank all our participants, officials, racecourses and supporters for their commitment to Arabian racing. ARO is finalising the programme for 2020, which will be in a similar format to this year, a model that is well established and successful in other countries.

“The future will be challenging, but with strong support and encouragement from our sponsors and our participants, we feel that the sport has now secured the right foundations for ARO to grow Arabian racing in 2020 and beyond.”

Brant Dunshea, Chief Regulatory Officer of the BHA, said:

“The BHA is committed to bringing its expertise and experience as British racing’s governing body and regulator to raise the high standards in place in Purebred Arabian racing still further.

“We will continue to work closely with ARO as we scope out the various options for what increased regulatory integration will look like and will give more detail in due course as we move towards implementation next year.”

DIAR 2020 PREP SERIES ANNOUNCED

The Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR) Committee and their partners are delighted to announce the dates for the DIAR European Prep Series in 2020, culminating in the flagship event at Newbury racecourse on Sunday, July 26.

There will be 17 DIAR prep races in Europe: as in previous years the series will begin in Rome, at Capannelle Racecourse on April 19, moving on to Bro Park in Sweden, Duindigt in Holland, and La Teste de Buch in France. The UK races (which are still subject to approval from the British Horseracing Authority) begin on June 11.

Mirza Al Sayegh, spokesperson for the DIAR programme commented:

“In 2019, the DIAR prep races were very well supported, with runners coming from across all of Europe. Our final race day at Newbury was a great success, thanks to all participants, trainers, owners, sponsors, racecourse staff, partners as well as the public who were there to witness very competitive Arabian races.

“We are very grateful for the support we have received from all the owners and trainers who travelled from afar to participate in the DIAR race programme. The racing authorities from Italy, Sweden, Holland, France and the UK have been very helpful organising, promoting and hosting our races and we are looking forward to working with them again in 2020.

“We are delighted to announce the renewal of the travel allowances for international runners competing in the races at Newbury on 26th July and the renewal of the DIAR bonus prize fund for 2020. The details of those schemes and the conditions of the races will be published at a later date.”

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) is one of the most valuable partners of DIAR, and Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director commented: “We warmly welcome this news from the DIAR committee. The addition of the prep series four years ago completely revitalised DIAR in terms of the interest it has generated outside of the UK and last year saw our highest number of international runners declared for the meeting.”

She continued: “The DIAR series and of course DIAR itself have become a significant part of the European Arabian racing programme. We are delighted to warmly welcome overseas competitors to the UK and recognise the importance of being able to offer international racing at some of our most prestigious Grade 1 racecourses.”

 

ARABIAN RACING ACHIEVEMENTS RECOGNISED AT HWPA DERBY AWARDS

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was delighted to announce James Owen as the recipient of the Arabian Racing Achievement Award which will be presented as part of the Horserace Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) Annual Derby Awards Luncheon. Now in its’ sixth year, the award recognises an individual or organisation for their contribution to UK Arabian racing and will be presented at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, on Monday, December 2.

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Also invited to attend will be the category winners in all the ARO Season Awards: Champion Owner: HH Sheikh Hamdan, Champion Jockey: Alex Chadwick, Champion Lady Jockey: Antonia Peck, Leading Novice Jockey: Hayley Lewis; in addition to representatives for the Champion Arabian, Tijaary (James Owen Racing Club) and Champion Arabian Mare, Abiyah Athbah (Dilmun Racing).

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director commented: “We thank the Horserace Writers and Photographers Association for their support of UK Arabian racing in allowing us to acknowledge the achievements of our participants in this way. We also thank the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Vertem Asset Management and Ladbrokes Coral who are supporting the 53rd Annual Luncheon.

“Since training his first winner with his first runner back in 2015, James Owen marked himself out as one to watch. This season not only has he secured a third trainers’ championship, his stable jockeys have also swept the board in their respective categories. He has also trained his first overseas winner, his first winner at our prestigious Dubai International Arabian Races and a first winner in Group company. He is also recognised for the success of the James Owen Racing Club, the first multi-horse syndicate in UK Arabian racing. That in only its’ second season he could reward its’ thirty plus membership with the success of the 2019 Champion Arabian Tijaary can only be good for our sport as a whole.”

Concluding she said: “We congratulate all our ARO 2019 season award winners and we look forward to an afternoon of celebration at the Royal Lancaster Hotel next month.”

ARABIAN RACING RETURNS TO ASCOT IN 2020 WITH A NEW RACE SPONSORED BY SHADWELL STUD

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) is thrilled to have plans to stage a new race for Purebred Arabians at Ascot racecourse approved by the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) Pattern Committee. The £15,000 Listed PA race will be run over a mile at the historic Berkshire track on 8th May 2020 and will be sponsored by Shadwell Stud.

It has been almost ten years since Arabians made an appearance at Ascot, when the French filly Kiss De Ghazal won the 2011 President of the UAE Cup (UK Arabian Derby) Group 1 PA, in impressive fashion by seven lengths.

Shadwell Stud Director Richard Lancaster said: “We’re delighted to be staging an Arabian race at Ascot and congratulate the team at Ascot for facilitating the race on one of their Thoroughbred cards.

“This is an important time for Arabian racing and to stage a race at Ascot is a great way of raising the profile of the sport, a sport that is incredibly important to Sheikh Hamdan.”

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director commented. “Naturally we are very excited to be returning to Ascot, with a race that will be open to international competitors. We are still in consultation with Ascot, Shadwell and the British Horseracing Authority to finalise the details, after which the full conditions of the race will be published.

“HH Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum is our most generous patron and was recently awarded with his eighteenth ARO Owners Championship after another successful season. His continued support of our programme, not only through race sponsorship, but his horses, trainers and stallions, is integral to our success, from the grassroots to the highest level.

“That he has chosen to increase his sponsorship with this race at one of the UK’s most prestigious racing venues further enhances the status and reputation of UK Arabian racing. Last season saw a significant increase in runners from overseas in our pattern races, which shows that the appetite for top class Arabian racing around the world continues to grow. We look forward to building upon this achievement in 2020.”

ARO CHAMPIONS OLD AND NEW CROWNED AT LINGFIELD PARK

The Arabian Racing Organisation’s (ARO) 2019 racing season ended on September 24th at Lingfield Park having hosted 46 races, of which eight were PA Group contests. ARO patron HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum gained his 18th Owners Championship, with many of those winners trained by James Owen, who recorded his third ARO Trainers title. The ARO Jockeys Championship was won by Alex Chadwick, a remarkable achievement in his first season riding under ARO rules.

Shadwell Stud Director Richard Lancaster, who received the trophy on behalf of His Highness commented: “We are very happy to celebrate another ARO Owners Championship title on behalf of HH Sheikh Hamdan. His dedication and passion for Arabian racing is second to none and our Arabian racing teams have done a wonderful job again this year. The UK racing season highlight for us was the successful DIAR raceday at Newbury at the end of July. We have been very pleased to see some of our young horses showing a lot of promise, as well as experienced horses performing at the highest level. We were also delighted to watch Awzaan win a Group race at Newbury this summer, a first Group winner for his sire Al Saoudi, who stands under the Shadwell Arabians banner in Newmarket.”

Awzaan was also a first PA Group winner for Owen, who regained the trainers title he first won in 2016. Owen also took the leading Arabian racehorse (races won) title with Tijaary, another Al Saoudi sired performer, who has been the flag bearer for his Racing Club, in only their second season of racing.

Owen said: “The Arabians have all performed well and held their form throughout the season. It was great to get our first DIAR and Group winners, in Al Azeeza and Awzaan, particularly as they were both for HH Sheikh Hamdan and I thank all my owners and staff for their support. I am now looking forward to attending the Arqana sale where I will be trying to strengthen my team for next year.”

An integral part of the Owen team has been 24-year-old Alex Chadwick who joined Owen’s Newmarket based stable earlier this year. After a brief spell as a conditional jockey in Scotland, he returned to the amateur ranks, initially riding point-to-pointers for Owen before commencing his first season on Arabians.

After receiving his trophy from 16-time ARO Champion Simon Walker, he said: “It’s a big achievement really, I never thought at the start of the year I would end up as Champion Jockey. James has been a tremendous help, coaching me, reviewing my races and giving me rides. Tijaary would be my highlight, we both lost our maiden tags together, I ride him every day at home and he’s been my favourite throughout the season. The aim over the winter will be to ride in point-to-points and under rules when I can and hopefully getting more winners.”

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L to R: Jack Day (Rossdales) James Owen (ARO Champion Trainer), Alex Chadwick (ARO Champion Jockey), Richard Lancaster (receiving on behalf of ARO Champion Owner HH Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum), Simon Walker, Katy Groome (Rossdales)

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director commented: “We congratulate HH Sheikh Hamdan on another successful season. His continued support of our programme, not only through race sponsorship, but his horses, trainers and stallions, is integral to our success, from the grass-roots to the highest level.

“We also congratulate James Owen on his third trainer championship and are delighted for the success of the James Owen’s Racing Club which has over thirty members. Syndicates are an excellent way to attract new people to the sport, which is something we would like to encourage in the UK.”

“Thank you also to Rossdales Veterinary Surgeons who are in their second year of sponsoring with us here at Lingfield Park and also kindly presented our Champion Owner and Trainer trophies.”

Reviewing the year she said: “This season has been a turning point for UK Arabian racing. Though we reduced the number of races to reflect the decline in horse population, it still provided opportunities for all levels with exceptionally good prize money for the lower grade horses, as well as those at the top end. The increase of single races against a reduction of stand-alone fixtures had the benefit of widening our audience, which can only be a positive. For example, The Clarendon Stakes, the most valuable of all the Royal Cavalry of Oman’s race sponsorship with us, took place in front of a near sell-out crowd at Newbury.”

“This season we have been able to open up many more of our races to professional riders. It was a significant milestone in our history to welcome jockeys of the calibre of seven-time UAE champion Tadhg O’Shea and Derby winner Martin Dwyer to our domestic races. It is also pleasing to see our former champion novices Charlie Price and Ellie Mackenzie continue to ride with us since taking out their professional licences. We are delighted for the success of Alex Chadwick in his first season with us and we hope that we will be able to continue to foster the careers of more young jockeys in the future.”

She continued: “The increase in international runners is also significant, and the support from their owners, trainers and jockeys cannot be underestimated. We acknowledge the role that DIAR and its’ supporting series has played in encouraging overseas participation, and also of our other major sponsors, the President of the UAE Cup, Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, the Royal Cavalry of Oman and the HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival.”

Haynes was positive about the future saying: “We thank all our participants, officials and supporters for their commitment to Arabian racing in 2019. ARO will now evaluate the season to establish the programme for 2020, which we expect to be in a similar format, a model that is well established in other countries.

“The future will be challenging, but with strong support and encouragement from our sponsors this is nothing that ARO and our participants have not encountered previously. The relationship between ARO and the British Horseracing Authority is deepening as we work together on a variety of projects to ensure the sport of Arabian racing is sustainable and integrated into the UK horseracing industry, which has always been our patron, HH Sheikh Hamdan’s vision.”

BHA update: Equine Influenza

BHA update: Equine Influenza

1. Introduction

Following a decrease in the number of reported outbreaks of Equine Influenza in the United Kingdom and Europe, the BHA Veterinary Committee have agreed to further relax the requirements for all horses on Racecourse Property. This includes runners from non-Licensed yards (ARO, Hunter Chasers and PRA), non-GB runners (including France and Ireland) and other horses on racecourses (for example RoR).

The BHA Veterinary Committee will continue to monitor any future reports of outbreaks of Equine Influenza, and our position may change at any time should there be an increase in the number of outbreaks reported.

The BHA would like to once again convey huge thanks to all participants who have worked so hard to ensure that the recent requirements have been met. Your efforts have been appreciated by the entire industry.

2. Summary of Requirements from 17 September 2019

All horses on racecourse property

• Compliant EI vaccination within NINE calendar months* (eight months plus a one-month grace period) of the day of the race.

*Calendar months (e.g. 1 January – 1 October)

• There is NO requirement to submit information in advance – where necessary, passports will be checked by BHA staff upon entry to the Racecourse

• There is NO requirement to submit a Health Declaration Form or for a nasopharyngeal swab (PCR) to be completed

The BHA is continuing to consult with European racing jurisdictions, including France and Ireland, in an effort to harmonise the intervals for Equine Influenza vaccinations, and will be meeting in early October in order to make a final decision. Please be aware that further changes to vaccination intervals may be announced as a result of this consultation.

Equine Events

All equine events will continue to be dealt with on a case by case basis – please note all passports will still require checking in advance by the Racecourse. Applications should be made to Racecourse Operations: racecourseops@britishhorseracing.com.

DERBY DOUBLE FOR HAYYAN IN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UAE CUP (UK ARABIAN DERBY) ON DONCASTER ST LEGER DAY

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was delighted to see Hayyan complete the French – UK Derby double when the Frédéric Sanchez trained colt won the President of the UAE Cup (UK Arabian Derby) Group 1 PA at Doncaster this afternoon. Bred by HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan and running in the colours of his YAS Horse Racing Management, the four-year-old son of Munjiz thrilled the Doncaster crowds winning by a neck under Ioritz Mendizabal from Melabi and Julien Augé.

This was the final top-level contest of the UK Arabian racing season and was the last chance for the four-year-old classic generation of Arabian colts, fillies and geldings to compete at Group 1 PA level in Europe.

Speaking alongside YAS Horse Racing’s Manager, Theirry Delegue, after the race Sanchez confirmed: “It is possible he may have one more race this season, but we will need to discuss what happens next, once we see how the horse comes out of the race. I am delighted to win both the French and UK Derby’s with him.”

Medizabal described Hayyan as “A very talented colt, however he is not an easy horse to ride. Sometimes he is much too keen in the early stages of the race, but today he settled really well.”

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The President of the UAE Cup is the oldest Purebred Arabian race series and it is fitting that it is to be held on the same card as the UK’s oldest thoroughbred classic, the William Hill St.Leger. Run over a mile and a quarter, The President of the UAE Cup resumed its’ association with the UK Arabian Derby in 2016 and is exclusively for four-year-old Purebred Arabians with a prize fund of £80,000. For the last two seasons it has been won by the winner of the French equivalent, in Nafees and Rodess Du Loup.

Faisal Al Rahmani, General Secretary for the President of the UAE Cup series and Chairman of the International Federation of Arabian Horseracing Authorities (IFAHR) said: “The President of the UAE Cup Series sponsoring at the legendary St Leger meeting is indeed an honour.  We believe that the series is encouraging Arabian racing to re-establish a following in countries where it had been lost, such as Germany where we held a race earlier this year.

He continued: “The support of this series and that of IFAHR has also been of great benefit to other countries such as Italy who have embraced the sport and encouraging the breeding programs which will help to secure the future of Arabian racing worldwide.”

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Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director was pleased commenting. “This is the fourth running of the President of the UAE Cup (UK Arabian Derby) at Doncaster and it is significant that for the third consecutive year, the winner of the French equivalent has secured their place as the leading four-year-old of the European season. That these horses are then capable of going on to secure further Group 1 PA success as their careers develop as both Lightning Bolt and Nafees have done is also extremely important to ARO.”

“We are very grateful to the President of the UAE Cup Series for their continued generous support. Holding the race on St Leger Day further enhances the status of the contest and the reputation of UK Arabian racing, with it being run as part of Doncaster’s most prestigious meeting of the year.”

HAYYAN BIDS FOR DERBY DOUBLE IN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UAE CUP (UK ARABIAN DERBY) ON DONCASTER ST LEGER DAY

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) looks forward to the final top-level contest of the UK Arabian racing season, the 2019 President of the UAE Cup (UK Arabian Derby) Group 1 PA, which includes this year’s French Derby winner, Hayyan. The President of the UAE Cup is the oldest Purebred Arabian race series and it is fitting that it is to be held on the same card as the UK’s oldest thoroughbred classic, the William Hill St.Leger, on Saturday 14 September at Doncaster Racecourse.

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Rodess Du Loup (Christophe Soumillon) winning The President of the UAE Cup in 2018.

Run over a mile and a quarter, The President of the UAE Cup resumed its’ association with the UK Arabian Derby in 2016 and is exclusively for four-year-old Purebred Arabians with a prize fund of £80,000. For the last two seasons it has been won by the winner of the French equivalent, in Nafees and Rodess Du Loup, so expectations will be high for this year’s winner, Hayyan, trained by Frédéric Sanchez for YAS Horse Management. He faces a further four winners, including his stablemate Ibn Gadir, who finished ahead of him when third in the Prix Dormane (Gr3PA) in April. They will face a strong challenge from Al Shaqab’s Melabi who lost nothing in defeat at Newbury last month against older horses when second to six-time Group 1PA winner Gazwan at this level.

Completing the line-up are Probat T and Farhaa. Probat T is a half-brother to the 2017 fourth Pronto T and races for their owner-breeder-trainer Gerard Zoetelief, whilst Farhaa is also well-related, being a sister to 2014 UK Arabian Derby narrow-margin second Najlaa. The only filly in the race, she runs in the colours of her owner-breeder, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and is a second runner in the contest for leading UK Arabian trainer James Owen, who scored his first Group victory with Awzaan last month, also for His Highness.

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Faisal Al Rahmani, General Secretary for the President of the UAE Cup series and Chairman of the International Federation of Arabian Horseracing Authorities (IFAHR) said: “The President of the UAE Cup Series sponsoring at the legendary St Leger meeting is indeed an honour.  This being the fourth year of our association with Doncaster Racecourse, we are confident that the President’s Cup, a Group 1 race for purebred Arabian horses, will prove to be an outstanding contest on a major date for British racing”.

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director was pleased commenting. “We were excited to welcome back the President of the UAE Cup in 2016 and are proud that the race has always attracted international competition.

“We are extremely grateful to the President of the UAE Cup Series for their generous support of our feature race for four-year-olds. Holding the race on St Leger Day further enhances the status of the contest and the reputation of UK Arabian racing, with it being run as part of Doncaster’s most prestigious meeting of the year.”

2019 President of the UAE Cup UK Derby Media Pack:

A WEEKEND OF FIRSTS WITH THE ROYAL CAVALRY OF OMAN AT NEWBURY AND WOLVERHAMPTON

The Royal Cavalry of Oman’s busiest weekend of sponsorship with Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) saw many of the participants record notable firsts in the sport of Arabian racing. The win of Awzaan in Royal Cavalry of Oman Clarendon Stakes (Gr 3 PA) run at Newbury racecourse on Saturday 17th August was a first PA Group win for trainer James Owen, for his jockey Martin Dwyer and for the sire Al Saoudi. The Sultanate of Oman Raceday followed at Wolverhampton and was significant as the first UK full Arabian fixture outside of Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR) to be open to professional jockeys. The opening race was won by Izenterisky, which was a first homebred winner for Sheila Collington, wife of trainer Phil. Later in the card amateur Hayley Lewis rode her first ever winner on Jaahez, for Owen and in the concluding race, professional Dylan Hogan gave the Collington trained Halib Des Forges a very positive ride to record his first win on an Arabian, both were in the colours of ARO Patron HH Sheikh Hamdan.

The Royal Cavalry of Oman Clarendon Stakes (Gr 3 PA) has been held at Newbury racecourse since 2015 and after ten declarations, two of the past three winners in Macallan and Kao Kat MHF lined up, along with Shomoos Athbah, who had been runner-up for the past two seasons. Also present was Conchita DA and El Zarka DA, the first and third in the UK’s premier sprint, the Jebel Ali Racecourse Za’abeel International (Gr1PA) held over a furlong further as part of DIAR at Newbury last month. However, on rain softened ground it was Awzaan on his first attempt at the minimum trip who was a comfortable winner by three lengths from Conchita DA and El Zarka DA.

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Owen commented: “That was that was a bit of a shock actually, though we’ve always known Awzaan had ability, as he’s been Group 1 placed at a mile, we’ve always run him over staying trips. He’s grown up a lot this year though, I’ve always wanted to try him in blinkers, and I have at home, but he’s just not seemed tough enough to try it on the racecourse. He’s handled his races so much better this season, so we thought we’d give it a go over this trip and it’s worked the oracle. Even though he was slowly away here, he’s travelled really well in his race and all the way to the line. I hope we get to keep him in training next season as I think there are more options for him now.”

He continued: “It’s my first ever Group winner, hopefully the first of many. I’m delighted for Martin as well, he’s enjoying riding the Arabians and his feedback is fantastic.”

The following day the action transferred to Wolverhampton racecourse for the annual Sultanate of Oman Family Raceday, which in the past has been held at Chelmsford City, Chepstow, Huntingdon, Salisbury and Royal Windsor. Fifty-five runners were declared for the six-race card, with the first race starting at 1.00pm. Attending to present the trophies on both days was the Royal Cavalry’s Director General Sarhan Alzedi, assisted by Mohamed Al Hashmi, Racing Manager of the Royal Horse Racing Club in Oman and Salim Al Hakmani, Director of Activities and Racing Department.

Whilst it was emotional day of first winners with the successes of Izenterisky for the Collington’s and Jaahez for Hayley Lewis, it was also a final appearance for Syrah Gris in the Taqah Beach (0-50) Handicap. Trained by Adam Newey for the Almost All Partnership, after 73 starts he made his last outing a winning one, adding to his five previous victories when getting up to deny My Boy Sam in the final strides and will now be retired. Whilst trainer Owen had considered My Boy Sam to be his best chance of his Racing Club’s runners, it was their Tijaary under Alex Chadwick who came out on top after a steward’s enquiry demoted first-past-the-post Abiyah Athbah, following interference to the third Daleel.

Tijaary’s form had been franked in the opener, the Al Seefah Beach Maiden, when Izenterisky, who had been half a length behind him when breaking his maiden at this track in June, was a ready five-length winner under Barry Adams, whose wife Hannah co-owns the horse.

Acknowledging the pressure of training for his wife, Collington smiled saying: “The only worry today was if he would settle to get the extra furlong, stepping up to a mile. Barry gave him a lovely ride and he’s quickened up and gone away from them well. He’s always been very professional at home. We both wanted to breed a horse by No Risk Al Maury as he’s been such a big part of our lives and of course having won on him and his dam makes Izenterisky’s win all the more special. We’ll have a look and see if there’s anything for him abroad, but he’ll probably be put away for next season.”

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In the second race former ARO novice champion turned conditional jockey Charlie Price was grinning following his recommendation to owner-trainer Delyth Thomas to fit Callymay with visors. Having raced up with the pace in the Sohar Beach (0-70) handicap, he drove the daughter of Dahess into the lead and finished over two lengths clear of Falcon Du Roch, who was much better back at this track, following a disappointing run at Chelmsford City.

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Hayley Lewis had been smiling from half a furlong out when recording her first ever win on the maiden Jaahez in the Ras Al Hat Novice Stakes, she commented: “James told me to just let him go and enjoy himself, I’ve been riding Jaahez at home for a while and we get on really well. I knew I was clear and though I could hear the others behind me, he was travelling so well I left him a bit longer before I pushed him on as I didn’t want him to go backwards. I’ve been with James for two years and this is my first season race riding, I’m really grateful to James for the opportunity, he’s great to work for.”

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The Kasab Beach (0-100) Handicap was a competitive conclusion to the day’s racing with Halib Des Forges holding off the challenge of Al Kaaser to win by a neck. This was a first win on an Arabian for apprentice Dylan Hogan, though not his first win in His Highness’s colours having won a premier handicap on Aared and a rated race on Moktamel for Keven Prendergast in Ireland last year.

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director commented: “It has been a wonderful weekend of racing for the Royal Cavalry of Oman, who have been a loyal and generous supporter of UK Arabian racing for over ten years. The Clarendon Stakes is the most valuable of all the Royal Cavalry’s race sponsorship with us and took place in front of a near sell-out crowd at Newbury. We were pleased to welcome runners from Belgium and Sweden who have been successful at Newbury before, proving that Arabian racing in the UK can support international competition and this comes on the back of recent overseas wins by our domestic trainers, James Owen and Phil Collington.

“We were delighted with Awzaan’s win for James Owen, giving him a well-deserved first PA Group success as he is on course for a third ARO trainer championship. Though the majority of his winners are for HH Sheikh Hamdan, his James Owen Racing Club has over thirty members for the three-horse syndicate of Tijaary, My Boy Sam and Arwen Forta. Syndicates are an excellent way to attract more new people to the sport and we would like to see this increase in the future.”

She continued: “The annual Sultanate of Oman Family Raceday at Wolverhampton marked a significant milestone in ARO’s history as it was the first time outside of the DIAR meeting that we have had professional jockeys riding alongside amateurs at an ARO full fixture. We are proud to see jockeys of the calibre of seven-time UAE champion Tadhg O’Shea and Derby winner Martin Dwyer riding under ARO rules and we also welcome the success of apprentice Dylan Hogan on his first ride on an Arabian. It is also pleasing to see our former champion novices Charlie Price and Ellie Mackenzie continue to ride with us since taking out their professional licences and we thank their employers Tim Vaughan and Mark Usher for their support.

“This has been a marvellous way to conclude the Royal Cavalry’s very generous race sponsorship with ARO during the 2019 season and we look forward to welcoming them back in 2020.”

Racing Welfare continued their support of the ARO stable staff, with Felicity Marshall awarding Collington Racing and James Owen Racing the Best Turned Out Award in the first two races on the Sultanate of Oman Family Raceday with a cash prize of £20 and a Racing Welfare gilet to the winning grooms’ of Izenterisky and My Boy Sam.