Riding with unwavering consistency to a plan devised by his coach helped Mohammad Ahmed Ghanem Al Marri to stage a fine victory for F3 Stables in the Emirates International Endurance Village Cup at Al Wathba. Al Marri stuck to what had been decided by Ali Al Marri, the trainer of his 8yo chestnut Anglo Arab mount Castlebar Topgear and together they completed the FEI CEI** 120km four phase ride at the Emirates International Endurance Village in a time of 4 hours 17 minutes and 47 seconds. “It was our plan to keep calm from the start but at the same time not lose track of the top and we were able to ride comfortably despite it being a tough, competitive event,” Mohammad Al Marri said. “I did exactly as I was asked to do, Castlebar Topgear responded very well and I managed to lead him until we finished as winners.”
A total of 190 riders started the event but just 47 deemed passed at the end. However, it turned out to be a rather stress free event for Mohammad Al Marri, who was placed fifth at the end of the 40km first phase over which his F3 Stables teammate Abdulla Al Marri posted the fastest time aboard Ainhoa Dorwan. He moved up one place at the end of the second loop over 35km where the lead passed on to Jumeirah Stables' rider Khalaf Ahmad Saeed Al Ghaith aboard Castlebar Gigolo. Mohammad Al Marri was able to take control of the race in the third phase over 25km despite reducing his riding speed. Thereafter it was just a matter of him holding on to the lead and he stepped up a few gears over the final 20km loop as Castlebar Topgear launched himself forward to record a time that was 44 seconds better than second placed Salem Hamad Saeed Al Kitbi, who rode M7 Endurance Stables’ Langasem Kwarter Bloom home in 4:18:31.
In third place with a time of 4:29:10 was Ahmed Ali Hassan Al Marzooqi aboard Hadaybit Asalem 2 Endurance Stables’ Girilambone Amahl, while Rashed Theyab Ghanim Al Mazrooei of M7 2 Endurance Stables was fourth on the back of Shamann De Bodraden with a time of 4:35:10. Finishing fifth was another Emirati rider, Mohammed Juma Al Muhairi who clocked 4:35:25 aboard Dubawi Stable 2’s Bobang Al Andalus. Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, the director general of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, and Lara Sawaya, the executive director of the Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, were in attendancec and at the presentation ceremony.