May Review
Shomoos Athbah gains Group win - ARO at Chepstow - Success for Shahm - US Arabian Racing Radio - Sign Up for our E-News
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Shomoos Athbah gains Group victory

The talented but quirky filly, Shomoos Athbah, finally returned to the winners’ circle at Windsor, given a sympathetic ride by Tadhg O’Shea in the Royal Cavalry of Oman ARO Cup International Stakes (Gr3PA).

With her stablemate Mehdaaf Athbah a non-runner, O’Shea was reunited with the daughter of Burning Sand, who he had twice partnered to second place at Group level last season. This was a second win in the event for trainer Phil Collington, which got owner-breeders Athbah Stud off the mark at the first time of asking for the 2018 ARO season.

Having been held up in the rear, O’Shea and Shomoos Athbah made their move over two furlongs out, challenging the eventual second Zayin Angkor Centurion, to assert inside the final furlong, winning by a length and three quarters. Al Chammy, running the colours of the sponsor, the Royal Cavalry of Oman, just kept ahead of Awzaan to keep third.

O’Shea commented: “She’s started her season this year in the best possible way and I think it will do her good mentally as she’s been getting to the front and she pulls herself up a bit, but she galloped out well here today.”

Commenting on her win and possible next targets Collington said: “She’s not been the easiest, but I must give all the credit to Ria Tillett, she rides the filly at home and has done everything with her. Tadhg thinks she will get a mile and a quarter no problem, so we could go for the Hatta prep at Newbury in a month, or we could perhaps go abroad.

“When we went to Toulouse last autumn it was a run too many, she had gone over the top by then, it was my fault. I won’t over race her this year. If she gets the mile and a quarter well, then of course we will go for the Hatta International Stakes at DIAR in July.”


Watch Shomoos Athbah (Burning Sand x Djanet Monlau) win the Royal Cavalry of Oman ARO Cup International Stakes Gr3PA:

Sultanate of Oman Raceday at Chepstow

Whilst the Group 3 ARO Cup was the first single race sponsored by the Royal Cavalry of Oman this UK season, they had already held their popular Sultanate of Oman Raceday, the day before at Chepstow.

Their own team of horses had arrived for the ARO season at the starts of the month to their UK base at Wargrave in Berkshire, trained by last season's ARO Leading Newcomer Said Al Badi. They were quickly off the mark with their first runner Rehab in the first race, a maiden, where the daughter of Munjiz made her French and Omani experience tell with a narrow margin victory, battling home well under David Turner.

Watch Rehab (Munjiz x Rhoda Du Paon) win the Sultanate of Oman Maiden Stakes:
The Royal Cavalry also tasted further success in the Nizwa Fort (0-65) Handicap where The Sohar won by eight lengths, eased down by Joanna Mason.

Speaking of his horses wins, Al Badi said: "Rehab ran on Dirt in Oman and did not really like the surface. Today she has improved for running grass, we will give her one more race before DIAR and see what the handicapper does, we would think about the Hatta Stakes for her if she did well.

"The Sohar surprise me today, it was the first time at this distance [1m4f]. We will see how he comes out of the race before making any decisions , but we hope to have runners for the big day at Newbury - for DIAR.

He continued: "We are very happy to be back in England and for the Royal Cavalry to sponsor races here with ARO ."

Watch The Sohar (Dahess x Mauryna Lotoise) win the Nizwa Fort (0-65) Handicap:
Whilst the Royal Cavalry got off the mark with a double, it was Newmarket handler Phil Collington's day as he went one better to record a treble for his team and ARO Patron HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The wins also took him to level standings with James Owen in the trainers championship, which following Shomoos Athbah's win, he now leads by one.

Speaking at Windsor Collington commented: "I'm really pleased with yesterday's results, I wasn't sure about running Halib Des Forges back so quick but he seemed so well and taking the five pounds off his back with Ria Tillet, put him off a pound lower than he was second off of at Taunton. She gave him a lovely ride."

Tillet was clearly delighted to ride her first ever winner on only her second ever ride on an Arabian saying:"I would like to thank my boss Phil Collington, for the opportunity to ride Halib Des Forges in a race as I do a lot of his home work and it was a privilege to ride him, let alone win on him.

"He just told me to go out and enjoy myself and there was no pressure on me. He won over 1m 4f at Wolverhampton last year so we know he stays well, and he also has a big stride. Halib will always let you know if the pace is too slow and I just let him bowl along in my hands and as Phil said to me when you turn into the straight to let him stride on and turn it into a stamina test.

"I was waiting for someone to come to me to help Halib along, as he was getting lonely after a long time in front by himself, but no one came to me at all and when I past the post in front I couldn’t believe it. It was one of the best feelings you could have and was amazing for Helen who has looked after him since the day he arrived at the yard."

She continued: "Also I would like to thank the whole Collington team for their help, everyone at the yard works so hard for days like this when we can have a treble. I would also like to thank His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum and Shadwell Stud Director Richard Lancaster for the opportunity to ride Halib Des Forges."

Watch Halib Des Forges (Mahabb x Drosera Des Forges) win the Royal Cavalry of Oman (0-90) Handicap Stakes:
Reflecting on Anfaas's win under Will Pettis, Collington said:"It looked like an easy opportunity for Anfaas, the race didn't look very strong, most of the horses were pretty exposed and she's still improving. She did it well, she's got plenty of speed."

Watch Anfaas (No Risk Al Maury x Laqataat) win the Royal Cavalry of Oman (0-90) Handicap Stakes:
Speaking their third winner, he continued:"Ashjaan was a surprise for us on the day, but she showed great battling qualities. I really didn't think she could turn the form around with Rafeef but she seems to really enjoy the Turf as opposed to the AW.

Watch Ashjaan (Madjani x Neige AL Maury) win the UK Arabian Derby winner Nafees (0-75) Handicap Stakes:
There were also wins for Synergy and James Harding in the Visit Oman (0-55) Handicap Stakes. The daughter of Jiyush had looked unlucky the last twice, being hampered on her final start of 2017 and then again on her reappearance when the dramatic exit of Callymay slipping on the bend caused Harding to be unseated.

Whilst the Claire Taylor trained and Rob Wollard ridden Señor Dublcheck continued his good run of form, following up on his Taunton win for the BXPS Partners.

Watch Senor Dublcheck win the www.aroracing.co.uk Hands and Heels (0-45) handicap:
Deadheat closes first Taunton fixture

The first of two ARO fixtures scheduled at the West Country track, ended in a deadheat between Emiraaty and Hau Kola.

The full report, video and pictures can be viewed via the link below.

The next UK full fixture will be held at Wolverhampton on June 10. Further details on the ARO website.
Success for Shahm in the President of the UAE Cup at Longchamp

There was a first Group 1 success for multiple winner Shahm at the newly re-opened Longchamp course on May13. Bred by HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed and racing in the colours of Yas Horse Management, he was ridden by Mickael Barzalona and trained by Xavier Thomas Demault.

The five-year-old son of Mahabb was settled towards the rear and brought wide to make his challenge, just managing to keep Nafees and Lightning Bolt at bay, with Khattab in fourth, though they were well clear of the remainder of the field.

Watch Shahm (Mahabb x Harbour) win the President of the UAE Cup - Coupe d'Europe des Chevaux Arabes Gr1PA:
 James Owen Racing Update

James is the current ARO champion trainer, based in Newmarket, Suffolk. Though James rode under ARO rules as a jockey, it was in Point-to-Points where he flourished, being nine-times East Anglian Champion.

Since retiring from the saddle he has had continued success as a trainer, gaining the ARO Best Newcomer Award in his first season in 2015 and the ARO Trainers Championship in each season since. Follow the yard throughout the year in his monthly column for The Arabian Racehorse.

"All of the team had a very enjoyable overnight trip to Taunton and we were very pleased with how our runners performed. Tijaary who was having his second racecourse start and giving weight to all ran very well finishing second. He is sure to come on again for the experience. 

"Al Faaris [above], who was so consistent for us last season, ran very well to win his race at Taunton. He looks to have improved this season and he will now head to Doncaster on Saturday for the 2mile 0-85 handicap where he will give weight to all, but this looks an ideal next target. 

"Emiraaty ran a fantastic race when dead-heating with Hau Kola, he was running off top weight and has now won both his starts this season. He is one of the most popular horses in our yard and has that 'will to win' attitude. A great race to watch and thank goodness for the photo finish, as a dead heat was the right result for all. 

"We missed out on a winner at Chepstow last weekend, but Rafeef ran well to finish second in the 0-75 handicap and she continues on an upward curve. The torrential rain that we had that morning went against a few of our runners, but they've all come out of their races well and we are looking forward to Wolverhampton next week. 

"Our next runners are at Doncaster this Saturday, where we will be running three in the 2 mile handicap (Al Faaris, Tatbeeq and Crachk). Crahck is one of our racing club horses and it will be nice to have a runner for the club on a TB card. We are hoping he will run a big race. 

"We have made a lot of entries for Wolverhampton on the 10th May, where we will be looking forward to starting some of the three year olds off. I am particularly looking forward to getting Al Kaaser back on the course, who hasn’t run yet this season. He will make his reappearance here in the 1m 2f handicap. 

"Naishaan will also start back here in the 1m open handicap, which on entries looks a very strong contest. She improved a lot from 3 to 4 and hopefully she has improved again.  "


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magazine features photographs from 2017 HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak (International) Best Photographer Award winner & Arabian Racing Organisation Official Photographer
Debbie Burt

HALIB DES FORGES (2012 Mahabb x Djosera Des Forges) gives Ria Tillet her first winner in the Royal Cavalry of Oman (0-90) Handicap Stakes at Chepstow