Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 October 2019

Al Naboodah's dominant night with five Purebred Arabian wins in Abu Dhabi

The businessman proud of his successful evening's work with AF Saab wins the Colts Classic

AF Saab, ridden by Jim Crowley, prevails in the Abu Dhabi Colts Classic. Khushnum Bhandari for The National
AF Saab, ridden by Jim Crowley, prevails in the Abu Dhabi Colts Classic. Khushnum Bhandari for The National

It was a perfect five for Khalid Khalifa Al Naboodah’s breeding operation on Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

The horses bred by the Emirati businessman scooped all five prizes that were on offer for the Purebred Arabians, including both the Emirates Fillies and Colts Classic.

The Colts Classic winner AF Saab won in the silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid but the remaining four were in the Al Naboodah colours and trained by Ernst Oertel.

“It only goes to prove we can breed good horses locally,” said Al Naboodah.

AF Saab carried the Al Naboodah silks when winning the Abu Dhabi Colts Classic on December 16 before purchased by Sheikh Hamdan and moved to the Oasis Stables of Musabah Al Muhairi.

“It’s an honour to see horses bred by me being successful in the silks of Sheikh Hamdan,” added Al Naboodah.

“This is the joy of breeding good horses and it’s even better when a horse from my breeding operation successful for another owner.”

Oertel’s four winners on the night took his tally to 36, seven clear of Satish Seemar in the UAE trainer’s championship.

Tadhg O’Shea was on board three of them. He moved to the top of the UAE jockey’s title race on 35, two more than his nearest challenger Richard Mullen.

Meanwhile, the Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Global Arabian Flat Horseracing Festival announced 124 races for the 2019/2020 season, an increase of 24 from last season.

The highlight of the series is the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup and the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship.

The Sheikh Zayed Cup and the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak series gets underway at the Sam Houston Park, Texas, in the United States on March 9 and conclude with the final races in Abu Dhabi on November 24.

“The grand finales were usually slated for the opening or second race meeting in Abu Dhabi but it has now been rescheduled three weeks after the start of the UAE season on the request of local trainers and owners,” said Lara Sawaya, chairperson of the Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Global Flat Horseracing Festival.

According to Al Naboodah staging the final race of the series at the beginning of the season leaves the local horses with a clear disadvantage.

“In the case of the overseas horses they arrive at their peak forms after racing for most of the summer in other parts of the world,” said Al Naboodah.

“The Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown is a very prestigious and the world’s richest race (Dh 5million) in the world for the Purebred Arabians. It would be unfair to have it run at the beginning of the UAE season as our horses will not be prepared for the challenges.”

Updated: February 17, 2019 09:46 PM

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