It was a case of history repeating with Al-Tabari winning the Royal Cavalry of Oman (0-75) Handicap Stakes over a mile and a half at Wolverhampton yesterday. Ridden by Howard Cheng the four-year-old is trained by Peter Hammersley for his wife Michelle and was bred by Julie Kelway, for whom Hammersley also trained the dam, winner of the same race in 2013. Al-Tabari broke his maiden in style, finishing a length and a half clear of Jen Harris’s Kayack, with HH Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Jinaan a further eleven lengths adrift in third.
A delighted Hammersley commented: “I’m thrilled to bits and the wife will be pleased too! It was Howard’s idea to drop him out, he’s ridden him in his last two starts and he admitted that he rode him wrong last time. After that race he said ‘give me another chance and I’ll make it up to you’ and he has done. On his breeding we thought Al-Tabari would be suited by the step up in trip as his dam stayed all day and we have his two-year-old brother at home for next year too.
“I’d also like to thank the Royal Cavalry of Oman for sponsoring the race. This year has been challenging for all of us and it means a lot to have their continued support.”
Al-Tabari is a gelded son of young Group 1 PA winning sire Tabarak, out of the eight-time winner Altesse Kossack. In a further echo of races past, Altesse Kossack beat Kayack’s dam, Penny Black in another Royal Cavalry sponsored race in 2010.
Genny Haynes, Arabian Racing Organisation Commercial and Finance Director said: “We are delighted for Pete to gain his first winner of the season with a horse that he has raised from a foal. Despite the difficulties we have faced to ensure racing takes place this season, ARO is still actively seeking a sponsor to fund a breeders scheme in the UK. It is vital that we fill the void of support so that small breeders such as Pete, Jen Harris, Mrs Skepper and Paul Simmons, who have all raced home-breds with ARO this year are encouraged to stay in the sport and improve the breed as a whole.”
Haynes concluded: “ARO is also pleased to join with our long-term sponsors, the Royal Cavalry of Oman, in upholding the grass-roots of our sport. We have valued their involvement in UK Arabian racing for over ten years now and we are delighted that they, like all our sponsors in 2020, have helped us to maintain our presence as part of UK racing. In addition, we also thank the British Horseracing Authority and Wolverhampton racecourse for their continued assistance this season.”