Omani lady jockey Salima Al Taleei shines in the grand finale of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival
Racingwise, top Omani professional lady jockey Salima Al Taleei brought Kareem W’Rsan home to become the new lady champion jockey of the world in the final of the HH Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club here on Sunday night, November 10.
“It’s unbelievable,” said an excited young lady later. “I didn’t think that my horse will beat top Arabian performers like Fryvolous and Ghalib, but it happened,” she added.
“I’m delighted to win it for Oman. I have won in Berlin for the UAE and it’s great to win again for a lady trainer Jaci Wickham,” she added.
Kareem W’Rsan was slow at the start, but he showed signs of improvement with the progress of the race and took the shortcut in the hometurn to beat early leader Ghalib and held on very strongly when attacked by Fryvolous in the concluding stages of the race.
Al Taleei said she’s looking forward to renew rivalry against the lady jockeys of the world next season in order to defend her title.
The first edition of the championship was won last year by the French lady jockey Delphine Dubois astride AF Sanadek for trainer Eric Lemartinel.
Sahib Du Clos, Wayne Smith in the saddle, returned to his best to win the final leg of the 1600m Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, Purebred Arabians Prestige race which saw 12 top horses going to post.
The seven-year-old by Kerbella broke well and raced keenly against the fences before he produced a high speed to kick away from the pack in the straight and stormed home unchallenged.
“I couldn’t believe when I looked around and did see anyone behind. This horse is backto his best form,” said the winning jockey Wayne Smith.
Trained by Saifaldin Deeb on behalf of its owner Faisal Al Rahmani, Sahib Du Clos was a multi Group-1 winner in 2011 and 2012. He has claimed the National Day Cup for Purebred Arabians Group-1 at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club here in 2011 and went on to win the first and second rounds of the Al Maktoum Challenge, both Group-1 events, at Meydan in 2012. But, he has disappointed since then before he showed good signs of improvement when finished respectable second to Musharab in the Emirates Championship (Purebred Arabians) Group-1 last March.
Early in the evening, South African jockey Collen Thabana was crowned the world’s champion apprentice jockey after the teenager partnered Manan to victory in the HH Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak EARS Apprentice Jockeys Race, the fourth race on the card.
“My horse was very slow at the start and I had to ride him patiently,” said an excited young jockey later. “It’s my first time to ride an Arabian horse and trainer Eric Lemartinel told me after the exercise ride on Saturday morning that I have a very good chance to win,” he added.
Manan came with a late ride to pip the Ernst Oertel duo in the concluding stages of the race and prevailed by a short head on the line.
When asked about the difference between the Thoroughbreds and Arabians, Thabana said there’s no comparison between the two.
“The jockey needs to do much work with the Arabian horse and keep pushing while the Thoroughbreds respond keenly when asked the question,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the 19-year-old from Johannesburg was equally excited with the place and promised to come back to take another ride in UAE. “It’s a lovely country and the races in Abu Dhabi are very exciting. I hope to have another chance to come back very soon,” he said.
“I have been riding in South Africa for the last three years and have 20 winners from 429 rides. There are two years remaining to complete my South Africa Apprentice training school and for this reason, the number of winners will not make me lose my allowance,” he noted.
This race was won last year by the Omani apprentice Mu’nis Al Siyabi aboard Richy Blessed for trainer Ernst Oertel.
Elsewhere, Tadhg o’Shea rode his first winner of the evening in the 1400m Purebred Arabians UAE Bred Maiden aboard debutant Molahen Alham for trainer Ernst Oertel in the silks of His Highness the President Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The second race, the only Thoroughbreds Handicap on the card contested over a mile and was won by Maath Gool, trained by Doug Watson and ridden by Tadhg O’Shea.
Mooser worked his way through under Gerald Avranche to win the third race, a 1400m Purebred Arabians Handicap for trainer Eric Lemartinel. In the meantime, Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan said: “The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival has succeeded in attracting people towards UAE in general and Abu Dhabi in particular throughout the different rounds around the world. The best conclusion was the finale of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship and the fifth edition of the festival.
“I would like to thank HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and HH Sheikha Fatoma bint Mubarak, the Mother of the UAE, for their support and backing for the equine sports in general.”
Abu Dhabi – The final of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival was attended by HE Sheikh ahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community evelopment, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, hairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Sheikh Ahmed bin ohammed Al Nahyan at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday.
The concluding event was also watched by 300 guests represented 29 countries including horsemen, experts, trainers and jockeys besides a big crowd under the slogan of ‘One World 5 Continents-Abu Dhabi 2013’.
UAE lady singer Aryam sang for the ‘One World 5 Continents – Abu Dhabi 2013’ to become the logo of the festival during the upcoming season in 2014.
Lara Sawaya, Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Chairman of Ladies Racing Commitee in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) commented: “We are delighted to the exciting conclusion of the festival which would not have been possible without the support and patronage of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and HH Sheikha Fatoma bint Mubarak, the Mother of the UAE coupled with the positive role of our partners and sponsors. The crowning of the Omani young lady Salima Al Taleei as champion of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Mundial has added more color to the festival and represented a great success to the Arab woman. This great performance and success will double our responsibility in the sixth edition of the festival.”
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare and Fegentri with Emirates Airlines as the official carrier and sponsored by Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Invest AD, Arabtec Holding PJSC, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE's General Women's Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2013, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Wathba Stud Farm, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Hotel and SPA and Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah.
Source: HH SH Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival
Photo: Morhaf Al Assaf