ARO CHAMPIONS OLD AND NEW CROWNED AT LINGFIELD PARK
The Arabian Racing Organisation’s (ARO) 2019 racing season ended on September 24th at Lingfield Park having hosted 46 races, of which eight were PA Group contests. ARO patron HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum gained his 18th Owners Championship, with many of those winners trained by James Owen, who recorded his third ARO Trainers title. The ARO Jockeys Championship was won by Alex Chadwick, a remarkable achievement in his first season riding under ARO rules.
Shadwell Stud Director Richard Lancaster, who received the trophy on behalf of His Highness commented: “We are very happy to celebrate another ARO Owners Championship title on behalf of HH Sheikh Hamdan. His dedication and passion for Arabian racing is second to none and our Arabian racing teams have done a wonderful job again this year. The UK racing season highlight for us was the successful DIAR raceday at Newbury at the end of July. We have been very pleased to see some of our young horses showing a lot of promise, as well as experienced horses performing at the highest level. We were also delighted to watch Awzaan win a Group race at Newbury this summer, a first Group winner for his sire Al Saoudi, who stands under the Shadwell Arabians banner in Newmarket.”
Awzaan was also a first PA Group winner for Owen, who regained the trainers title he first won in 2016. Owen also took the leading Arabian racehorse (races won) title with Tijaary, another Al Saoudi sired performer, who has been the flag bearer for his Racing Club, in only their second season of racing.
Owen said: “The Arabians have all performed well and held their form throughout the season. It was great to get our first DIAR and Group winners, in Al Azeeza and Awzaan, particularly as they were both for HH Sheikh Hamdan and I thank all my owners and staff for their support. I am now looking forward to attending the Arqana sale where I will be trying to strengthen my team for next year.”
An integral part of the Owen team has been 24-year-old Alex Chadwick who joined Owen’s Newmarket based stable earlier this year. After a brief spell as a conditional jockey in Scotland, he returned to the amateur ranks, initially riding point-to-pointers for Owen before commencing his first season on Arabians.
After receiving his trophy from 16-time ARO Champion Simon Walker, he said: “It’s a big achievement really, I never thought at the start of the year I would end up as Champion Jockey. James has been a tremendous help, coaching me, reviewing my races and giving me rides. Tijaary would be my highlight, we both lost our maiden tags together, I ride him every day at home and he’s been my favourite throughout the season. The aim over the winter will be to ride in point-to-points and under rules when I can and hopefully getting more winners.”