ATRIPLE celebration ensued at Royal Windsor Racecourse late June as Falcon Du Roc’h’s success in the Wathba Stallions Cup simultaneously provided jockey Cameron Iles and new owners Stride Ahead Racing their first ever wins.
The 6yo Tidarbet gelding won the 1m2f turf contest by half a length for trainer Nikki Malcolm, with James Owen saddling the next two home. Finishing second was James Owen Racing Club’s Serafim Forta, with his other runner Run The Risk, owned by Sue Herrod, a further two and three-quarters of a length away in third. Falcon Du Roc’h won with a time of 2:27.95.
The handicap was the most valuable race of its grade held by the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) this season and the third of five Wathba Stallions Cup series of races in the UK. The series is part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival.
Winning rider Iles said: “It’s great to get my first ever winner. I was apprenticed to David Elsworth, but I struggled with my weight and took out my amateur licence. Ideally, I wanted to be handier in the race, but he jumped and settled straight away, so I left him alone until we came off the bend. He was travelling nicely and he kept on well to the line.”
Winning trainer Malcolm added: “He made it look quite easy, which it really isn’t! We acquired him in early March, and we sidestepped two races he was eligible for as we felt he needed more time. “We gave him every chance, giving him lots of strengthening and conditioning work, before we stepped up the pace with him at home.
We were really confident he would be fit today and he’s proven that.” ARO commercial and finance director Genny Haynes said: “ARO congratulates Cameron, Nikki and her partner Nathan Sweeney and also Nicki Thorne who bred Falcon Du Roc’h and still has his sire Tidarbret.
Though Nicki has trained for other owners, it’s great to see new colours gain success at the first attempt and we wish Stride Ahead Racing every success for the rest of the season. “We also thank the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival for their continued support of our racing. It was a pleasure to return to Royal Windsor and we also thank them for their assistance in hosting this race.”
Vrom Kossack wins Belgian leg for Wolters and Batist
Meanwhile, at Waregem in Belgium, trainer CJM Wolters and rider Angelina Batist combined to land the Wathba Stallions Cup IV. Riding Vrom Kossack, a 7yo Murhib colt owned and trained by Wolters, Batist swept the opposition away to win the 1600m contest by a massive three and a half lengths in a winning time of 1:47.52. Kazzan DA placed second for trainer Johan Verstrepen and rider Stefaan Francois, while the Peter Deckers-trained and Doha P was a further neck back in third under Kobe Vanderbeke.
The Wathba Stallions Cup series aims to promote the breeders of Arabian racehorses, and is supported by Wathba Stallions, the breeding arm in the UAE and France, of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs, who is also chairman of the Emirates Arabian Horse Association.