Following on from their one-two at Newbury last week, Athbah Racing and trainer Phil Collington scored another resounding success in a Royal Cavalry sponsored race, with their Rebal Athbah dominating the Sohar Fort (0-80) Handicap Stakes at Doncaster this evening. The four-year-old colt partnered by John Fahy, tracked long-time leader Al Mahbooba in the James Owen Racing Club silks and went smoothly into the lead in the home straight to win by an easy three and a half lengths.
This was the fifth success for Athbah Racing and Collington this season, cementing their place at the top of their respective Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) leaderboards, both being three wins clear of their nearest rivals. The mile and a quarter race was run over the same course and distance as the UAE President Cup – UK Arabian Derby, held on Cazoo St Leger Day in September, for which this victory could prove a useful trial. Collington explained: “We’re delighted with Rebal Athbah, he’s improved since his Windsor win and the step up in trip and the addition of the headgear also helped; we’ve got everything right today. I think he’s justified an entry for the Derby, he’s entitled to improve again from this. It’s only his third race and we’re learning more about him.”
Speaking of their other runner, Kafou Athbah, he continued: “I think the race came too soon after Wolverhampton, he’s run a bit flat here, but we’ll get him home and check him out to make sure.”
Whilst Rebal Athbah was recording his third consecutive win, his jockey was scoring a second win on an Arabian, his first, back in 2016 was also in the Athbah Racing colours. Of Rebal Athbah’s success Fahy said: “Phil’s instructions were to keep it simple, it was never in doubt really. He travelled good and quickened well, the ground is nice, you’d like to think he’d progress. I don’t ride enough Arabians to know just how good he was, but I’d say he’d be one of the best I’ve ridden. The win at Newbury was a long time ago, but it’s good to get another on the board for them.”
Genny Haynes, ARO CEO commented: “That was an impressive performance from a four-year-old to beat older more experienced horses and the time of 2.21.28 compares favourably with those times recorded by previous winners of our Derby here. We congratulate Athbah Racing, Phil and his team on Rebal Athbah’s success and we very much hope he’ll be back here in September.
“We thank the Royal Cavalry of Oman for their generous sponsorship of our racing this year and it was great to welcome back Colonel Staff Saif Al Saeghi, Assistant Director General of the Royal Cavalry of Oman for Administrative and Financial Affairs, who presented the trophies to the winning connections.”
Concluding she said: “ARO also thanks Doncaster racecourse and the British Horseracing Authority for their continued support of our racing and Baker McVeigh International for sponsoring the Best Turned Out Award won by Sophie Collington with Rebal Athbah.”