Owner Khalid Khalifa Al Naboodah signed off 2018 in Abu Dhabi with a perfect 1-2-3 in the final UAE racing fixture of the year at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday, December 23, 2018.
In the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Wathba Stallions Cup For Private Owners Only race, Al Naboodah saw AF Motaghatres, trained by Ernst Oertel lead the first three home, all sporting his black and silver silks.
The 4-year old AF Motaghatres under Antonio Fresu registered his third win when finishing just a nose ahead of AF Momtaz under Ben Curtis while just a neck behind and in third place was AF Asheham under Tadhg O’Shea completing the sweep for owner Al Naboodah.
O’Shea set out to make every post a winning one and found a willing partner in AF Asheham who led until the dying strides, only to be passed by Ben Curtis and AF Momtaz, saddled by Musabbeh Al Mheiri. However, they veered towards the centre of the track where Fresu and AF Motaghatres were finishing fast before losing momentum when involved in a bump with Curtis’ mount. Fresu just had time to regain some impetus with his charge responding determinedly to lead in the final strides, denying AF Momtaz by a nose with just a neck back to AF Asheham in third.
A delighted Oertel, having watched AF Motaghatres, a 1400m Abu Dhabi maiden winner in January, score for a second time, said: “It has been a great evening and we knew we had some good chances. Mr. Al Naboodah is a pleasure to train for and has some very nice horses, which I am lucky enough to have in my care.”
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Ayadi LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort. (Inputs from ERA)