Five days since breaking her maiden, James Owen Racing Club’s Al Mahbooba recorded back-to-back wins in the Emirates Breeders Novice Stakes at Wolverhampton, bringing the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) 2022 season to a close. Partnered by stable amateur Connor Baker, Owen also trained the second, Balqees, whose jockey, Miss Alice Stevens had been Al Mahbooba’s winning partner last week, with Zayin Arabians, Zikada Zayin and Eoin Walsh in third.
Baker who was recording his first win on an Arabian said: “That was really good fun, I knew she’d run well here before and she’s got plenty of stamina. James said to jump out and make the running and she just kept going.”
Owen commented: “That was lovey for Connor. He’s a family friend, I actually met him on the hunting field, we had a point-to-pointer for the family last year which Connor won on, so it’s a nice to give him a chance and this was the perfect race for him. We’ve got three young amateurs in the yard and it’s nice to get them all going, he did well, did exactly what I said, a few more rides and he’ll be away.”
Owen’s Racing Club has gone from strength to strength since he started it in 2018 and now includes owners overseas with Dubai based Gary Allsopp having an interest in Al Mahbooba, as well as Balqees. Emailing from Dubai, Allsopp said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have been involved with three winners this season, and with Balqees and Wanaasa in my own colours too, which has far exceeded my expectations.
“I’d like to thank the ARO for putting on such wonderfully well organised days for us owners which have been great to be involved with, and a big thank you to James Owen for being such an honest and hard-working trainer, putting the horses welfare first at all times. Watching from Dubai is always difficult as I love being in the mix watching these beautiful animals run.”
Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer said: “ARO congratulates the James Owen Racing team for another win with Al Mahbooba to round off their season on a high.
“ARO thanks the Emirates Breeders series for their generous support this year and Brendan Waterworth and Brian Watson of Racing Welfare, who presented the Best Turned Out Award to Tracey Raymont for Al Mahbooba. We also the British Horseracing Authority and the team at Wolverhampton for their assistance with our racing this season.”