ENJAZ STABLES asserted themselves on the CEN 100km Al Wathba Cup for Private Owners ride at Al Wathba after Layla Abdul Aziz Al Redha led home a 1-2 edging teammate Massa Tonbakji by 17 seconds. Al Redha had placed eighth in the CEN 100km Private Owners ride at the HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Festival the previous week, but she made no mistake here and rode perfectly keeping close to the summit and dominating the last two of the four stages. Riding Maver Mistral, owned by Mohammed Saeed Al Neyadi, Al Redha completed the event in a time of 3 hours 34 minutes and 18 seconds, having gone about her business aboard the 10yo mare at an average speed of 27.99kph.
Al Redha had last won a CEI 1* 80km event at the Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival in February last year. On the other hand, Tonbakji took second on the podium for a second straight event in what is turning out to be a good 2020, a year she started by winning the CEN 100km Ladies Ride at the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival on 9 January. She followed that with an 11th place finish in the Private Owners ride and then took second in the feature event of the festival and now has another runner-up finish to show after her ride aboard the Al Neyadi-owned IFO Shakjadaki. Tonbakji and her 8yo mount completed the ride in a time of 3:35:35, having covered the distance at an average speed of 27.83kph.
In third place aboard the Ali Hussain Al Blooshi-trained and owned Beer Street Wicca Moon was Saeed Ali Al Sabousi, the pair clocking a time of 3:37:01 after riding at an average speed of 27.64kph. Al Jaber Stables’ Ahmed Yousef Al Bloushi led after the 40km first phase aboard Jon De Le Patrol, with Al Redha 34secs adrift in third. The lead changed hands during the course of the second phase over 25km with Saeed Salem Al Muhairi taking over aboard SS Private Stables’ Al Muhalhal. The change at the summit allowed Al Redha to cut the deficit to the top by half to 17secs, and even though she remained rooted in third, she knew she was very much in the running to take over. And the Emirati rider did just that over the course of the 19km third loop as she took advantage of her male compatriot’s elimination due to an irregular gait to move into top place.
Going into the final 16km loop, Al Redha was 31secs ahead of second placed Spaniard Julia Batalla, who would eventually finish seventh as a whole group of riders picked up speed during the final stage. Tonbakji moved into second from fourth, having started the race in sixth, while Al Sabousi did extremely well to work his way to third climbing all the way as he went from 30th to 14th to seventh over the course of the first three loops. In fourth and fifth place were Emiratis Maitha Obaid Al Kaabi and Buthania Al Redha respectively. Riding Chevrolet R M for Al Kamda Endurance Stables, Al Kaabi was timed at 3:38:04, while Buthania, who represented Ekhal Private Endurance Stables’, was clocked at 3:39:28 aboard Longrein Dude.