The Arabian Racing Organisation was delighted to welcome the return of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival to Newbury Racecourse, the home of Arabian Racing in the UK. The Wathba Stud Farm Cup is part of a global series of races that serves to promote and reward the breeding of Arabian racehorses worldwide.
The 2011 contest had been run as a Conditions event over a mile and attracted horses from a wide variety of UK Breeders, however for 2012 the format was amended, which brought an increase of runners and the trip was raised to 1m2f. Of the £5,000 prize fund, £1,000 was allocated to the breeder of the first horse past the post registered to a UK breeder with fewer than five active broodmares.
The official going was given as good to firm, good in places and of the 13 runners, five were eligible to reward their breeders, including Ambrose, winner of the inaugural race last year for Jane Haddock, though he looked to have more on his plate this year. It looked an ultra-competitive handicap on paper; the field was headed by three unexposed fillies trained by Gill Duffield for HH Sheikh Hamdan and only one of the remaining entrants had failed to make the frame this term.
Altesse Kossack, Cosmic Girl, Noble Athlete and Azwa were all prominent in the early stages with Azwa and Cosmic Girl still in contention at halfway. As they entered the home straight there were plenty with chances including Vedora, Nasemah and Hotfoot in the second colours of Jane Haddock.
By two furlongs out Jim Crowley had moved Vedora over to the rail and was a length clear of the pack. The Sheikh Hamdan first string, Zaaqya, who had been languishing at the rear of the field for most of the race came on the outside with a strong run under Tadhg O’Shea. However she couldn’t match the pace of Vedora, who gamely stuck her head out to repel her challenge and drew clear to win by a length and a half. Beverley Deutrom’s Sophia caught the eye as a fast finishing third under ARO graduate turned Apprentice rider, Tom Garner, with last year’s winner Ambrose in fourth.
This was a fantastic result for Verdora’s owner-breeders Jim and Jo Kippen who were delighted with their mare’s victory. She had been successful in the Athbah Gold Final at Warwick over this trip last year when trained by Gill Duffield and had run with credit on her first two starts this term. Speaking on their behalf, son-in-law Pierre Deymonaz said “It’s nice to be back in the winner’s enclosure, especially for a small owner-breeder, against such nice horses. She is a very nicely bred half sister to Bengalant, a champion sprinter who we sold to Sheikh Hamdan and we have other offspring from the dam to race. It is also her first season with Dennis Batteate who is doing a wonderful job with her and with the season’s most improved horse, Tidabret, who we also bred and sold to Nicky Gilbert.”
Press Release by Debbie Burt