The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) welcomed a new sprint champion at their home track this afternoon when Bayan Athbah won impressively in the Royal Cavalry of Oman International Stakes. The five-year-old mare had too much class for the field and readily won by two and a quarter lengths from Toofan, with Al Kaaser a neck adrift in third place. The £20,000 Group 2PA contest over six furlongs was formerly run as the Za’abeel International Stakes and had been won four times previously by the Royal Cavalry.
Bayan Athbah was ridden by nine times UAE Champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea, whose last UK win in the Athbah Racing colours had come on the mare’s half-brother, Mehdaaf Athbah at the same track two years ago. He commented: “She’s a lovely straightforward filly, I didn’t know much about her beforehand, other than she was dropping back in trip. Phil just told me to ride her as I found her, it’s her minimum distance. She gave me a lovely ride throughout; I was never worried at any stage and they went a nice even gallop. She’s a filly with a turn of foot and that’s what wins races.”
Trainer Phil Collington who was recording his tenth Group winner commented: “Bayan Athbah’s a lovely filly. We knew she was pretty special when she came back to us from Saudi Arabia, winning that maiden race in Ostend for us which was over further. No doubt she’ll be better again back up in trip, but we thought she was worth a try over this distance today because she has so much class.”
Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director said: “We congratulate Phil and Athbah Racing on their success today with Bayan Athbah crowned as our new sprint champion. She certainly showed the field a clean pair of heels and she looks a quality filly who can go on to win more races and uphold the value of our UK form.
“We thank the Royal Cavalry of Oman for their loyal and generous support of UK Arabian racing for many years and we were delighted that they chose to support this race with which they have had such a history. Naturally it was disappointing that due to the current challenges we had no international runners this year, but restrictions are easing, and we hope that future races will once again contain the diverse spread of overseas runners to which we have become accustomed.
“We also thank the British Horseracing Authority and all the team at Newbury racecourse for their assistance with this race.”