2018 ARO Season Finale Review
The rescheduled ARO Season Finale was the last full fixture of the UK Arabian racing season, though there are still three single races remaining before all the championship titles can be confirmed.

In what was a busy weekend for Arabian racing in Europe, Rodess Du Loup took the President of the UAE Cup (UK Arabian Derby) (Gr1PA) and Yazeed won the Qatar Cup (Prix Dragon) (Gr1PA) at Longchamp, both winning horses and those placed are expected to be heading for the Qatar Arabian World Cup at Longchamp on Sunday 7th October.
Another Finale four-timer for Owen

Following it's rescheduled position in the calendar, the ARO Season Finale returned for a second time to Chelmsford City Racecourse, with two extra finals added to the card. As he did at Huntingdon last season, James Owen sent out the winners of four races, however this time, it will not be enough to secure him a third ARO trainers title, as that honour now passes to fellow Newmarket handler, Phil Collington.

Owen was quick off the mark, winning the opening race with Farhaa. The daughter of Al Saoudi had caught the eye on her debut at the Essex track last month when second and readily went one better, drawing eight lengths clear of the field. It was a very professional performance and as a full sister to Najlaa, a narrow margin second in the 2014 UK Arabian Derby, hopes are sure to be high for next season.

Speaking at the end of the meeting Owen said: "It's been a good day. Farhaa is a lovely filly, I was delighted with her first run, she's progressed well and we're now excited for next year. She's a rangy filly, the dam has done so well, producing winners from different stallions and the Al Saoudi's all have good minds."

Watch FARHAA (Al Saoudi x Maizaine ) win the Follow RaceTech on Twitter @RaceTechUK Open Maiden Stakes over 1m at Chelmsford City on September 16
The newly instated Copper Final saw Mulan and Kaitlen Robinson win by half a length from Paulownia. This was the pair's second win at the track. Mulan is owned by Kaitlen's parents, with her step-father Gavin Kelly training the mare. He praised the opportunities provided by Arabian racing to help young jockeys get started saying: "I would recommend it to anyone wanting to get on, Kaitlen started off in Arabian racing on Sue Connolly's horses. We're only a small set up in Cumbria and we train Mulan on the beach."

Watch MULAN (Sambist x Olivphaya) win the Careers at RaceTech at www.racetech.co.uk Copper Final (0-40) Handicap Stakes over 1m5f at at Chelmsford City on September 16
The Forta Stud Mares and Fillies Stakes produced a one-two for the Owen team, and also the sire No Risk Al Maury, with course winner Naishaan collared in the final furlong by her stablemate, Mazyoonah. Following her earlier victory on Farhaa, this gave jockey Joanna Mason a double, leaving her three wins clear of Ellie Mackenzie in the lady riders championship.

Owen commented: "Mazyoonah's run well in her two previous starts, she looks a stayer, she's not the biggest, but she's a real trier. She could be nice for next year. Naishaan's run well again after her close second in Belgium. She probably hit the front a bit too soon today."

Watch MAZYOONAH (No Risk Al Maury x Ujidora De Bozouls) win the Forta Stud Mares and Fillies Stakes over 1m at Chelmsford City on September 16
In the Bronze Final, the vetran Noble Athlete proved a popular winner, recording his 18th victory and adding to his 2016 Silver Final win over the same course and distance, for the same jockey. Owner-trainer Delyth Thomas described her horse as "a legend" winning on his 94th appearance and hopes that he will continue next season to reach the 100 race mark, a feat previously achieved by Notid at Huntingdon in 2014.

Watch NOBLE ATHLETE (Dorwan Du Cayrou x Noble Dame) win the Totesport supports UK Arabian Racing Bronze Final (0-50) Handicap Stakes over 1m2f at Chelmsford City on September 16
The Owen team were back in the winners enclosure in the Silver Final, run over the reduced trip of a mile for 2018. This time it as a win for multiple ARO champion jockey Simon Walker and another HH Sheikh Hamdan homebred in Muhaajer, who travelled strongly throughout and won eased down to win by over three lengths.

Owen said: "Nice to win with Muhaajer as he's been knocking on the door in maidens and probably just got into his grade and won."

Watch MUAHAAJER (Madjani x Mahra) win the Totesport leads the future for Arabian Racing Silver Final (0-65) Handciap Stakes over 1m at Chelmsford City on September 16
It was a quick turn-around for Owen and Walker as Delishess ran out a ready winner in the Gold Final, and was value for more than the length and three quarters that separated her from Thamaraat in second. The globe trotting filly had won well at the track on her return to the UK in April, though this was a more competitive affair.

I'm really pleased with her, she won well here in April and went up in the handicap, which she should have done and she proved that today. She got lost at Newbury on DIAR on the soft ground and the five furlongs there was too sharp for her last time. I think she likes the All Weather. We want to get her in foal next year, so I'm keen to run her again if we can, so whether she goes to Lingfield for the 1m4f race or maybe to Mons, in Belgium, there's nice race out there at the end of October that might just suit her."
Watch DELISHESS (Dahess x Polish Rye) win the RaceTechthe technical partner of choice for UK racing Gold Final (0-75) Handicap Stakes 1m2f at Chelmsford City on September 16
Unfortunately after the finish of the Gold Final, as the runners were pulling up, Ria Tillett was thrown from Ashjaan and taken to hospital having sustained a fracture to her ankle which will put her on the sidelines. This also meant a half hour delay until the paramedics services returned to the track before racing recommenced with another new race, the Platinum Final over 1m2f.

This produced the finish of the day with Saleemah, Al Kaaser and Hau Kola spread across the track for a three-way photo. Saleemah and Will Pettis just snatched victory by a head from Al Kaaser, with the favourite Hau Kola, three quarters of a length behind in third.

Trainer Phil Collington was full of praise for his filly saying: "She's so tough this mare, she's possibly a bit unlucky not to have won all her starts this year. Her preparation was held up at the beginning of the season, so we started later than we would have liked and this will be her last race of the season. She likes it here and she loves the surface."

SALEEMAH (Madjani x Laqataat) win the Totesport the pulse of UK Arabian Racing Platinum Final (0-90) Handicap 1m2f at Chelmsford City on September 16
There will be no rest for the Collington and Owen teams as both have runners in the Emirates Breeders Program race over 2100m at Ghlin in Belgium today. Owen runs the popular Emiraaty, whilst Collington fields both Mith'haf Athbah and Medhaaf Athbah, for whom this will be a prep race for the Qatar Arabian World Cup at Longchamp next month.

Also present at Chelmsford City was Shadwell Stud Assistant Director James O'Donnell who was delighted for the team having witnessed Shadwell runners fill the first three home in the Open Maiden and the Fillies and Mares Conditions races, as well as the winner of the Silver Final and first two home in the Platinum Final. He commented: “ It was very exciting, we've had a very good year, the younger horses have been running particularly well for both James and Phil. It's fantastic at this stage of the season to see these nice three-year-olds coming out and we'll put them away and come back fighting next year.

"We've had a very good year, with of course the star being Muraaqib, who is a homebred too. He's been such a prolific and consistent performer who will be an attractive proposition as a stallion. All our stallions have done very well and we've got the first foals of Handassa to look forward to next year, so it's obviously a very exciting time for us. We are also delighted for His Highness Sheikh Hamdan to secure another ARO owners' title too, as he does so much to support Arabian racing in the UK."
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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

FARHAA (2015 Al Saoudi x Maiziane) with James O'Donnell, Joanna Mason, Lucinda Peck and James Owen at Chelmsford City