AF Asefah impressive, claims Wathba Stud Farm Cup
Abu Dhabi – AF Asefah came from nowhere in the fifth race to win the 1000m Wathba Stud Farm Cup For Private Owners Only, a Purebred Arabian Handicap. The race is restricted to privately owned small stables of local citizens and supported by the Wathba Stud Farm as part of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club here on Saturday night, March 1.
Elsewhere, Swwin, ridden by Ted Durcan has put his head first on the line, but it’s Nymphea Du Paon (Tadhg O’Shea) who was remunerated by the Stewards in the Group-3 Arabian Triple Crown R3 which was contested over a mile and a half.
Unbeaten in her three UAE starts, Nymphea Du Paon left the machines very quickly to set the early pace and looked like a winner in the final 150 yards before being attacked by Swwin to take the lead. But, O’Shea fought back to restore his lead before being squeezed by Durcan to the far side fences and beaten.
However, it didn’t take the stewards too long to reverse the result and Nymphea remains undefeated in the UAE, though she was disqualified in Round-1 of the series. The winner has also set a new track record for the distance of 2:41:10 seconds.
O’Shea commented: “She’s the best horse in the race and the victory was well deserved.”
The official feature of the day was the fourth race on the card, the Group-1 Purebred Arabians Lew Oasis which was contested over seven furlongs and spectacularly won in a new track record by Areem under Silvestre De Souza.
Trained by Majid Al Jahouri at the Wathba Stables, the home-bred six-year-old son of Mahabb turned the competition into a one-horse race and touched line in 01:27:60 seconds which is very close to the time of the Thoroughbreds for this distance.
Having claimed the Arabian version of the National Day Group-1 over course and distance, Areem cruised to his second Group-1 silverware of the season.
Covert Desire, ridden by Harry Bentley, made all to win the 2200m Al Jazira TB Maiden, the only Thoroughbreds event of the night. The six-year-old son of Pivotal started nicely and raced from the centre of the track in a steady pace. Sooth Al Ssalam came full of running under Marc Monaghan trying to run him down, but Covert Desire showed his strong desire to break his maiden and held on very strongly to cross the line by a comfortable margin of one length and a quarter.
The opening race, a Purebred Arabian Maiden contested over 1400 metres was won by Dormilon (Ernst Oertel/ Tadhg O’Shea) in the silks of His Highness the President Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Ted Durcan partnered Naseem Al Reef to victory in the second race, a 1600m Purebred Arabian Rated Conditions.
Source: HH SH Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival
Photo: Morhaf Al Assaf