It was a triple celebration at Royal Windsor racecourse on Monday June 28th as Falcon Du Roc’h broke his maiden, giving jockey Cameron Iles his first win, as well as a first win for new owners Stride Ahead Racing in the Wathba Stallions Cup. The six-year-old gelding won by half a length from the James Owen Racing Club’s Serafim Forta, with his other runner, Sue Herrod’s Run The Risk just under three lengths away in third.
The mile and a quarter (0-65) handicap was the most valuable race of its grade held by the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) this season. The third of five Wathba Stallions Cup sponsored races to be run in the UK, it is part of the global HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival programme of races.
After the race a delighted Iles commented: “It’s great to get my first ever winner. I was apprenticed to David Elsworth, but I struggled with my weight and took out my amateur licence. Ideally, I wanted to be handier in the race, but he jumped and settled straight away, so I left him alone until we came off the bend, he was travelling nicely and he kept on well to the line.”
Winning trainer Malcolm was also pleased with her new charge who she purchased from his breeder Nicki Thorne, saying: “He made it look quite easy, which it really isn’t! We got him in early March, and we sidestepped two races he was eligible for as we felt he needed more time. We gave him every chance, giving him lots of strengthening and conditioning work, before we stepped up the pace with him at home. We were really confident he would be fit today and he’s proven that.”
The Wathba Stallions Cup series aims to promote the breeders of Arabian racehorses, and is supported by Wathba Stallions, the breeding arm in the UAE and France, of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs, who is also Chairman of the Emirates Arabian Horse Association.
Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director said: “ARO congratulates Cameron, Nikki and her partner Nathan Sweeney and also Nicki Thorne who bred Falcon Du Roc’h and still has his sire Tidarbret. Though Nicki has trained for other owners, it’s great to see new colours gain success at the first attempt and we wish Stride Ahead Racing every success for the rest of the season.”
“We also thank the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival for their continued support of our racing. It was a pleasure to return to Royal Windsor and we also thank them for their assistance in hosting this race.”