THERE IS no substitute for teamwork in the realm of sport and endurance riding in particular needs partnerships that are both efficient and effective. Add to that a fair degree of consistency and the odds naturally stack up in your favour. It seems the story of Kamila Kart and Razorback Mechano, whose partnership has now borne fruit a third time in the form of the Ladies event of the prestigious Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup. It was Kart’s 13th career success and third gained aboard the 12yo chestnut gelding owned by MRM Stables.
Poland’s Kart claimed her last success in the 2017 CEN 100km HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Festival’s Ladies ride, when partnering Razorback Mechano, the pair following up perfectly on their victory in the 2017 Al Wathba ride for Ladies a little earlier. Razorback Mechano has been a solid performer and was recently second in the CEI 2* 120km The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup at Al Ula in Saudi Arabia last month under Saif Al Mazroei.
But on Monday at Dubai International Endurance City, it was time for him to join forces with Kart again and the pair were at their best as they forged another solid winning bond to win from the UAE’s Aya Abdulredha, who failed to defend the title she won last year aboard Utoufa De Lap. It would have been a third career success for the Emirati rider, whose only other success was achieved in the 2012 running of the CEN 90km Al Wathba Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies ride. Abdulredha lost by two seconds after Kart and Razorback Mechano completed the 120km four loop ride in a time of 4 hours 7 minutes and 39 seconds with an average speed of 28.83kph. The second placed pair of Abdulredha and Cha Al Pacino, representing F3 Stables, were clocked at 4:07:41.
In third place a further 28s adrift in 4:08:09 were M7 Stables’ pair of Mariam Adnan Al Rais and Starlite. Kart clocked the fifth best time over the 40km first phase, which saw Uruguay’s Cecilia Garcia storm to the summit on the back of M7’s Arcaos De Gion with a time of 1:23:36. Kart was 32s behind but there was more drama to follow as Garcia was eliminated after loop two as her horse returned with an irregular gait. Kart dropped six places over the 35km second loop, which saw the lead transfer to Spain’s Julia Serrabassa Batalla, on ABH Endurance’s A’Landell King, following Garcia’s exit. She was now 46s behind but untroubled by events occurring at the top, where after the third loop it turned out to be Batalla’s time to exit for the same reason that cut short Garcia’s time in the event.
M7’s Argentine rider Sabrina Magali Mendez took over the leaderboard going into the final phase on the back of Willowmere Encore with Kart moving up to sixth but further away from the lead after slowing down during the course of the 26km loop. She had a 2:20s deficit to wipe clean, but there was plenty left in Razorback Mechano’s tank and on being urged to pick up pace he ran nearly 11kph faster to bring Kart home only just ahead of Abdulredha, who was looking to win from seventh on the grid going into the final loop. Al Rais was higher placed than Kart and Abdulredha going into the final loop but finished third. Fourth place was scalped by Maitha Al Qubaisi, who rode F3 Stables’ Showman TE across the finish in a time of 4:08:10, while fifth place went to Camille Coulomb of France, winner of the CEN 120km HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup for Ladies in December on Vista Du Barthas, who she rode here as well. A total of 41 rider horse pairs completed the ride with a further 83 from a field of 124 eliminated over the course of the four loops.