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Sheikh Hamdan retains ARO Champion Owner accolade


Owner Sheikh Hamdan and trainer James Owen further strengthened their places at the top of the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) Championship tables, with three winners at the annual Sultanate of Oman raceday at Royal Windsor late last month. With wins for Munbaher and Awzaan, they also helped lady amateur Joanna Mason increase her lead over Ladies’ Championship rival, Ellie Mackenzie, with a double. In addition, Al Faaris who won the opener, a 1m2f maiden, formed the first leg of a notable double for multiple Champion Amateur Simon Walker, who rushed from the winner’s circle at Windsor to fill the same spot at Epsom, where he won the Gentleman Amateurs’ Derby, riding under rules on C’est No Mour, just two and a half hours later.

Clearly thrilled with his team’s performance, Owen said: “It’s been a great day. It’s great for Al Faaris to get his head in front at last, as he’s been running well in the premier handicaps.. “Munbaher, who won the 6f handicap, was able to take advantage of his lower mark on the grass. He’s a trier and we love him. and I am delighted with Awzaan; it’s great to get another win from him.” ARO racing operations executive Gemma Cobb commented: “We are delighted for the Royal Cavalry of Oman, as this raceday is their season’s highlight, and the crowd of over 2000 made the most of the opportunity to sample the culture of the Sultanate of Oman in their traditional hospitality tent and to have their hands decorated by the henna artists.

“It has been a great day for James Owen and his team, and a special day for Simon Walker, to go on from his win here to win at Epsom.” The action moved to Chelmsford last week and Sheikh Hamdan again celebrated a treble, on this occasion along with trainer Philip Collington. The three winners in blue and white were enough to confirm a 16th ARO Champion Owner’s title for Sheikh Hamdan who is also their patron. His winners were Alwaleed and Saleemah, trained by Collington, as well as Al Kaaser, handled by James Owen. Collington completed his first hat-trick of the season when Hau Kola provided him a third win. Jockeys Will Pettis and Charlie Price enjoyed doubles apiece, the former winning with Alwaleed and Saleemah and the latter with Hau Kola and Kayclaire.

The owner’s title was not the only one wrapped up at Chelmsford with James Owen confirmed as Champion Trainer for a second time at what was the ARO’s last Wathba Stallions fixture of 2017. The very final meeting of the whole season, last Saturday, was at Huntingdon and Owen was in dominant form, saddling four of the eight winners, two for Sheikh Hamdan. The duo, Tatbeeq and Mahaasen, were both partnered by Joanna Mason, herself confirmed as the ARO’s Champion Lady Jockey. Sheikh Hamdan’s colours were also carried to victory by Charlie Jordan Price aboard Almareekh, trained by Collington.

Shadwell Stud Director Richard Lancaster said: “It is wonderful that HH Sheikh Hamdan has once again become leading owner. He is passionate about the Arabian horse and he puts so much into promoting Arabian racing around the world. On behalf of HH Sheikh Hamdan I would like to thank everyone involved in making this achievement possible once more. HH Sheikh Hamdan would also like to thank the ARO and everyone involved in arranging the race programme for all their hard work.” Walker enjoyed a double but it was not enough to overhaul David Turner at the top of the jockeys’ championship., while Ellie Mackenzie was Champion Novice Jockey.

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07 Aug 2018
Issue Number: Issue 647
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