EMIRATI RIDER Maitha Mohammed Al Qubaisi landed her first big career prize with a consistent performance in the Sheikha Fatma bint Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Ladies Endurance Cup at Emirates International Endurance Village at Al Wathba last Friday. The following day, Abdullah Al Jahoori clinched success in the Sheikh Mansoor bin Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Private Owners Cup aboard Al Hazim 4 Stables’ Cha Shaham.
Al Qubaisi had done well in the CEN 160km HH The President of the UAE Endurance Cup on 13 February when finishing a close third at this same venue. But she made sure she topped the podium this time around with a fine ride aboard Chapal Nabuka. The pair seemed to go effortlessly through the four phase 100km ride as they progressed up the leaderboard and cranked things up several notches in the final loop to win with a time of 3 hours 24 minutes and 32 seconds.
The pair posted an average speed of 29.33kph over the four loops, with the Argentinian-bred 12yo obliging all along. British rider Sandra Al Risheq on Al Reef Ajban Stables’ SM Lord L’Ebrio was fastest over the first loop spanning 35km. The pair managed to hold on to their advantage over the course of the second loop over 25km with Al Qubaisi tagging along closely whilst moving up the rung.
She climbed from 15th to 13th overall, reducing the deficit from :2.02 to :1.00. Al Risheq and her 11yo gelded companion dropped out of contention during the course of the third loop over 20km on account of lowering their riding speed, which allowed her fellow British compatriot and F3 Stables rider Kitty Frances to take over at the summit.
Frances was 11th and then tenth over the first two loops, and had done well to move to the top, but with just .28secs between her and second placed Afnan Ibrahim Moosa the pressure was very much on. Al Qubaisi, meanwhile, had moved up a further two spots and was 11th going into the final loop, which, like the penultimate loop, was also run over a 20km trip.
She was .56secs behind Frances, but with a partner that had plenty left in the tank she was able to turn up the heat and flew through the final phase at 34.85kph, which was over seven kilometres quicker than the 27.75kph she rode over the preceding loop. That change of pace proved more than enough for Al Qubaisi, who had placed 11th in this race year, as she claimed victory by four seconds from her Emirati counterpart Sharina Ahmad Al Falasi, who finished second on the back of the Al Maghaweer 3 Stables-owned Cerafino.
Timed at 3:24.36, Al Falasi did well to move up from 21st to eighth and fifth before sliding into the runner-up spot, while Moosa completed an all Emirati podium as she finished with a time of 3:24.43 aboard Baraka Elegido, a 15yo also owned by Al Maghaweer 3. The Sheikh Mansoor bin Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Private Owners Cup was also run over a 100km trip and saw Abdulla Ali Al Jahoori and his partner Cha Shaham dominate from start to finish.
The pair went to the top of the leaderboard after the first loop and held on comfortably to win with a time of 3:24.47 which came by maintaining an average speed of 29.87kph. Owned by Al Hazim 4 Stables, Cha Shaham turned out to be the perfect companion for Al Jahoori who won the Open Class at last month’s CEN 120km Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival at the same venue.
Al Jahoori has been doing really well this season and was second in the CEN 100km Al Wathba Cup for Private Owners and then placed third in the CENJYR 120km Sheikh Zayed bin Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Junior and Young Riders Endurance Cup, the two events that followed his January success.
Al Jahoori went into this event fresh from an eighth place finish in the CEN 160km HH The President of the UAE Endurance Cup on 13 February. Finishing second behind Al Jahoori here was his Emirati countrywoman Layla Abdulaziz Al Redha, who rode the Ahmad Al Suwaidi-owned and trained Cha Eclipse home in a time of 3:25.19, while third place on the podium was scooped by another Emirati rider in Abdulla Ghanim Al Marri, who clocked 3:26.56 on the back of Zabeel 2 Stables’ Eo Eakassah Anik.