SOUND TACTICS and solid determination enabled F3 Stables rider Abdulla Ghanim Al Marri clinch victory in the Seeh Al Salam Endurance Challenge by fractions of a second from teammate Saeed Ahmad Al Harbi. Riding Tim Ami, owned by F3 Stables, Al Marri clocked 4 hours 26 minutes and 24 seconds over the 120km four phase ride at Dubai International Endurance City.
It was a time replicated by teammate Al Harbi aboard Vandal du Bessey. But after the fractions were taken into consideration, it was evident that Al Marri was quicker by the tiniest of margins. He rode his 14yo bay gelding over the course at an average speed of 27.03kph, and was inseparable from Al Harbi even on that piece of stat. Al Marri started the event with the 19th best time behind pace setting Sri Lankan rider Dhusiyanthan Panneer Selvam aboard Al Bawadi Stables’ Balkan Kazan.
Though 19th, he was still just a :1.54 behind at the end of the 40km loop. As the tactics came into play, Al Marri did better over the second phase over 35km, moving up five spots to 14th, but dropping further back in terms of time.
Selvam, meanwhile, vacated the summit handing the advantage to Al Aasfa Endurance Stables’ Niroshan Periyalagan on Delirio Su. Periyalagan was 16th at the end of the first phase and went on to dominate the 25km third phase too with minor tweaks compared to the other riders giving him the lead to defend going into the fourth and final loop over 20km.
Al Marri had moved up to sixth, but trailed the leader by :4.32. He might have known he could take his chances aboard Tim Ami, who had plenty left in the tank. And on popping the question, Tim Ami delivered the goods in style increasing his running speed from 24.32kph previously to 33.3kph, which brought him just ahead of the rest and level with teammate Al Harbi, who had done well to work his way from 20th to ninth and third before he was adjudicated runner-up by the tiniest of margins.
Finishing third was Argentina’s Julia Spelanzon on the back of M7 Endurance Stables owned Akram de Flauzins; the pair finishing .17s of the F3 pair with a time of 4:26.41. Spelanzon too did well to work her way up from 23rd to 15th and fourth before taking third.
The Al Wasl Endurance Cup for Private Stables, held two days prior at the same venue and over the same distance, saw Mansour Saeed Mohammed Al Faresi, representing SS-2 Stables claim victory aboard Samed.
The pair posted an average speed of 27.08kph over the 120km ride and were clocked at 4:25.51. Al Faresi and his 12yo gelded partner were 19th at the end of the first phase over 40km, but were a model of consistency as they made steady progress up the rung to reach ninth and then fourth going into the final loop.
Racing through the final loop over 20km the pair snatched a sensational victory from SS-2 Stables teammates Saeed Mohammed Al Mehairi on RB Inferno. Al Mehairi was the leader going into the final loop, but would finish third behind Luba Leoni of Uruguay, who represented Al Kamda Endurance Stables.
Riding SM FA Juanita Leoni started with second, dropped to 10th but fought back to reach third and later finish the runner-up. Her time of 4:28.33 was :2.42 slower than Al Faresi, with third placed Al Mehairi clocking 4:35.21.