Saturday, January 19, 2008

Abu Dhabi: Hassan clinches Book Fair-Sorouh Cup - Jan 19 2007 - Full story

By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: January 19, 2008

Abu Dhabi: Hassan Bin Ali, on Blackheath Kira, finished ahead of Shaikh Mayed Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Omani Iman, to win the 120-km Abu Dhabi International Book Fair-Sorouh Cup endurance championship held at the Emirates International Endurance Village here on Saturday.

In a ride which saw a fast pace being set early by the two Beloushis, Omair and Yousuf, Hassan and Shaikh Mayed did well to finish just three minutes of each other in the five-loop 120-km event sponsored by Sorouh and Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

Both Hassan and Shaikh Mayed were on the same horses in the National Day Cup ride, held at this very venue. Shaikh Mayed was third and Hassan Bin Ali was fifth in that ride held on December 15. While Omair Hussain Abdullah Al Beloushi retired his horse after the first stage, Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi's Estaban failed the vet check in the second stage.

Convincing winner

That left Hassan as the leader and he finished first in each of the four remaining loops to emerge a convincing winner. They recorded an average speed of just under 26km/h to complete the 120-km ride in 4 hours 37 minutes and 04 seconds. It was Hassan's second win this season. "It was a fast race and a tough one. The climate was good so it was helpful," said the winner.

Shaikh Mayed, who was seventh after the first stage, gradually moved up. Omani Iman has been a good partner for the Asian Games gold medallist as he won the Pan Arab Games individual gold in Cairo on the same horse.

Spanish star Jaume Punti Dachs, better known as Juma in the UAE, came in third. The silver medallist at last year's European Open Championship, Juma and his horse Don Sala finished third.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance and Industry, and Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum attended yesterday's ride.


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