Khaleejtimes.com - Full Story
By Amith Passela
30 December 2007
DUBAI — Layla Abdul Aziz Al Redha celebrated an early New Year gift when Foxtrott 42 (WFA Foxtrot) won yesterday’s Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Challenge Round-1 for private stables and individuals here at the Dubai International Endurance City.
The 10-year-old Arabian gelding completed the 100-kilometre race in just over four hours to beat Hamad Ibrahim Al Marzouqi on Fareed by more than half-a-minute. Rashid Saeed Al Kamda finished third after leading the race until the halfway mark of the final 12-kilometre loop on 12-year-old Anglo Arab gelding Sham Zhangira.
Layla, who claimed a similar prize earlier at the Boudthib Endurance Village on the same horse, revealed it was her horse that carried her to victory than she trying to win the race on him.
Layla said, “Honestly I was quite satisfied to settle for second place, but he didn’t want to. He’s a champion, and my champion and my best friend. He’s always given 100 per cent. This is the fastest time he has ever clocked over the distance and it was he who took me to first past the winning post than me trying to win the race.”
Layla enjoyed some good fortune on her last victory when she awarded the race in Boudthib after the first two horses to cross the finish line were vetted out for metabolic and lameness respectively. It was a different story this time around. She took up the running on the final three kilometers stretch of yesterday’s race to beat the field fair and square for the prize, a Nissan Patrol, handed over to her by Shaikh Saeed bin Hamdan Al Maktoum.
“This prize is definitely for my dad (Abdul Aziz Al Redha),” she gleamed. “He’s helped me all the way and has done a wonderful job in keeping this horse in great shape. He deserves every bit of the success we have had today.”
Abdul Aziz Al Redha, the owner and trainer of the horse, and himself an accomplished horseman, added, “Foxtrott 40 has been in training with us for the last four years and has run consistently in every race. He was third in this race last year, and has now won three times and been placed in all his 11 career starts.” The season’s second race for private stables and individuals drew 51 entries, and Layla was with the lead group from the onset. She was seventh at the end of the opening 31-kilometre loop and was second behind Kamda in the next two loops.
Kamda admitted his horse got tired on the final loop of the race. “He was traveling well until it came to the business end. I still think he ran a big race and was beaten by two better horses on the day.”
Results of the top 7 finishers: 1. Layla Abdul Aziz Al Redha, 4hrs 01 min 17 sec, Foxtrott 40 owned by Abdul Aziz Al Redha; 2. Hamad Ibrahim Al Marzouqi, 4.01.50, Fareed (Al Ain Stables); 3. Rashid Saeed Al Kamda, 4.05.30, Sham Zhagira (Saeed Al Kamda); 4. Saif Naser Al Falasi, 4.36.49, Lautaro (Al Ain Stables); 5. Saif Hamoud Al Shamsi, 4.41.42, Sheikh Acus (Al Faisal Stud); 6. Mansoor Ibrahim Ahmad, 4.42.47, Tio Elmo (Saeed Al Kamda); 7. Mubarak Awad Al Khatiri, 4.45.18, Klinger (Mubarak Awad Al Khatiri).