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Ajtebi rides Areem to historic win

Hisham Al Gizouli / 10 December 2012

Ahmed Ajtebi, became the first UAE jockey to win the Purebred Arabians National Day Cup Group-1 in the silks of a local owner Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs, for a local trainer Majid Al Jahouri when the brilliant rider powered Areem to victory in the first Group-1 event of the season at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday night.

 “A lovely emotional moment,” said Ajtebi later. “I would like to thank Shaikh Mansour for availing me the opportunity to win the National Day Cup Group-1,” he said.

“I rode Areem when he won a Prestige race last time out. He’s still green and there’s much more to come from him,” he added.

Ahmed Ajtebi celebrates his win astride Areem and (below) Derbaas on way to winning race 3 at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. — KT photos by Nezar Balout

Trainer Majid Al Jahouri noted that Areem is a difficult horse to train and for this reason they don’t work too much with him.

“He’s very tough animal and whenever we send him for a ride he will keep running. Areem is a kind of a horse who is unstoppable,” he said.

“We will refer the matter to Shaikh Mansour to find out whether he will go for the President Cup, Al Maktoum Challenge en route to Dubai Kahayla Clasic Group-1 on the Dubai World Cup night or otherwise,” he concluded.


In the Thoroughbreds edition of the National Day Cup Listed, ruthless Derbaas, ridden by Dan O’Neill, smashed easily a quality field of 12 riders, to win by more than four lengths before being eased close home.

“It was an easy ride,” O’Neill Said later. “Derbaas is in his best form and he has improved over recent form and could even go better throughout the season,” he said.

The same opinion was shared by trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe who trains the winner on behalf of Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the Grand Stand Stables in Dubai.

“He did nothing wrong and won hands and heels as you have seen. We need to know how will come out of the race and wait for the directives of Shaikh Hamdan as to what would be the next target, but most probably he may return to Abu Dhaabi in the President Cup. It’s evident that he relished the track and hopefully would be able to reproduce the same performance at Meydan during the Carnival,” he said.

Al Reef’s Stables handler, Dr. Jaber Bittar saddled 1-2 in the opener, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Conditions Race, a Purebred Arabians event contested over a mile.

Tadgh O’Shea, riding Lahaan, set a fast pace as the nine contenders left the machines, but he went out of gas in the concluding stages and easily caught by Al Reef Stables pair close home. Monawer, ridden by Jesus Rosales, prevailed by a neck over stable companion Sabbaq in the hands of Patrick Cosgrave.

The second race, a 1600m Purebred Arabians Ras Al Akhdar Maiden Race, was won by Laahaq under Carlos Sanchez in the silks of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Trained by Majid Al Jahouri, the five-year-old Dormane horse lived up to his name and piped front runner Munsef on the line strides after the mount of Dane O’Neill got tired in the dying strides.

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