Awzaan Gallops Away with DIAR Premier Handicap at Chepstow

Al Saoudi son, Awzaan, unbeaten in third career start

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Awzaan and Tadhg O'Shea

Awzaan and Tadhg O’Shea

11 June 2016, Chepstow, UK ~ The Dubai International Arabian Races Premier Handicap Stakes run at Chepstow on 10 June went to Awzaan in the colors of the DIAR patron HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Trained by second season trainer James Owen and ridden by Tadhg O’Shea, the lightly raced five-year old was making his Turf debut.

With it only being his third career start, it took a while for the penny to drop, but when it did, he galloped on strongly, with O’Shea taking plenty of time to pull up after the winning post. His stablemate Baume De Breuil made most of the running keeping on for third, with the remarkable Maghazi filling second place again, as he did last Friday in the Royal Cavalry of Oman Premier Handicap at Doncaster over 2m.

This is the second of the four UK DIAR prep races run in the lead up to the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) flagship event, Dubai International Arabian Races run at Newbury on 24 July. That meeting is the likely next target for Awzaan and he could well put his unbeaten record on the line in the Rotana Resorts and Hotels Premier Handicap over a furlong further.

Any horse that finishes in the first three of this, or another of the designated warm-up races, then goes on to win one of the bonus races on 24 July, will receive additional prize money. The DIAR committee inaugurated the bonus scheme last year with the addition of preparatory races to the DIAR calendar which now include races in Italy, France, Holland and Sweden, bringing the entire 2016 DIAR program to 24 races, including 10 at Group or Listed level.

The bonus races on July 24 are headed by the Shadwell Dubai International Stakes (Gr1PA), the Dubai Duty Free Hatta International Stakes (Gr1 PA), the Emirates Equestrian Federation International Stakes (Gr2PA) and the Rotana Resorts and Hotels Premier Handicap Stakes (UK domestic horses only).

ARO Racing Manager Amanda Smith said. “That was an impressive performance for such an inexperienced horse and encouraging to see our 2015 ARO Newcomer Award winner, James Owen, doing so well this season. Our next prep race is the Dubai International Arabian Races at Newbury 24th July International Stakes for three-year-olds on 23 June, also at Newbury.”

2016 June/July DIAR UK Races

  9 June Newbury, UK – (Fillies & Mares)
10 June Chepstow, UK – DIAR Premier Handicap (1m 4f)
23 June Newbury, UK – International race
  7 July Newbury, UK –  International race

*24 July Newbury, UK – 8 Races including 3 GROUP 1 PA & 1 GROUP 2 PA

Photo: Awzaan and Tadhg O’Shea win the Dubia International Premier Handicap Stakes at Chepstow (c) Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media