O’Shea wins car as capital’s top jockey
17 March 2015, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival honored the winners in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup series of races after the 15th and final race at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday evening, 15 March.
Tadhg O’Shea on the Eric Lemartinel-trained AF Asefah (Burning Sand (US) x Fleur Du Cayrou (FR) by Dormane (FR) scored a brilliant win which helped him earn the keys to a brand new car for topping the capital’s season as number one jockey.
Trainer Eric Lemartinel also scored on the success in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup series as did the owner of AF Asefah, Khalid Khalifa Al Naboodah, who came out the leading owner in this race series for Private Owners Only with four winners. Al Naboodah’s representative received the Leading Owner Trophy from Adnan Sultan, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committee in the Int’l Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR).
Sunday’s Wathba Stud Farm Cup race was contested over seven furlongs and AF Asefah covered the distance in 1:30:68 seconds to prevail by a length and a half over early leader Nizam Al Gharbia, ridden by the Flying Dutchman Adrie de Vries for trainer Jamil Salman. Dere’A Al Jazeera under Patrick Dobbs was two lengths and a quarter back in third.
“AF Asefah is a well-bred horse and has been knocking on the doors after finishing second in his last three starts. Trainer Erick Lemartinel has been doing a good job to prepare the horse for the race and AF Asefah has responded keenly when I have asked him to improve in the concluding stages of the race,” O’Shea said.
“The 15 meetings here in the UAE capital threw up some very fascinating contests and results. The UAE owners and breeders are all very satisfied with the opportunities this series offers them and we are very happy with the overall progress of the Wathba Stud Farm Cup series,” Ms Sawaya added.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2015, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Yas Channel, Omeir Travels and Racing Post.