ABU DHABI // Iqbal Khan, an Indian work rider for the Dubai Endurance Stables, heads into today's third and final day of the 240km Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Cup with more than a 20-minute lead over his nearest challenger Thani Mohammed al Muhairi.
The chasing pack are closely grouped with less than a minute separating the second and the eighth-placed riders when they go into the final 80km leg of the race at the Bouthdib Endurance Village in Al Khatem.
Khan, on board Brookleigh Junior, an 11-year-old gelding, covered the first two legs of the race over 160km in 6hrs 26mins 2secs.
Al Muhairi, on Akaasha Sensasion for the Seih Al Salam Stables, was in second ahead of Ahmed Mohammed al Subosi astride Neo Matin.
Omair Hussain al Baloushi, who won the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup, a 160km race on O-Jay in January, was well-placed in eighth. The Al Reef Stables rider is on the same horse less than a minute behind al Muhairi in eighth spot.
In the two other races worked off simultaneously in yesterday's second day of the Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Endurance Festival, Saif Mubarak al Khaili on Highland Trooper won the 100km race for the private owners and stables. Dana al Mutawa bagged the 80km ladies race on Ramlea Captain Starlight.