Irish double as O’Shea and O’Neill shine in The Netherlands
Lahoob winning the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Group 3) under Tadhg O’Shea
Lahoob stuns Ameretto to win Zayed Cup
Four-time UAE jockey’s champion Tadhg O’Shea sizzled on the Duindigt racecourse in The Hague in as he registered a double while Lisa O’Neill chipped in to complete an Irish double in the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival races held here on Sunday, June 28, in The Netherlands.
After winning the Wathba Stud Farm Cup on the Margaret de Ruiter-owned Rodin, O’Shea came up with a second run on Lahoob to finish ahead of European Triple Crown champion Ameretto under Mauro Manueddu and win the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Group 3), the second leg of the 2015 Triple Crown.
Earlier in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race, 28-year-old O’Neill on favourite Badi made no mistake despite the presence of reigning World Ladies Champion Jadey Pietrasiewicz on Nobas D.A and the other professional, Indian ace Rupa Singh on Raya C.
The Euros 30,000 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship event was reduced to a two-horse race with Badi under O’Neill and Maghazi under Denmark’s Ingrid Grard battling it out before the Irish assistant trainer pulled away to win and book a berth in the November 8 championship final in Abu Dhabi. Pietrasiewicz and Rupa finished 7th and 8th respectively.
Badi under Irish lady jockey Lisa O’Neill winning the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship
“This is the first time I have raced here in Holland and it has turned out to be a memorable one,” said O’Neill. “I have taken part in some Fegentri races in Oman and Qatar and never won. Now I hope to finally make a winning debut in the region during the final in Abu Dhabi,” she said.
The Arabian action began in the third race and it was the third Wathba Stud Farm Cup to be staged this year in The Netherlands. Seven young horses were in the fray but Rodin under O’Shea broke his maiden tag with an easy win after two second-place runs in England.
O’Shea winning the Wathba Stud Farm Cup on Rodin
In the Group 3 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, it was Ameretto which started as favourite under Mauro Manueddu after the 9-year-old’s impressive win in Poland in a similar Sheikh Zayed Cup race last month.
Lahoob under Harry Bentley had also upset favourite Al Hibaab under Tadhg O’Shea and won the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Group 1 PA race in Lingfield Park in UK on May 9th.
With O’Shea now on the Beverly Deutrom-trained Lahoob, it seemed to be the Irishman’s turn to stun the favourite with an almost start-to-finish affair. Though Manueddu extricated Ameretto out of the traffic and made a late bid when he headed Lahoob, but the younger son of Amer came up with a second run to win by a length.
“We have a lot of options for him – Newbury is one while the third and final leg of this Festival’s Triple Crown is another- we will see how he is and then decide,” said Deutrom, the winning trainer.
“Yes I was headed for a moment with a furlong to go but Lahoob had enough to come back and win well. I am very happy with the double today,” said O’Shea, the winning jockey.
HE Abdullah Hamdan Al Naqbi, UAE Ambassador to The Netherlands, who along with Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) gave away the trophies to the winners of the three races.
“We thank HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood for bringing this Festival to The Netherlands, a country which also has a rich history of Purebred Arabian horses. Such events further bolster the ties between the two countries,” HE Al Naqbi said.
“Despite the presence of the reigning Ladies World champion and the professional with over 600 winners from India, the Irish amateur lady jockey Lisa O’Neil performed very well to win. The fans loved the action in the Festival’s three races held today and that has been very satisfying for us,” added Ms Sawaya.
“We are also working towards staging the biggest race in US carrying a cash prize of US $ 50,000 in the name of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak during April next year on the sidelines of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak and US Darley Awards,” she said.
Mr. Sultan Aouda, representing the Festival’s National Feed & Flour Production & Marketing Company (LLC) said, “The success of the races held in Duindigt is the first after we became the sponsors for the Festival. We are happy to be part of this success.”
Dr. Abdulla Elreyes, Director-General of the UAE National Archives, also echoed similar sentiments and added that the Festival was hugely successful in promoting the UAE’s heritage sport involving Purebred Arabian horses.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE's General Women's Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2015, Bloom, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Petromal, Hayatna, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Yas Channel, Omeir Travels, Racing Post and Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics.
Source: HH SH Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival / Satya Narayan
Photo: Morhaf Al Assaf