Thursday, February 26, 2009

UAE: Shaikh Nasser eyes Dubai challenge

Gulf Daily News

BAHRAIN Royal Endurance Team captain Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa will be looking to clinch the title tomorrow when the third and deciding leg of the 120-kilometre Endurance Horseride Grand Prix is flagged off at the Dubai International Endurance City in Seih Assalem.The Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president is presently in second place with 140 points after two legs and behind UAE riders Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, both are on 150 points each.

Breef first vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Ghazi Al Dossary are the other two Bahrainis to take part in tomorrow's race to be divided into five stages.

Shaikh Mohammed, the UAE vice-president, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, steered Tahhan to victory in the second round which was over 120 kms and staged at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

After coming fifth in the first round in Abu Dhabi where he won 50 points, Shaikh Mohammed gained 100 points for winning top spot in the second race.

Shaikh Mansoor bagged 80 points after finishing second in Abu Dhabi and claimed 60 points for coming fourth in the Bahrain event. He received an extra 10 points for riding the same horse in both races.

Shaikh Nasser claimed 60 points for coming fourth in the first race and 80 for an impressive second place in the second race.

Gained

The Breef chief is being followed by Shaikh Hamadan, son of Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, with 70 points gained from taking third place overall in the second race of the series.

Shaikh Hamdan was unable to win any points in the first race in Abu Dhabi where he had to pull out as his horse was exhausted.

In the first round of the 120-km Endurance Horseride Grand Prix held two months ago, the UAE riders dominated the podium with Abdulla bin Hazim winning the race.

He was followed by UAE's Presidential Affairs Minister Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan in second place while compatriot Ahmed bin Harmash was third.

The top 10 riders in each race of the series are gaining points. He winner earns 100 points, while the second placed rider gets 80, third 70, fourth 60, and fifth 50 points. Riders classified sixth through 10th will also bag points.

Shaikh Nasser is expecting a stiff competition in the third and concluding Grand Prix.

The Breef chief said the Bahraini riders were confident and determined to win a spot on the podium.
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