Awards by the Arabian Racing Organisation UK
22 November 2016, UK ~ The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) announced today the four nominees for the Outstanding Achievement in Arabian Racing Award to be presented at the Horserace Writers and Photographer’s Association Annual Derby Awards Luncheon. The event which takes place on Monday 5 December at the Lancaster London, is sponsored by Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club and it is thanks to their involvement that an award recognising achievements in Arabian racing has been included.
The nominations are as follows:
HH SHEIKH HAMDAN BIN RASHID AL MAKTOUM
Arabian Racing Organisation Patron, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been at the forefront of Purebred Arabian racing for over 30 years. His continued support of the sport, both in the UK and worldwide, spans racing, breeding and sponsorship. In 2016 he secured his thirteenth ARO Owners’ Championship with 20 wins, which included three at Group level. On the wider stage, his AF Mathmoon won this year’s Kahayla Classic, the opening race of Dubai World Cup night.
Simon Walker has dominated the Amateur Jockeys Championships under many codes, not least with Purebred Arabians. This year he won his tenth ARO Championship title, and despite being without a high-profile winner, he still bettered last seasons’ total wins by two. The majority of his victories were for Delyth Thomas, helping her to equal her best ever finishing position in the ARO Owners Championships.
A former permit holder, Mid Glamorgan based owner and trainer Delyth Thomas has had a remarkable season, finishing second in the ARO Owners Championship and third in the ARO Trainers Championship with 11 winners. ARO Champion Racehorse, Callymay was responsible for four of those wins, all of which came under Simon Walker. Thomas has also helped young amateur Charlie Price secure the ARO Novice Jockey Championship title, made all the more remarkable that three of his wins were on the 14 year-old veteran Noble Athlete.
The best Purebred Arabian racehorse since international classifications began in 2011, Al Mourtajez topped the ratings on 130 in 2015. Trained by Thomas Fourcy for Al Shaqab, this year he has brought his Group 1 tally to eight, most significantly with wins in the Qatar International Stakes at Goodwood and the Qatar Arabian World Cup at Chantilly. They form the first two stages of the Doha Triple Crown – should he win the third stage, the HH Emir’s Sword in February, he will further cement his place in history and net a $1 million dollar bonus in the process.
ARO Director Genny Haynes commented. “We are delighted to once again put forward four outstanding nominees for this award and are very grateful to both the QREC and HWPA for recognising Arabian racing in this way. Last years’ winner, multiple champion trainer Gillian Duffield, was a very deserving recipient and to be able to acknowledge the achievements of those who participate in Arabian racing to a wider audience is very important.”
All photographs (C) Debbie Burt Equine Creative Media