18 June 2018, Chepstow, UK ~ The opening race of the meeting at Chepstow on Friday, 15 June 2018, saw Medhaaf Athba win the handicap race for four-year olds and up.
This was the second of the UK Dubai International Preparation Race Series that leads to the Rotana Hotels and Resorts Premier Handicap Stakes for 4-year-olds over one mile 4 furlongs featured at the celebrated Dubai International Arabian Race day on 29 July.
Phil Collington followed up on his second place at Newbury on 16 June with a worthy win from Group 1 PA placed Mehdaaf Athbah for owners Athbah Stud. Running for the first time over this one mile four furlongs, jockey Tadhg O’Shea produced a great ride from this classy horse having been put under pressure by a game performance from the James Owen- trained Emiraaty for owner H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin R Al Maktoum whose jockey Kieran O’Neill kept the pressure on throughout having set the early pace.
The Royal Cavalry of Oman with trainer Said Al Badi was represented by Laheeb, that so recently placed second to the Phil Collington trained Halib Des Forges on 10 June at Wolverhampton. Laheeb, this time under jockey Phil Dennis, traveled nicely and held his place while valiantly trying to come to terms with the undulating track, but despite his best efforts couldn’t quite match the front pair and finished third. With two furlongs to go the two leaders pulled clear, Mehdaaf Athbah (Amer x Keen Game) made his move and got away to take the line first.
Fourth place was also well fought by Kamikaze under jockey Noel Garbutt to just loose out by a nose to Laheeb. Aljawaaher took fifth for local owner, trainer Steve Blackwell and jockey Sophie Ralston.
The UK prep races return to Newbury on 26 June for a 1 mile 2 furlong race for Fillies and Mares 4 years and over. A total of five UK preparatory races have been generously sponsored in the lead up to the Arabian Racing Organization’s (ARO) season highlight, the Dubai International Arabian Races at Newbury racecourse on 29 July, that include four Group PA races which will be contested by some of the best Arabian horses in the world.
Willie McFarland ARO Operations Manager said: “Chepstow provided an interesting perspective as to how things could pan out next month – we are very lucky to have the support of the DIAR Prep races to focus attention on the flagship event on 29th July and these prep races bring the added benefit to trainers of the generous bonus scheme that rewards any of the first three home in each prep race that go on to win one of the bonus races at DIAR’’.
Bro Park Racecourse, Stockholm, Sweden, will host three races on 18 June, before returning to Newbury on 26 June. Three Prep races will be held in France at La Teste de Buch Racecourse on 3 July. The final Preparation races in July will be at Newbury Racecourse on 5 July over 7 furlongs, and Duindigt Racecourse in the Netherlands that will host three races on 8 July, before the final Prep race at Newbury over 1 mile 2 furlongs on 12 July.