Lahoob stuns Ameretto to win Sheikh Zayed Cup
29 June 2015, The Netherlands ~ Four-time UAE jockey’s champion Tadhg O’Shea sizzled on the Duindigt racecourse in The Hague in as he registered a double while Lisa O’Neill chipped in for Ireland with her win in the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival races held on Sunday, 28 June.
After winning the Wathba Stud Farm Cup on the Margaret de Ruiter-owned Rodin, O’Shea came up with a second run on Lahoob to finish ahead of European Triple Crown champion Ameretto under Mauro Manueddu and win the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Group 3), the second leg of the 2015 Triple Crown.
Earlier in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race, 28-year-old O’Neill on favourite Badi (Dahess) made no mistake despite the presence of reigning World Ladies Champion Jadey Pietrasiewicz on Nobas D.A and the other professional, Indian ace Rupa Singh on Raya C.
The €30,000 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship event was reduced to a two-horse race with Badi under O’Neill and Maghazi under Denmark’s Ingrid Grard battling it out before the Irish assistant trainer pulled away to win and book a berth in the 8 November championship final in Abu Dhabi. Pietrasiewicz and Rupa finished 7th and 8th respectively.
“This is the first time I have raced here in Holland and it has turned out to be a memorable one,” said O’Neill. “I took part in some Fegentri races in Oman and Qatar and never won. Now I hope to finally make a winning debut in the region during the final in Abu Dhabi,” she said.
The Arabian action began in the third race and it was the third Wathba Stud Farm Cup to be staged this year in The Netherlands. Seven young horses were in the fray but Rodin under O’Shea, broke his maiden tag with an easy win after two second-place runs in England.
In the Group 3 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, it was Ameretto starting as the favorite under Mauro Manueddu after the 9-year-old’s impressive win in Poland in a similar Sheikh Zayed Cup race last month.
With O’Shea now on the Beverly Deutrom-trained Lahoob, it seemed to be the Irishman’s turn to stun the favourite with an almost start-to-finish affair. Though Manueddu extricated Ameretto from traffic and made a late bid, it was Lahoob (Amer) that came up with the run to win by a length.
“We have a lot of options for him – Newbury is one while the third and final leg of this Festival’s Triple Crown is another- we will see how he is and then decide,” said the winning trainer.
HE Abdullah Hamdan Al Naqbi, UAE Ambassador to The Netherlands, who along with Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) gave away the trophies to the winners of the three races.
“Despite the presence of the reigning Ladies World champion and the professional with over 600 winners from India, the Irish amateur lady jockey Lisa O’Neil performed very well to win. The fans loved the action in the Festival’s three races held today and that has been very satisfying for us,” added Ms Sawaya.
“We are also working towards staging the biggest race in US carrying a cash prize of US $50,000 in the name of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak during April next year on the sidelines of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak and US Darley Awards,” she said.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 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, National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC, 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, Racing Post and Laboratoires Fadia Karam Cosmetics.