6 September 2018, Lingfield Park, UK ~ It was the first time back at Lingfield Park racecourse for the Arabian Racing Organisation for some time and ARO were met with a very warm reception from everyone at this lovely Surrey track.
The race result was something of a family affair for reigning champion trainer James Owen and his mum Jennifer the delighted owner, breeder of both the winner and the second. Insignia and My Boy Sam both fought out a mighty battle to deliver a fantastic finish with experience coming to the fore, Insignia who has earned his popular reputation this season as such a genuine horse.
A good early tempo was set by duo Will Pettis on the Frank Graziano trained Abaci racing alongside Katwalk trained by Claire Taylor and ridden by Rob Wollard that led a tightly bunched field with the short-priced favourite My Boy Sam in a handy third. With five furlongs to race Pettis tried to stretch the field and kicked Abaci into a two-length lead which left most of the field niggling to stay with the leader. With three furlongs to race KatWalk and My Boy Sam had closed Abaci down and left him on borrowed time on the front end. As they rounded the home bend with two to run Rob Woollard had crept into a length and a half lead and appeared to have My Boy Sam in trouble, followed by Insignia and Simon Walker who appeared to be traveling best. On his inner Johara Bint Shuwaiman was still responding to the urgings of the season’s current leading rider Charlie Price.
Katwalk did her best to hold off the Owen pair and didn’t relent until well inside the final furlong, three year old My Boy Sam looking like he was going to back up his recent Chelmsford win until he was worn down late on by stable companion Insignia under a sublime ride from multiple ARO champion jockey Simon Walker. Johara Bint Shuwaiman finished strongest of all to gain a respectable third, this was a return to form for the Nikki Malcolm trained and HH Sheikha Maryam Bint M Al Maktoum owned mare and a step back up in trip will surely make her difficult to beat. Katwalk held on for fourth just fading late on, further back Elyassaat struggled to land a blow after a slow start, with early pacesetter Abaci and hard pulling Taer Al Hurr locked in a private battle all of their own. Adam Newey has had his horses in tremendous form all season but Southpaw proved disappointing in the first time tongue tie and unable to land a blow and despite all Yucel Mehmet’s efforts and patience, with grand old campaigner Trip To Khairo she failed to give her true running.
ARO would like to thank the team at Lingfield Park for a great day and our thanks also go to commentator Simon Holt who was taking the place of ARO’s Arabian commentating guru Gary Capewell, big shoes to fill in more ways than one! Simon filled Garys shoes very well – although he was lucky some of the more challenging names are likely to have been saved for Gary’s return to the commentary box on the second leg of the series at Wolverhampton on Saturday 22nd September.