The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was thrilled to announce that Jill Irwin’s Whitley Meadows Racing Arabians were the lucky winners of the draw for a nomination to AF Mathmoon. The nomination, generously donated by Shadwell Arabians was for their Kahayla Classic winner who stands his first season at stud in France in 2022. Owners registering their horses with ARO for the 2022 racing season by December 31st were eligible for the draw and allocated one ticket for every horse registered. In total 55 tickets went into the draw with Newbury Racecourse’s Sales Executive Siobhan Hayes pulling out Irwin’s winning ticket.

Speaking from her stud in Bodmin, Irwin said: “I can’t believe it, that’s marvellous news. I’ve always loved AF Mathmoon, he’s my favourite of all the Shadwell Arabian stallions on offer at present. It’s been a tough time for us recently and this news couldn’t have come at a better time, it’s a real boost, as I didn’t want to give up breeding Arabians.”

She continued: “All being well I will use it on my Dubai Day winner Popsstar. She’s due to RB Burn at the end of March/April and I think AF Mathmoon will be a good match for her. I’d like to thank Shadwell and ARO for making this possible.”

Popsstar won twice from 19 starts, including the NBD Handicap Stakes at Dubai International Arabian Races in 2019 and was also placed five times. She is by Dahess out of Irwin’s foundation mare, the Dutch bred Popidol Kossack. To race in 2022 Irwin has registered the geldings Vikktor and Starman, both will be making their debuts, in what could continue to be an exciting season for the Cornwall based owner-breeder.

AF Mathmoon is a son of the leading Arabian racing sire, AF Albahar, who has had such success in the UK last year with dual winning fillies Bayan Athbah and Muneer, finishing second in the overall sires table to another Shadwell resident, No Risk Al Maury. As well as the Kahayla Classic, AF Mathmoon won a further five Group races in the UAE, including the Liwa Oasis over seven furlongs and Round 1 of the Al Maktoum Challenge over a mile. His dam Temptayshuhn is from the family of three-time Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 winner, now promising sire, Nieshan.


Popsstar and Martin Dwyer winning the NBD Handicap Stakes at DIAR 2019

© Debbie Burt – equinecreativemedia.com

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer said: “ARO was delighted to learn that Jill Irwin’s Whitley Meadows Racing Arabians was the lucky recipient of the nomination and we wish her all the best with her breeding programme and for her racehorses this year. We thank Shadwell Arabians for their support of our racing through the donation of this nomination to an exciting first season sire and I’m sure AF Mathmoon will be just as successful as a stallion as he was on the racetrack.

She concluded: “We were pleased with the take-up that this incentive to register early for 2022 produced as it is one of many of the new initiatives we are putting in place to encourage new and existing owners and breeders to the sport.”