Double Delight for Omani trainer after 1-2 finish

May 20, 2012, Newbury race course, UK ~Muhal, ridden by Veronika Aske, landed the fifth leg of the HH Sheikh Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) in great style at Newbury Racecourse here on Saturday evening.

The well-bred son of Amer battled it to the wire against stable-mate Andaleeb, under Jane Foley, to prevail by a neck when it mattered on the finish line. Silaah, partnered by Manuela Slamanig, finished four and a half lengths back in third place for trainer Gillian Duffield in the blue colours of Shadwell France. The winner covered the mile distance in 1:55:52 seconds.

“The Norwegian lady gave Muhal a perfect ride,” said the Omani trainer S. Al Hakmani who was delighted to see his two horses finishing first and second in the distinguished colours of the Royal Cavalry Oman Stables.

“I have expected Muhal to win and Andaleeb to run a big race and they have both lived up to the challenge,” Al Hakmani added.

“Muhal has won over seven furlongs in 2008 and last ran over in Newbury in 2009 when outclassed in four starts. But, he won the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) in Doha over a mile. He’s a useful handicapper but doesn’t want to be in front for too long,” he said.

In the meantime, the winning jockey said: “I’m truly delighted to be part of this international campaign to promote the women sport. I would like to thank HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak for her generous support and backing for women around the globe. It’s a great pride for me and for my nation to book a spot with the top 12 world’s ladies jockeys in the final leg of the prestigious competition in Abu Dhabi later in November.”

The UAE Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Abdul Rahman Ghanim Al-Mutaiwee, praised the strong support of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE, to what he termed ‘Sports Diplomacy’ that made their job more easier in promoting the already strong ties existing between the United Arab Emirates and UK.

“Sports in general and hors racing in particular are fantastic ways to strengthen ties and links with foreign nations in places where most other means of communications do not work well,” the former business and banking expert said later.

The race is organised under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan as part of the HH Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Racing Festival.

 Lara Sawaya, director of the Festival and head of IFAHR ladies racing commented: “The great success which has been achieved is only a small portion of what HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation, is planning for the future of the women sport. The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival is breaking new grounds every day to promote the Arabian horse racing around our planet.  Shortly, over 200 experts in the racing industry will gather in Berlin, Germany, to provide more solutions and measures to advance the sport and improve the qualities of this noble creature. I’m really excited to see all this big crowd of enthusiastic fans putting their hands together to cheer the young ladies. It’s something great and there’s more to come.”

The Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian 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 Arabian Horse Society and IFAHR, supported by General Authority for Youth and Sports and Fegentri with Emirates airlines as the official carrier and sponsored by Invest AD, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, Mauzan, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2012, Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

Sent by the Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival.

~end