Fortune favours the brave. A shining example of that age old maxim played out during the course of the Emirates International Endurance Village Cup at Al Wathba in Abu Dhabi where due to his own doing and with a little bit of help from the stars, Sheikh Hamed Dalmook Al Maktoum and his ride Tsika La Majorie claimed a fine victory. Sheikh Hamed forced his own luck as he took victory in the CEN 120km event at the Emirates International Endurance Village flying the flag aboard the Mohammed Ahmad Ali Al Subositrained 12yo gelding owned by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s M7 Endurance Stables.
It was anything but easy for Sheikh Hamed, who had to work his way up from 26th after the first of four loops, but ended up posting the winning time of 4 hours 20 minutes and 25 seconds having ridden Tsika La Majorie at an average speed of 27.64kph during the course of the event. In second place was Yemeni rider Sultan Aref Mohsen, who rode Al Wathba Stables’ EO Rayya across the finish in a time of 4:25:48. Securing third was another M7 Stables rider Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum, who covered the 120km race in a time of 4:29:08. A total of 167 started the race with only 52 riders deemed to have finished the ride which had been broken down into four loops of 40, 35, 25 and 20km each.
And just as Sheikh Hamed would have considered himself lucky, F3 Stables’ Hamdan Ahmed Mohammed Al Marri would have rued his own fortune where he was forced to sit and helplessly watch the race slip out of his hands after he had ruled the leaderboard for the first three loops. Al Marri and his mount Castlebar Topgear appeared in imperious form as they took the summit after the first loop spanning 40km with a time of 1:23:42. Indian rider Hukam Singh aboard Al Ajial 2 Stables’ Mali La Sauline was second at this stage, with Sheikh Hamed nearly eight minutes behind in 26th place. Al Marri continued to lead through the second and third phases even as Sheikh Hamed climbed up to fifth and then third with Dubawi Stables’ Mohammed Ahmed Al Mazrooei on Anton El Sihawan and M7 Endurance Stables’ Saeed Al Khayari on Al Sail filling in at second after phases two and three respectively.
Going into the fourth and final phase over 20km, Al Marri had a 3m5s lead from third placed Sheikh Hamed, but what he lacked was a horse that could be pushed and it showed as Al Marri was forced to pull his foot off the gas and let Castlebar Topgear run at a speed that was over six kph slower than over the previous loop. On the other hand, Sheikh Hamed picked up the pace aboard Tsika La Majorie and stormed forward comfortably to win by 5m23s from Mohsen, who had worked his way up from 13th to ninth to fifth over the first three loops. Third placed Sheikh Rashid was placed sixth after the first two loops and then moved into fourth, while two other Emirati riders moved upwards to complete the top five placings.
Saif Ahmed Mohammed Al Mazrouei and Mansour Saeed Mohammed Al Faresi both riding for MRM Stables occupied fourth and fifth respectively. While Al Mazrouei clocked a time of 4:31:47 aboard Razorback Mechano, Al Faresi was a further second adrift on Gheerulla Lamborghini. Winning trainer Al Subosi said: “It was a tough race with a lot of competition from riders from around the world and there were some fine horses too which made it a race where you had to be on top of your game. “This victory is compensation for our defeat in the Seeh Al Salam Endurance race at Dubai International Endurance City last week.”