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Al Junaibi lands Gamilati Cup for Mares in style aboard EO Raghd

04/01/2018
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AWELL PLANNED ride aboard EO Raghd saw the calculative Rashed Hamoud Humaid Al Junaibi turn up a comfortable winner of the Gamilati Cup for Mares at Dubai International Endurance City in Seih Al Salam on Saturday. Riding for the Al Wathba Stables of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Al Junaibi started off well and gathered winning momentum in the first half of the ride itself, which set him up for the top honour on the podium quite comfortably.

Riding the 10yo grey mare EO Raghd at an average speed of 26.84kph, Al Junaibi completed the ride in 4 hours 28 minutes and 15 seconds to finish a minute and nine seconds ahead of his second placed Emirati countrywoman Fatma Jassem Saeed Al Marri, who recorded a time of 4:29:24 aboard Jericho Francis of Dubawi Stables. In third place was Argentina’s lady rider Milena Mendez, who was a further three minutes adrift on the back of Al Reef Ajban Stables’ Flor Del Caribe. Mendez’s timing was 4:32:25.

In fourth and fifth were Emirati riders Ali Mohammed Ali Al Hosani and Salim Said Al Owaisi, the latter slipping after starting the final phase in second. Al Hosani was close on the heels of Mendez, finishing 26 seconds behind on 4:32:51, while Al Owais was a further 18 seconds behind at 4:33:09. The CEN 120km race was held as part of the HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Festival and attracted a starting field of 199, with Al Junaibi and EO Raghd at the helm of the 79 pairs that finished. A total of 120 riders were eliminated during the course of the event, which saw Al Junaibi post the sixth best time at the end of the first phase that ran over 40km.

Indian rider Sumer Singh of Al Ajial Stables aboard Nakatal led after the first phase with a time 1:20:49. At that point Al Junaibi was a good nine minutes and 20 seconds behind. Singh and Nakatal failed to complete the second phase spanning 35km and were duly eliminated. Eissa Mohammed Humaid Al Qubaisi riding Rabdan Endurance Stables’ Che Chiva took over the leaderboard at the end of the second phase but despite dropping one place to seventh, Al Junaibi had managed to cut his deficit with the leader to two minutes and 12 seconds. He dropped his riding speed in the 27km third phase, perhaps hoping to get the most out of EO Raghd in the fourth and final phase of 18km.

However, despite reducing his speed, he strangely turned up with the lead, which he then did not let go of until the end. Emirati lady rider Al Marri did well all along and made consistent progress, moving up from 25th to 14th and then into fifth before unseating Al Owaisi from the runner-up spot. Meanwhile, third placed Mendez had worked her way up from 17th to 11th to third. Al Junaibi said: “I thank HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his support and sponsorship of the festival and for his continuous presence at the races. I would also like to congratulate HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the great achievement we have had at this year’s Gamilati Cup and we hope for more victories for Al Wathba Stables in the future.”

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