Category Archives: News



Fareedhat El Izz wins well on first run for James Owen

Fareedhat El Izz and Daniel Muscutt win the Emirates Breeders Novice at Newbury

©Debbie Burt


Thursday 13 June 2024 – Leading Iraqi owner breeder Dr Mohammed Al Nujaifi will be delighted with his home bred filly Fareedhat El Izz making a winning UK debut in the Emirates Breeders Novice Stakes and placing his colours in the Newbury winning circle 12 years after his Hilal Al Zaman won the Group 1PA Za’beel International. The four-year-old filly partnered by Daniel Muscutt had plenty of racecourse experience in Italy and France which she put to good use to overhaul recent winner Hadaaya, ridden by Tom Marquand. They pulled clear of Rich Pulls Pitch and Oisin Murphy, one of two debutants for Al Asayl and Hugo Palmer, though she kept on well to keep third.

Effectively a winner without a penalty having been disqualified for minor interference in Italy last November, she was a ready winner here and looked well suited by the seven furlong trip, despite that near success over 1m2f in Pisa. She also repaid her owners’ faith in his aim to renew his support UK Arabian racing, as she was his first UK runner since 2017. She has recently joined the Newmarket stable of James Owen and is his third Arabian winner of the season, which places him at the top of the ARO trainer leaderboard.

Watch Fareedhat El Izz and Daniel Muscutt win the Emirates Breeders Novice at Newbury


Daniel Muscutt, jockey, 1st“I wasn’t able to get any cover so I just left her on her own at the front end and she set good even fractions on her own accord and she seemed to enjoy me not pulling her about too much, she found a good rhythm in front and every time I gave her a squeeze she picked up nicely and saw the trip out really well. She didn’t mind the ground and she could hopefully go on to better things. She seemed like she enjoyed herself today.”

Lissie Reeves, Arabian assistant trainer, 1st“That was really nice, she ran really well. The Group 2PA HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup at Windsor will most likely be next, she’s proven today that she’s ready for that.”

Val Bunting, Racing and Breeding Manager, Al Nujaifi Racing, 1st: “We are delighted with our first runner in UK since 2017. Fareedhat El Izz is a homebred filly so that makes it even more special. She is not a straightforward filly and her former trainers Endo Botti (Italy) and François Rohaut (France) have all played a big part. We thank James Owen and his team for the result today.”

Phil Collington, trainer, 2nd, 5th“I need to watch it back again, I think coming here today we were scratching our heads a bit as we didn’t know how good the Lingfield race was that he’d won. Mobaasher looks to have finished the same distance behind Hadaaya as he did at Lingfield. Hadaaya was running with a penalty, but Mobaasher was still very immature in his race, but he was better behaved than he was at Lingfield. Connor [Planas] did everything we asked for, and he will stay further. I wouldn’t be too disappointed with him and of course he’s only three.”

Daniel Muscutt, Fahreedhat El Izz and Lissie Reeves winners of the Emirates Breeders Novice Stakes at Newbury

© Debbie Burt

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer:  “We are thrilled for all at Al Nujaifi Racing and the James Owen team for the win of Fareedhat El Izz. It is particularly pleasing to see returning owners gain success, and we’re also pleased to see Al Asayl place with their first UK trained filly Rich Pulls Pitch, though of course they have won PA Group races here before with overseas trained runners. 

“We thank The Arabian Racehorse magazine for sponsoring the Best Turned Out Award presented to Sue Wileman for Assassen and look forward to making a quick return to action at Bath on Saturday.”


Lissie Reeves receives the trophy for the Emirates Breeders Novice Stakes on behalf of Al Nujaifi Racing from Genny Haynes

©Debbie Burt




Mutwahhej Athbah and George Wood win the Emirates Breeders (0-95) Handicap at Doncaster

©Jonathan Hipkiss


Comfortable Doncaster win gives Collington two possible Derby contenders

Saturday 1 June 2024 – Trainer Phil Collington and owners Athbah Racing could be returning to Doncaster on August 17 with two hopefuls for the UAE President Cup – UK Arabian Derby (Gr1PA) following the comfortable win of Mutwahhej Athbah this evening. The four-year-old colt improved for every stride of the Emirates Breeders (0-95) Handicap contest and both trainer, and jockey George Wood, seemed confident that he would get the extra two furlongs of the mile and a quarter trip required for the August contest.

Proven miler Abiyah Athbah set a strong pace from the outset under Phil Dennis. Though challenged by Upstart Crow on the rail entering the final furlong, it was Mutwahhej Athbah who asserted on the far side, going clear to win by an easy length and three quarters. Headed by Upstart Crow, Abiyah Athbah bravely fought back to regain second on the line. Wood had been in the plate when Mutwahhej Athbah had won on his debut last October and was suitably impressed with the colts’ progress over the winter.

Collington and Athbah Racing now have two four-year-old colts that are live Derby candidates following the success of Hadaaya on Lingfield Derby Trials day last month. They also won this corresponding race last year with Thakeera Al Shahania, who went on to finish third in the UK Derby and fourth in the French equivalent of the Arabian Oaks at ParisLongchamp on Arc weekend, both top level contests.


Watch Mutwahhej Athbah and George Wood win the Emirates Breeders (0-95) Handicap at Doncaster


George Wood, jockey, 1st“He’s a very exciting horse, he won well last time at Windsor, he’s really improved a lot, he’s grown up in his mannerisms, everything about him is a lot more professional today. He’s an exciting horse for Phil and the team, I’m very pleased with him.”

Phil Collington, trainer, 1st, 4th“Mutwahhej Athbah probably ran the sort of race we would have imagined he would if he was good enough to win tonight, which he was. The further he went, the better he went and he looks a proper mile and a quarter horse. George thought he was a nice horse going forward and the further he goes, it plays to his strengths.

Jameelaty, she perhaps didn’t quite stay, we’ve learned a bit more about her though. Perhaps we’ve just got to drop back in trip with her, but I think she’ll be ok, but it was just the distance that was wrong tonight.”


George Wood, Phil Collington, Mutwahhej Athbah and Victor Darling winners of the Emirates Breeders (0-95) Handicap Stakes at Doncaster, as well as the Racing Welfare Best Turned Out Award

© Jonathan Hipkiss


Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer: “Mutwahhej Athbah certainly looks the sort to progress from the race today and we’ll be delighted to see him step up in trip and class again if he comes back here for the UAE President Cup – UK Derby. We congratulate Athbah Racing, Phil, George and the team at Cedar Lodge, as well as Victor Dearing who also won the Racing Welfare Best Turned Out award presented by Gail Buton-Pye for Mutwahhej Athbah.”

“We now look forward to our next race at Newbury on June 13th.”


Phil Collington receives the trophy for the Emirates Breeders (0-95) Handicap on behalf of Athbah Racing

©Jonathan Hipkiss




Homebred Victoria wins comfortably at Bath

Friday 24 May 2024 – Newmarket based James Owen continues his fine run of form under all codes with a win for his homebred filly Victoria in the Emirates Breeders (0-55) Handicap at Bath this evening. Ridden by stable amateur Teagan Padgett, the pair took up the lead just after halfway in the mile and a quarter contest and were never headed thereafter. The Raffles Partnership’s Coljani, ridden for the first time by Marco Ghiani put up an improved performance to stay on for second, with Evermore Racing’s Kayack putting up his best showing for several seasons when third under Miss Serena Brotherton.

Victoria is the second foal out of Owen’s leading Arabian of 2017, Dolfina D’Ibos and is a first UK winner for her sire, Al Asayl’s RB Burn who won the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown (Gr1PA), won of the world’s most valuable Arabian races.




Lissie Reeves, Arabian Assistant Trainer to James Owen, 1st, “I’m really pleased with her, she ran really well. She strengthened up over the winter, but I think the soft ground was too much for her at Windsor, but the good ground has suited her today.

“We’ll have to see how her rating goes before making firm plans for her next race, she’s got a turn of foot, but I think she might stay a bit further too.”

Miss Teagan Padgett, jockey, 1st, “I was a bit shocked at how well she travelled, that trip was perfect for her. We were hopeful for her at Windsor before the ground went against her. I got to the front way sooner than I wanted to and she was having a look around, but she got home in front and that’s all she needed to do.”

Peter Hammersley, Trainer, 2nd and 4th, “Marco has done the trick with Coljani, he said he jumped keen, but once in front he’s manged to settle him, he just got taken on by Kayack for the lead which set him alight a bit, but then he was able to drop in behind. Once he got cover he dropped his head and in fact Marco said he switched off so much he wondered whether he was just a bridle horse. He’s run on well at the finish though.

“We’re pleased with Belle Angelique finishing fourth. Jack [Doughty] said that she was so slow to begin with. I was thinking about headgear for her today, but I decided to give her one more go without, but maybe she needs the blinkers back on again.”


Miss Teagan Padgett, Victoria and Lissie Reeves winners of theEmirates Breeders (0-55) Handicap Stakes at Bath

© Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer: “That was an impressive performance by a young British bred filly who looks like she is capable of progressing from here. We congratulate James, Lissie, Teagan and the team at Green Ridge Stables, as well as Natalie Cox who won the Best Turned Out award sponsored by The Arabian Racehorse magazine for Hattie Sparks.

“We now look forward to our next race at Doncaster on June 1st.”





Hadaaya and Clifford Lee win the Equine MediRecord Maiden Stakes at Lingfield Park

©Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media

Clear debut win could set colt up for the Derby at Doncaster in August

Saturday 11 May 2024 – It was a one-two-three for Newmarket trainer Phil Collington with all three of his debutant runners filling the frame in the Equine MediRecord Maiden Stakes at Lingfield Park. Fittingly on Derby Trials day at the course, Collington’s four-year-old colt Hadaaya, could well be a live UK Derby candidate following his 12 length success. After being very green in the early stages, the three-year-old Mobaasher ran on well, whilst his other runner, Hattie Sparks, who was bred by his wife Sheila, was a further length and a quarter behind in third.

Hadaaya, ridden by Clifford Lee, looks to have a bright future, as he is a half-brother to Barakka, already a Group1PA winner in the UAE. Hadaaya is owned by Athbah Stud and was bought from the Shadwell Stud dispersal, as was the third Mobaasher now owned by Bader Salama Mubarak Al Rashdi.

Watch Hadaaya and Clifford Lee win the Equine MediRecord Maiden Stakes at Lingfield Park


Phil Collington, trainer 1st, 2nd, 3rd : “Not exactly how I thought it would go, I thought Hadaaya and Mobaasher would be a lot closer at the finish. Hadaaya was the ultimate professional, the way he travelled through the race, other than jumping the road crossing, it was reminiscent of his sire No Risk Al Maury.

“Mobaasher, on the other hand raced very greenly, but it was notable the way he finished his race off. Hattie Sparks ran on and ran a nice race.

“The wide margin that Hadaaya has won by was a little bit of a surprise, but going forward I think he’ll be a nice horse. We’d love to step him up in trip now and we’ve always thought a mile a quarter would be his optimum, it would be nice to think that he could be a Derby horse. We don’t know if he’s got Barakka’s ability, but he certainly behaves like him.

“My daughter Sophie owns the dam Laqataat and she’s had an AF Albahar colt this year, so though he’s a half-brother to Barakka, their sires are full brothers. Quite exciting really, as he’s a stunning foal as well.”

Clifford Lee and Hadaaya winners of the Equine MediRecord Maiden Stakes at Lingfield Park

© Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media

 Finlay Dargan, EMR Chief Operations Officer, “That was an impressive win on debut by Hadaaya, so congratulations to Phil Collington and all the connections. 

“We’re really delighted to be supporters of Arabian racing as ARO was one of the first regulatory groups to mandate us to have all their horses to use our system to keep track of the horse’s health, and to improve the overall health of the herd in the UK. So we’re delighted that they put their trust in us all those years ago and we’re delighted to be here today.”

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer,  “We were thrilled to learn that our Associate sponsor Equine MediRecord would not only be sponsoring another race with us this year, but bringing with them a new sponsor in Cassadol. We congratulate Athbah Racing, Phil and his team as well as Mitchell Hunt who won the Best Turned Out award sponsored by Cassadol for Pharitz Lahia.

“We now look forward to our next race at Bath on May 24th.”

Finlay Dargan with Phil Collington and Clifford Lee

©Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media




The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) is thrilled to welcome Equine MediRecord back to UK race sponsorship, bringing with them a new sponsor, Cassadol, for their forthcoming maiden race at Lingfield Park on Derby Trials Day, Saturday May 11th. The Equine MediRecord Maiden Stakes will be run over seven furlongs and 135 yards and will be the eighth race on the card, off at 5.17pm. It also qualifies for a prize money boost taking the total prize fund to £6,000, whilst Cassadol will be sponsoring the Best Turned Out award of £30 cash and a silver photo frame to the winning groom. The six runners include four debutants, including Hadaaya, a half-brother to Group 1PA Al Maktoum Challenge (Rd2) winner, Barakka.

Equine MediRecord’s (EMR) innovative platform standardizes the recording of comprehensive horse records, including medical histories, drug usage, and induction times, accessible effortlessly via phone or laptop. This advancement ensures that veterinarians can uphold the highest standards of care and compliance, with the ability to capture invoicing, billing, and manage inventory efficiently at the point of service—addressing the industry’s critical challenges. ARO was one of the first racing organisations in the world to adopt the EMR system, making its use mandatory for all ARO registered racehorses.

Cassodol is a Veterinary Software system for solo equine practitioners. It’s focuses on treatment records and invoicing and making these simple but views itself as more than just a software provider and works to partner with vets as problem solvers dedicated to improving workflow, increasing operational productivity, and enabling the growth and resilience of solo equine practitioners.

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer said, “We are delighted that Finlay Dargan of Equine MediRecord will be present on Saturday to present their trophies, as well as the Best Turned Out Award on behalf of Cassadol, who are new to Arabian racing sponsorship. Equine MediRecord have been an associate sponsor with ARO since 2022 and we are proud to have been one of the first to recognise their systems benefits to horse welfare.”

Finlay Dargan, Chief Operations Officer of Equine MediRecord, said “We are delighted to once again be involved with Arabian race sponsorship in the UK, and we’re also delighted that our partners Cassadol, are joining us and sponsoring the Best Turned Out.

“Much of the information trainers are required to record for their regulatory purposes is also recorded by vets for their own records, so we hope to work closer with our veterinary software partners in the future to reduce the amount of double entry required by trainers and vets and let them focus on keeping the horses healthy.”


The Equine MediRecord team of Finlay, Robert and Pierce Dargan at the 2024 Saudi Cup where a specially developed Arabic version of their system has been in use for the meeting since 2023

© Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media




Paramer Angel and Charlie Price win the Wathba Stallions Cup (0-65) Handicap

at Royal Windsor ©Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media

Veteran performer wins on seasonal debut for a third time

Monday 6 May 2024 – Paramer Angel proved he still has what it takes to win, reunited with his regular partner Charlie Price to score by an impressive 12 lengths on heavy ground. James Owen’s Victoria and last year’s leading jockey, stable amateur Teagan Padgett, were second, with Julie Kelway and Peter Hammersley’s Al-Hatab ridden by Callum Shepherd a further three lengths away.

Repeating his form from 2022 when winning first time out at Newbury, Delyth Thomas’s much loved 13 year-old gelding was out of sorts last season, but has always shown a good level of ability prior to that. Based in Wales, Thomas gave Price his first start in racing, helping him to become ARO leading novice in 2016, whilst Price has since gone professional and is currently riding for Wiltshire based trainer Robbie Llewellyn.


Charlie Price, jockey, 1st: “I’ve been trekking away down to Delyth’s to ride him three times a week and all the hard work’s paid off for her. I really appreciate her giving him another chance this year. It was hard last year as I was off injured and I wasn’t available to help her out as much, but look he’s found his form again. The question mark today was the ground, but luckily he’s enjoyed it and he’s stormed through it. It proves he’s still got the ability.

“I was very confident today as he runs better fresh, he’s all that time off and he didn’t have much of a season last year, the only worry was the ground.”

Lissie Reeves, assistant Arabian trainer, Victoria, 2nd: “She ran really well, as we expected really, the ground was just a bit too soft for her and it just took it out of her – she’s only small, but I’m really happy with her.”

Peter Hammersley, trainer, Al-Hatab, 3rd: “Callum just said he’s run a nice race, he’s looked after him. He just didn’t go in the ground at all.”


Watch Paramer Angel and Charlie Price win the Wathba Stallions Cup (0-65) Handicap at Royal Windsor

Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival commented, “We have really enjoyed the welcome that everyone at Royal Windsor has given us for our first Wathba Stallions Cup series race in the UK. We congratulate Charlie Price, and Delyth Thomas for winning today with Paramer Angel.”

“The Festival sponsors 10 races in the UK this year, with the global Festival highlight being the World Arabian Horse Racing Forum and the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown which is held in Abu Dhabi in December. We look forward to returning on June 29th for the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup.”

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer: “We’re thrilled to open our season of Sheikh Mansoor Festival sponsored races at Royal Windsor where we will hold the Group 2 PA HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup, our most prestigious sprint contest, worth £20,000. We congratulate Delyth and Charlie, as well as Brett Norris who won the Baker McVeigh International Best Turned Out award for Paramer Angel as well. “We now look forward to our next race at Lingfield Park on Derby Trials Day, May 11th.”


Charlie Price, Paramer Angel, Brett Norris and Delyth Thomas winners of the Watba Stallions Cup (0-65) Handicap at Royal Windsor

© Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media



Upstart Crow and Miss Teagan Padgett win the Emirates Breeders Conditions Stakes at Royal Windsor

©Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media


Winner of four races in 2023 still has more improvement in him

Monday 15 April 2024 – Linda Reeves leading Arabian of 2023 showed he has improved again over the winter making a strong return to win by three quarters of a length in the Emirates Breeders Conditions Stakes at Royal Windsor this evening. Ridden by regular partner, stable amateur Teagan Padgett, the pair just edged ahead of the eventual favourite Jameelaty and Silvestre da Sousa to get the James Owen stable off the mark with their small Arabian string in 2024.


Miss Teagan Padgett, jockey, 1st: “That was exactly how I expected him to run. We thought break and just stay straight and let the race unfold for him, and if we can win then go for it, but if he was beaten, not to be too hard on him, as there will be other days for him.

“After riding him I’m very excited for the season, he seems to have improved again this year, he’s stronger and hopefully there’s still some more improvement in him. Exciting times ahead”

Linda Reeves, owner, 1st: “We’re really pleased with how he went, we didn’t know how he’d go after his break but he’s looking strong and good to go again.”

Philip Collington, trainer, Jameelaty, 2nd: “We’re pleased with her on only her second start, Silvestre [da Sousa] said she travelled into it well, he was aware that he was getting alot of weight and he didn’t want to let Upstart Crow get away, and she’s probably just pulled up a bit in front, she’s still quite green and she can only improve for that.” 

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer: ” We’re delighted to be back racing again and warmly congratulate the Reeves, Teagan and everyone at James Owen’s for their win with Upstart Crow, as well as his breeder John Elliot who was here today with his partner Teresa Kinsey. We now look forward to our next race at Wolverhampton on May 1st.”





Hugo Palmer heads to the saddling boxes at Royal Ascot ©Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) is delighted to welcome the registrations of two horses from leading UAE owner breeder Al Asayl Bloodstock. Both three-year-olds have arrived at Hugo Palmer’s Manor House Stables in Cheshire and are being prepared to run in the UK this season. Marakeb, a colt by leading first and second crop sire Al Mourtajez, is out of a five-time winner for the Late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, founder of Al Asayl, whilst Rich Pulls Pitch is a filly by their two-time Group 1PA winner RB Burn.

Multiple Classic winning trainer Palmer, for whom this is his first experience of training Arabians, said, “We’ve just taken over two horses for Al Asayl which is the Abu Dhabi based racing team of Sheikha Alyazia bint Sultan Al Nahyan and her father Sheikh Sultan. I think I’m their only trainer to train Flat thoroughbreds, jumping thoroughbreds and Arabians!

“When Sheikha Alyazia asked me, I said I’d love to, but you must realise I’ve never had anything to do with Arabians and she said they’re just like thoroughbreds, treat them like thoroughbreds. So, on her instructions, that’s very much what we’re doing.”

The horses arrived as two-year-olds in early December having been broken and pre-trained in France and Palmer sought the advice of five-time leading Arabian trainer James Owen, who had trained for ARO’s late Patron, HH Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

He continues, “I rang James, who’s now making a very good fist of being a National Hunt trainer and he very much said treat them as though they’re a year behind. They’re very much like small thoroughbreds really and though they were quite backward when they arrived, in the last couple of weeks Marakeb, the colt, is just beginning to switch on and improve.

“I think there’s got to be potential for the sport to grow [in the UK]. If the money is there and if the races are there, then I’m sure the horses will follow. We would like to have more than two here. My heart will be in my mouth the first time they run, because it’s very hard to know what’s going on until we get them on the track. That’s going to be really fun and I’m looking forward to it.”

Harry Peter-Hoblyn, Al Asayl European Racing Manager commented, “Everyone at Al Asayl is very much looking forward to having Arabians in England with Hugo. We’ve had success in the past on the track here with Arabians, most notably Sir Bani Yas and we hope that can continue. We already have thoroughbreds in England with Hugo and George Boughey and to add Arabians to our English string is an exciting prospect. Hugo seems to be getting to grips with them and his eagerness to take up the challenge is certainly encouraging. There are a number of top class races on the calendar here which is obvious from the number of French raiders we have seen in previous years coming across the channel and I certainly hope we can give them a run for their money.”


Watch Hugo Palmer talking about the addition of Al Asayl’s Arabians to his string ©JSC Comms

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer said, “Since January 2021, licenced BHA trainers have been permitted to train Arabians as well as thoroughbreds. Though we have had our own trainers such as James Owen, or his former assistant, Mitchel Hunt, take out a full BHA licence to train thoroughbreds, Hugo is the first established thoroughbred trainer to take on Arabians, which is extremely positive for our sport.

“As is the backing of a globally successful stable such as Al Asayl, who won the first running of our most valuable race, the £400,000 Qatar International Stakes at Goodwood with Sir Bani Yas in 2015 and the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, at Sandown, also a Group 1PA, the following year. He was trained in France, and we hope that we may now see horses of his quality trained and raced here.

“When Arena Racecourses took us over in March last year, the future of Arabian racing in the UK was secured, and we’ve already been able to increase the number of races programmed for 2024. This opens up many more opportunities for owners and trainers to either compliment their existing interests or to try something completely new by adding Arabians to their string.”

Concluding she said, “ARO always welcomes enquiries from people new to the sport or those wishing to expand their Arabian racing activities in the UK. We’re looking forward to the start of our season which will be at Royal Windsor on Monday 15th April.”






The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was delighted to announce trainer James Owen as the recipient of the 2023 Arabian Racing Achievement Award. The award was presented as part of the Horserace Writers’ and Photographers’ Association (HWPA) 57th Annual Derby Awards on Monday 4 December, at the Royal Lancaster, London. Now in its’ tenth year, the award, once again generously sponsored by Equine MediRecord, recognises an individual or organisation for their contribution to UK Arabian racing.

Since scoring with his first Arabian runner in 2015 and ending that season as Leading Newcomer, Newmarket based Owen has consistently been in the top ranks of UK Arabian racing, winning five trainers titles and finishing runner-up three times.

Running a small string of point-to-pointers alongside, he has also maintained successful pre-training business, most notably starting off 2022 Derby winner Desert Crown. Following the BHA announcement that thoroughbred trainers could also train Arabians as they do overseas, at the end of the 2022 ARO season he was the first ARO trainer to take out his BHA licence. Hitting the ground running with thoroughbreds almost as quickly as with Arabians, Owen was in the top ten National Hunt trainers this summer. He also has a live Cheltenham JCB Triumph Hurdle contender in Burdett Road, a horse he also pre-trained for long standing supporters of the yard, the Gredley family.

As a former nine times East Anglian Point-to-Point champion jockey, who also partnered over 50 Arabian winners, he understands the importance of supporting young riders. By giving his stable amateurs rides in Arabian races over the summer he has been able to retain a strong core of good riders, with the best of them now able to further their careers under rules.

With Arabians to date, he has been integral in the success of many of ARO’s leading amateur jockeys – including Joanna Mason (three times lady champion), Antonia Peck (lady champion and best known in thoroughbred circles as Cachet’s groom), and Alex Chadwick (twice ARO champion) who has remained at the yard as an amateur to ride over fences, as well as Hollie Doyle (the first female professional ARO champion and overall ARO champion). This season another Owen stable amateur claimed the title in Teagan Padgett. She rattled up a sequence of four wins on Upstart Crow, before steering that one to a black type placing in her first ever ride in an Arabian Group race on the Sprint Cup card at Haydock in September.

Owen had stated right from the start of the 2023 ARO season that his stable amateurs would ride when they could do the weight, and was delighted for their success saying, “This season has been great for Teagan, Rhea and Jamie to get going, particularly Teagan who’s won four on Upstart Crow, who’s been a big asset to the yard. I think Arabian racing is a great grounding for the kids, they work hard for me, you need full time staff, as there’s a lot of work to be done on a daily basis and to be able to reward them by giving them rides really helps.

“They’re not easy to ride, some of these Arabians. Riding a horse that’s not always going forward is hard and it’s a good education for them. Teagan was very lucky with Upstart Crow, as he’s a different sort of horse, but I want them all to be competitive and do the best they can, and they’ve really improved. Alex is a good amateur for us, Jamie’s turned conditional and is doing well, Teagan will probably end up going down the apprentice route, she’s a tidy rider. Rhea tries the hardest out of all them and has done really well, whether she’ll ride again next year I don’t know, but she does most of my travelling now.”

Finlay Dargan, Equine MediRecord Chief Operations Officer, who presented the award said, “We are proud to sponsor the Arabian Achievement Award that raises Arabian racing’s profile at this prestigious annual event. We highly value our associate sponsorship with ARO in the UK and are already looking forward to next season.

 “We congratulate James Owen on winning the award for supporting his staff in their riding careers and for bridging the gap between Arabian and Thoroughbred racing in the UK. We wish him every success in the future.”

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer said, “This season has been a turning point for our sport in the UK following its acquisition by the Arena Racing Company. It is fitting that James, who has supported all his young riders using Arabian racing as a training ground, has these achievements recognised. We hope that he can now put that Arabian experience to good use as he develops his own career with Thoroughbreds.”

Concluding she said, “We thank the Horserace Writer’s and Photographers’ Association for their continued support of UK Arabian racing, allowing us to acknowledge the achievements of our participants in this way. We also thank Equine MediRecord for their continued sponsorship, as well as the Hong Kong Jockey Club, BioWave, World Pool and Coral for supporting the 57th HWPA Annual Derby Awards.”





230819_ARO_Donc_Thakeera Al Shahania_Joanna Mason


The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was thrilled when the 16 horses invited to contest the AED 5 million Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown, included Thakeera Al Shahania, trained in Newmarket by Phil Collington. Collington has recently been crowned ARO leading trainer for a third time, whilst Thakeera Al Shahania is owned by Athbah Racing, who have also retained the ARO leading owner title this season.

Collington and Athbah Racing will be hoping to repeat their success of 2019, when they won the Abu Dhabi contest with Mashhur Al Khalediah, who then went on to be third in the Obaiya Arabian Classic at the inaugural Saudi Cup meeting.

Speaking of her chances Collington said, “We’re delighted to receive an invitation for Thakeera Al Shahania. I think the distance and the track will suit her, and I still think she’s very good on the top of the ground, which she’ll definitely get there. She’s flown a lot already, she’s quite a cool customer travelling, so that’s an added plus, and I think looking at her runs and the nature of the race, she’ll stay the 2200m well. I’d be quite optimistic for her, she’s in great form though she’s been in training for quite a while, as she still feels very, very well.”

Abdul Moniem Ahmed Ali, Athbah Racing manager commented, “On behalf of Athbah Racing, and as a lover of Arabian horses, I thank Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his highness’s support of Arabian racing worldwide, and also his team in expertly managing this global event, which is one of the most valuable for Arabian horses on Turf.

“We are delighted to have received two invitations, one for Thakeera Al Shahania, trained in the UK, and one for Mutbahy Athbah, trained in France. With regards our lovely mare Thakeera, I am so excited that she will have the chance to show her best and that she will also be representing the UK, the country in which she won her first race, as well as Saudi Arabia’s Athbah Racing. Since that win she has stepped up to Group1PA level and was a strong third in the UAE President Cup – UK Arabian Derby and then a close fourth in the Qatar Arabian Trophy des Juments (Gr1PA) at ParisLongchamp on Arc weekend.”

Concluding he said, “These results show that she is capable of performing well at this level and as she is only a four-year-old, I’m sure there will be more to come from her. We have yet to decide a jockey, however I wish all the best to our English trainer and friend Philip Collington.”

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer said, “The Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Racing Festival has been a great supporter of our sport for many years in the UK and we’re delighted to have the UK trained Thakeera Al Shahania invited to the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown.

“We also have two British bred invitees – the Jewel Crown prep race first and second, Barakka and Ajrad Athbah, whose dams coincidentally Phil Collington now owns. Our domestic form is also boosted by the inclusion of our 2021 Derby winner, Abbes, and last year’s Jewel Crown winner First Classs, who finished second in our most valuable race the Qatar International Stakes at Goodwood this year. This year’s UK Derby form continues to yield results internationally with Bahwan, who was fifth, winning in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

“The Jewel Crown always attracts a good field, and this is the strongest renewal for several seasons. We look forward to being present in Abu Dhabi for the 13th World Arabian Horse Racing Forum which starts on the 27th November and concludes with racing at Abu Dhabi with the Jewel Crown it’s highlight on December 3rd.”

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