21 November 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ In a thrilling finish, MH Tawag under UAE champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea won the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Wathba Stud Farm Cup for Private Owners at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club racecourse on Sunday night, 20 November.
O’Shea was in superb form, grabbing a trebel for the night. Riding MH Tawag for trainer Elise Jeanne in the 1600 metre conditions race carrying a prize fund of Dh 70,000, the O’Shea mount had to produce an ultra-game effort having been headed by the Patrick Dobbs-ridden Djelila Al Mels 300 metres from home. MH Tawag dug deep to battle back and reclaim the initiative inside the final 100 metres and were always holding the renewed effort from that same rival.
A head separated the two while in third place finished Ramadi Al Rawasi ridden by Sam Hitchcott.
This was the first win in six starts for the 4-year-old Bibi De Carrere, bred and owned by Mansoor Khalifa Sultan Bin Habtoor after a second-place finish to Af Ashras here on 6 November.
Arguably the best Purebred Arabian on the card, RB Rich Surprise was always going well in the previous 2200m handicap under the Champion Jockey O’Shea, and once eased to the front 300m out, was never troubled.
“I could see Tadhg was happy a fair way out,” said trainer Lemartinel. “This is a nice horse who is very versatile as his previous four wins were all on dirt and over shorter. He will probably go to Al Ain for his next start as he acts well there and there is a nice race for him early next month.”
O’Shea registered his third win in the featured 2200 metres Thoroughbred Handicap aboard Carbon Dating.
Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) and Mr. Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, ADEC Director General gave away the trophies to the Wathba Stud Farm winning connections.