By M. Satya Narayan Senior Reporter
Published: March 09, 2008, 00:03
Abu Dhabi: Abdullah Thani Bin Huzaim, on 11-year-old grey gelding Omani Iman, scored his first career win at the open level when he won the Emirates Challenge 120-km endurance ride yesterday.
Abdullah, who dominated for most of the 120-km event held at the Emirates International Endurance Village, did have some fight on the final stage when Mohammad Rashid Saeed Khamis Al Subose, on Deen, put up a brave challenge.
Abdullah and Omani Iman were second after the first 32kms and later took the lead in the second stage. Maintaining an average speed of around 25km/h, Abdullah was still in the lead after four loops and 104kms.
Abdullah was followed by Dhahi Abdullah Khamis, on Nahsaar, but Mohammad Rashid Saeed Khamis Al Subose on Deen, fifth at that stage, unleashed a terrific pace. Touching a high average speed of 31.32km/h on the final 16kms, Mohammad Rashid made a brave attempt to catch leader Abdullah but the latter did well to reach the finish line first.
Dhahi Abdullah Khamis, on Nahsaar, finished third while another strong contender, Omar Hussain Al Beloushi, was fifth on Cameo Zinnia behind Majid Mohammad Salman Al Sabri.
Abdullah, who won a luxury car and a slice of the Dh400,000 on offer, credited his horse for the win.
"Omani Iman is a great champion and has had some outstanding performances. I found him fresh and he did well to just keep going, even when challenged," said the 22-year-old youngster who is rider at the Al Aasfa Stables.
With the stables sending out the first and third-placed horses, trainer Mubarak Khalifa Bin Shafya, said it was a good achievement.
"There were some very strong riders and horses in the field. We have had a fair share of success this season," said Bin Shafya.
Hydra-sponsored Emirates Challenge 120-km endurance ride:
1. Abdullah Thani Bin Huzaim (Omani Iman) 4 hrs 46 mins 47 secs
2. Mohammad Rashid Saeed Khamis Al Subose (Deen) 4:48.54
3. Dhahi Abdullah Khamis Al Dhahi (Nahsaari) 4:55.06
4. Majid Mohammad Salman Al Sabri (Abyaneh) 5:00.06;
5. Omar Hussain Abdullah Al Beloushi (Cameo Zinnia) 5:02.48.