15 July 2017, UK ~ James Owen dominated the first Wathba Stallions sponsored fixture of the 2017 Arabian Racing Organisation season at Chelmsford City Racecourse on 15 July 2017, in front of a crowd over 1,000 racegoers.
The in-form Newmarket based trainer Owens recorded four wins, with victories for Dolfina D’Ibos (0-55 Handicap), Karlos Du Cayrou (0-95 Handicap), Munbaher (0-80 Handicap) and Crahck (Restricted Maiden), giving jockeys Simon Walker and Joanna Mason doubles in the process. The wins put him five points clear in the current Trainers’ Championship and Joanna Mason two points clear in the Ladies’ Championship.
Speaking after racing, a delighted Owen said: “It’s been great today, they’ve all run well. I like the track, which is local for us. None of them have had hard races today, so we can go to war again with them.
“I’m pleased to get another win out of Dolfina D’Ibos. She stays well, if she goes up a bit in the handicap a little bit, I might run her in the Ladies race here in August, she does possess a lot of speed. We’re learning more about her, she’s had a few season problems, but we’re getting there with her. Simon gave her a great ride, I know she won easily, but he rode her well.
“Karlos Du Cayrou won well too. He enjoyed the surface and he would definitely run here in the Apprentice handicap over a mile – which would be the perfect trip for him. He’s a little bit quirky, but he’s getting better all the time. He comes out of his races well.”
Concluding, Owen said: “Crahck has been knocking on the door in maidens. The young lad, Lucas Olsen who rode him in his first two races, has gone back to Denmark now. He did a great job on him. He’s ok, Crahck, he’s a trier, so I’m glad to win with him, and Munbaher, he loves this track. He’s a Madjani; they all seem to like it here. He loves to get his toe in, loves to lead and he likes to race.”
There was also a win for the Royal Cavalry of Oman in the opening maiden with Riyam ridden by Ellie Mackenzie. Afterwards trainer Said Al Badi commented: “We’re pleased with that. He has improved since he ran in France in May. We thought he would run a good race and he’s won easily.”
The 0-65 Handicap was won by the Peter Hammersley-trained Unity Belle for owner-breeder Heather Phillpott, giving jockey Sam Lee his first win under ARO rules. Lee was pleased saying: “It’s my first winner from three rides with ARO. I’ve had quite few winners point-to-pointing; I’m based with Fred Hutsby in Northampton, he gives me a lot of good horses to ride, but this keeps me fit in the summer.
“This is my third season riding over all, I rode one Arabian last year and I thought I’d take it a bit more seriously this season. I ride out for Peter at home and I knew what I had to do – it’s great when a plan comes together, the horse ran as expected, so it went well.”
The first ARO win for Isabella Farnese in the 0-40 Handicap was for riding her mother’s Cosmic Girl. Selena Farnese said: “Cosmic Girl’s being retired as a broodmare now. She has a yearling by Monsieur Al Maury and is booked for Assy shortly. Isabella had her first ride on her when she was 17 back in 2011, and this was her second ride, so it’s lovely for her to win. She works for Ed Walker now, so came up from Lambourn to ride today.”
Gemma Cobb, ARO Racing Operations Executive said: “It is a pleasure to host the Wathba Stallions Series again this season. ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and Lara Sawaya and we look forward to our next meeting here, supported by the HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival on 12 August.
“We are also grateful to Baileys Horse Feeds and Brian and Anna Wallace, who generously sponsored the Best Turned Out Awards here today, as well as all the staff and racegoers at Chelmsford who have made us feel so welcome.”