After nearly five barren years, Saeed Ahmad Al Shamsi finally managed to break free from the chains that had kept him from winning. The Emirati rider’s only notable career triumph had been achieved during the CEI** Young & Junior Ride at Kings Forest in the UK in July 2017.
And he had gone winless ever since. However, all that changed on Thursday at Dubai International Endurance City when he managed to steal the limelight with a dominant performance during the prestigious Jumeirah Endurance Ride.
The 120km ride was broken down into four loops and Al Shamsi was in control of proceedings from start to finish, holding sway throughout on the back of his 8yo partner Asayel, a chestnut mare trained by Mohammed Ahmed Al Subose for owners M7 Endurance Stables.
Al Shamsi was terrific during the course of the four loops and he and his partner went about their business at an average speed of 28.06kph and were timed at four hours 16 minutes and 38 seconds, which was 38s quicker than the 4:17:16 clocked by the seasoned Abdulla Ghanim Al Marri on the back of Jumeirah Stables’ Valinor Park Gadras.
Finishing third was another Emirati rider in Hamdan Ahmad Al Marri, who rode 765 Sargon for F3-1 Stables and clocked an identical 4:17:16, but was relegated to third on the basis of being fractions of a second behind Abdulla.
Al Shamsi started the day with a partner who was last seen winning the CEI** 120km Al Ain Endurance Ride at Bouthib on 12 November under Argentine rider Karen Gomez. And the 8yo showed she had kept her winning form intact as she carried Al Shamsi to the summit without much fuss and obliged unhesitatingly during the course of the ride, even as lower down the leaderboard things started to change dramatically, with Abdulla Al Marri fighting to finish the runner-up, a position he held at the end of the 40km first loop.
He and Valinor Park Gadras slid consistently over the second and third loops spanning 35km and 25km respectively, but a final surge saw them climb up the rung and finish second, fractions ahead of Hamdan Al Marri, who on the other hand moved up smoothly with each loop.
The latter was third going into the final loop over 20km and held on to his spot as he was passed by the far more experienced Abdulla Al Marri. Ali Abdulrahman Al Zarooni, riding Al Bawadi Stables’ Waterlea Celtie, took fourth with a time of 4:19:59, while Saeed Mohammed Al Mehairi completed the top five, clocking 4:26:46 on the back of the MRM Stables-owned Spectacular I Am.