x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

A hat-trick for Baloushi brothers

Another win and another trophy in the family cabinet. The Al Reef Stables and the Baloushi brothers were celebrating three wins out of three.

ABU DHABI // Another win and another trophy in the family cabinet. The Al Reef Stables and the Baloushi brothers were celebrating three out of three after winning yesterday's 100-kilometre race at the Boudthib Endurance Village. First it was Munthar al Baloushi, 20, who won last month's curtain raiser event over the course and distance.

His younger brother Rashed, 14, then completed the Abu Dhabi stable's hat-trick of victories yesterday in the second race for the junior and young riders. In-between, Omair had clinched the Sorouh Open Challenge, an FEI 120km ride at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba last week. The two brothers, Rashed and Munthar, crossed the finish line together yesterday with Abdulla Rashid al Naqbi on the 11-year-old grey mare Blue Bonnet more than three minutes behind in third.

And for Yousef al Baloushi, the trainer and elder brother of the winning riders, it didn't matter who crossed the finish line first. "Both our horses did not face any challenges so they did not have to make a race between them, and whoever won has won for the stable," he said. "From the onset we were confident we had a good chance to win this race. And it turned out to be a battle between our two horses.

"I didn't give them any specific instructions except to keep going from start to the finish." The winning horse, Rivendell Sharman, a 14-year-old Arabian gelding with Rashed on board, was running for the first time this season after winning a race at the Al Asayel Endurance Village and the King's Cup in Bahrain for the junior and young riders. Rashed crossed the finish line in over three hours, 47 minutes with Munthar second on the 11-year-old part-Arab gelding Carallio.

Munthar rode the same horse to win the opening race earlier in the month, and the trainer Yousef said the two runs over 100km was to get him fit for the National Day Cup on Dec 13. "Carallio had won twice when an injury had ruled him out for two years," said Yousef. "He's come back strongly with two big runs and now goes straight for the National Day Cup." Layla Abdul Aziz al Redha rode Foxtrot 40 to claim her third victory in the 100km national ride for the privately-owned horses, a race run simultaneously with the main race for the junior and young riders.

The winner completed the trip in over four hours, 34 minutes to win from Mohammed Iqbal Khan on Fantasio d Altus for Saeed Mohammed al Kamda and Zafar Nawaz Shah on the Al Ain Endurance Stable's Tormenta 2. apassela@thenational.ae