Five-time ARO leading trainer James Owen secured a one two in the Emirates Breeders (0-75) Handicap Stakes at Southwell over a mile and six furlongs today, with Al Mahbooba and Jaahez pulling clear of the field. Al Mahbooba, partnered for the second time by Miss Alice Stevens, was kept off the pace in the early stages, however she and Jaahez showed their class, staying on well in the home straight, battling on well, with Al Mahbooba gaining a two length advantage on the line, with Zayin Zyperion keeping on for third.
Stevens, who was riding her first winner on an Arabian said: “She was really game when I rode her at Wolverhampton and was just unlucky to be beaten by a good horse, when we were giving it a stone, so she deserved to win today. They went pretty hard early on, and I was able to sit in and travel throughout. She went through them well and once I got to the front she was going away nicely.”
Al Mahbooba was also recording a first win for Owen’s Racing Club this season, with member Paul Holtom present to enjoy the win. He commented: “I’ve been to every meeting, it’s great to have a win with Al Mahbooba and I live locally as well.”
Explaining his involvement, he said: “I joined through Justin Byrne, the Club manager, as I’d been in other clubs with him before and I’d been in Hambleton Racing and had a couple of Thoroughbred horses with Kevin Ryan, but this was an opportunity that I fancied getting involved with. I’d knew nothing about it beforehand and this has got me back into racing again.”
Owen who also trained the fourth, Heritage Valentino said: “I’m pleased for the Racing Club, they’re huge supporters of mine and it’s good to get one on the board for them. Both horses are better performers on the All Weather, and it was a step down in grade for both of them on a more suitable trip. Jaahez has been running well over the wrong distance, but has just been a bit naughty in the stalls, not loading, Jamie [Gambin] did a good job on him today. Rhea Betts who was going to ride him unfortunately hurt her neck, but Jamie had ridden him last year, he’s improved a lot.
“We’re pleased for Alice” he continued. “We’ll probably use her again next week at Wolverhampton on Balqees, Al Mahbooba will get a penalty so we’ll want to claim the full seven off of her, so one of the stable amateurs will ride. We may run Mayfair as well, we’ll see, she’s been growing.”
Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer said: “ARO congratulates James and his team, winning with Al Mahbooba and also Alice recording her first success on the breed.
“We thank the Emirates Breeders series for their continued sponsorship, and also the British Horseracing Authority and all the team at Southwell for supporting our racing this season.”