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Sheikh Hamdan triumphs in endurance series opener

The Crown Prince of Dubai won the opening round of the Giants endurance series, a CEI two-star race over 120km, at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai, won the opening round of the Giants endurance series, a CEI two-star race over 120km, at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba yesterday.

Sheikh Hamdan, a member of the UAE's gold medal-winning endurance team at the World Equestrian Games in the US in September, rode Naif, a nine-year-old gelding, to victory in over 4hrs 33mins.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, came from far behind to take third place on Dourmane.

Rashid Ali, an Indian rider for the Al Aasfa Stables in Dubai, was second on Kumait.

Sultan Ahmed al Baloushi of the Al Reef Stables retained the National Day Cup, the main race, for a purse of Dh300,000 and a vehicle, also run over 120km.

Al Baloushi crossed the finish line in little over 4hrs 18mins on Trajano, an 11-year-old grey gelding.

He won the title last year on Elphyn Silvermoon.

Ahmed Mohammed al Subosi, on Madji Du Pont, was just under two minutes behind in second place for Emirates Stables.

Yahya Sughayer Ajtebi, on Betshouf, was third for the Al Aasfa Endurance Team.

Sheikh Hamdan had entered in the National Day Cup but switched to the Giants series, which is for riders with a body weight of 75kg and over.

Bahrain's challenge ended early in the race as Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Sheikh Khalid, his younger brother, both were eliminated as their horses, Statesman Of Chevoux and Al Truk, went lame at the end of the third and second loops, respectively.

apassela@thenational.ae

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