Words by Virginia Dodson
Photography by Sharon Meyers (Lead Photograph: A thrilling battle to the finish between Warrawee Naaziq (bay) and Coolinda Park Winston)
HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival
On Australia Day in January, the National Arabian Racehorse Association (NARA) was delighted to once again welcome the HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival back to the historic Caulfield racecourse. Festival Director Lara Sawaya brought eight International lady jockeys from Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, South Korea and Sweden to contest the second leg of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR). Australia was represented by top South Australian hoop Lauren Stojakovic.
Justice For All MI, photographed prior to the race, romped in third.
The evergreen Warrawee Naaziq (Trystan Bobbi Dazzlah x Warrawee Naadiq), an 11-year-old bay Arabian gelding, was ridden brilliantly by Dutch jockey Cindy Klinkenberg to a half-head win in what was a thrilling photo finish. Naaziq showed his toughness and heart as he battled it out with an equally determined Coolinda Park Winston (Walidayt x Coolinda Park Hello Dolly) under South Korean professional jockey Mina You. The Mulawa bred Justice For All MI (WH Justice x Mulawa Anastazia) with Germany’s Eva Herresthal up was third by seven lengths. The 1,600m was won in 1:54:63.
Naaziq’s owner and trainer Kim Noble was extremely proud of him and said: “The horses jumped from the barrier and Naaziq did exactly as I told Cindy he would. Out he goes with them all. Then you see his black tail poking up in the air drifting back, back, back. He settled fourth last and just cruised from there. Cindy let him pick up his position slowly as a couple of horses started to tire. Coming into the home turn he was still at least six lengths off the leader and running on the fence. Cindy said ‘let’s go’, and that is what he did! Outside that horse, inside the next, and then chase down the leader. Naaziq caught up to Coolinda Park Winston and then the battle began. This was absolute nail-biting stuff, my heart was in my mouth. It was neck and neck, Winston would not give in, it was like he had been running out in front saying this is easy and give me someone to race. They crossed the line together, Victoria Shaw called Naaziq as the winner but I wasn’t 100% sure. My whole body was shaking, I had tears in my eyes and wanted to see the numbers in the frame before I would believe he had won.”
|Jockeys and officials. Back row centre is the Director of the series, Lara Sawaya.|
It is gratifying that some of Australia’s most prominent studs are putting horses into race training. The field included horses bred by Mulawa, Aloha, Future Farms and Coolinda Park, and it was wonderful to see James and Mary Triggs and the Dertell family enjoying the day. Trainer Anthony Mountney had the bay stallion Aloha Thee Desperado looking a treat. The Dertells were off to the East Coast Championships with Prince Charming FF (Brumarbas Future x Bremervale Charmed) straight after the races and were pleased with his first start and that of his stablemate and half-sibling Cava FF (DBA C’zar x Bremervale Charmed) who ran fourth. It will be interesting to see which bloodlines start to emerge over the coming years.
The winner Warrawee Naaziq receives a kiss from jockey Cindy Klinkenberg while his owner and trainer Kim Noble gives him a big hug.
Fieryrange Stud was represented by Cromarty Park Zataal (Warrawee Nataal x Cromarty Park Zahra), owned and trained by respected young endurance trainer Noni Seagrim. Sadly, Noni’s other entry, the pure Polish stallion Walidayt (US) (Ganges x Weltawa) sustained an injury just before they left New South Wales and had to be scratched but it is hoped he will recover to race against his son, the Anthony Mountney trained Coolinda Park Winston, in the near future. Another trainer, Emma Holland of Roswick Arabians, had a similar disappointment when Kimberley Barker’s pure Polish stallion Zehn (Vox x Demokracja) knocked a hind leg at the start and pulled up sore. Emma reports that he is on the mend and should be fit for the next race day. Interestingly, with the exception of the three horses trained by Anthony, all horses were trained by females, making it a very big day for the girls!
All jockeys competing in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Championship have now secured an invitation to attend the series final in Abu Dhabi in November, and Cindy Klinkenberg will contest the penultimate final race. The first race in the series took place in Oman on 15 January and was won by Swedish jockey Jhannah Stolt on Graffiti BVF. This prestigious series will continue on its journey around the globe with the next race being in February at St Moritz, Switzerland.
|Fourth place went to Cava FF with jockey Serena Brotherton from Great Britain.|
Australia is privileged to be part of this highly contested series. NARA would like to thank Lara Sawaya, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima, and His Highness Sheikh Mansoor for their continued support of Australian Arabian racing. Many thanks must also go to the staff and committee of the Melbourne Racing Club who couldn’t have been more helpful. Last but not least, a huge thank you to our hard working trainers, owners and strappers for supporting us and travelling huge distances with their magnificent Arabians to make the day such a success.
Heritage Arabian Racing Club and National Arabian Racehorse Association Festival
A wonderful long weekend showcasing the Arabian breed began with the running of the inaugural 1,150m Heritage Arabian Racing Club (HARC) Arabian Sprint and the HARC Arabian Mile on Friday 5 February at one of Victoria’s oldest country racetracks.
The historic Merton Amateur Turf Club has been the scene of many a picnic race meeting since its inception in 1865, and it provided a delightful venue for a really friendly day at the races. Owners, trainers and racing fans enjoyed a lunch provided by the committee of the National Arabian Racehorse Association (NARA) after cheering the Arabians home across the finish line. It turned out to be a relaxing social event.
HARC Maiden Sprint winner was Justice For All MI.
The first race, the 1,150m HARC Maiden Sprint was won convincingly in 1:18:38 by the Anthony Mountney trained Justice For All MI (WH Justice x Mulawa Anastazia) and ridden by Annelise King, ahead by three lengths from Aloha Stud’s bay stallion Aloha Thee Desperado (Aloha Telesmon x Aloha Abba) with Samara Johnson up. Vanessa Richardson’s Turingal Park Vassili (Greengrove Vussja x Nikeii Nikita), trained by Noni Seagrim and ridden by Melissa Nicholls, was third by six lengths with the Emma Holland trained pure Polish stallion Zehn (Vox x Demokracja), owned by Kimberley Barker and ridden by Kim Noble coming fourth.
Second in the HARC Maiden Sprint and highest Scoring Crabbet-related Sport Horse Exhibit, Aloha Thee Desperado.
The next race, the HARC Open Mile was a thriller with Annelise King making it a double aboard the Anthony Mountney trained Coolinda Park Winston (Walidayt x Coolinda Park Hello Dolly). Winston battled it out for a one and a half length win over the Kim Noble owned, trained and ridden champion racehorse Warrawee Naaziq (Trystan Bobbi Dazzlah x Warrawee Naadiq) fresh from his recent win at Caulfield in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Championship. Cromarty Park Zataal (Warrawee Nataal x Cromarty Park Zahra), trained by Noni Seagrim and with Samara Johnson up was half a length behind in third place followed by Melissa Nicholls on the Emma Holland owned and trained mare Ethereal Park Solette (Solaris x Bevanne Kumari).
After the races the cavalcade of horses and connections made tracks for the Tatura Park Events Complex, where they settled their horses into the stables for the night and gathered for a barbecue with the NARA Directors and volunteers.
The next day, an 8am start saw the first of an all-day programme for the inaugural Arabian Sporthorse Championships presented by the Goulburn Valley Arabian Horse Club (GVAHC). This show attracted 39 horses, three-quarters of which were pure-breds in multiple entries, including all the horses that had raced the previous day. Judges Kim Cox and Kerry Rogers said they were impressed with the quality of the horses they judged. The judges worked really hard on a very hot day to make the Arabian Sporthorse classes run smoothly. Overall Highest Scoring Pure-bred Arabian was S & K Galea’s mare Jesris Bey Kaarizma (Brandon Bey JCA x Fairview Silver Scelebration), with Coolinda Park Walencia (Walidayt x Coolinda Park Errika) judged Highest Scoring HARC accredited Arabian and High Point Pure-bred. Aloha Stud’s stallion Aloha Thee Desperado (Aloha Telesmon x Aloha Abba) was Highest Scoring Crabbet-related exhibit.
Racing in the HARC Open Mile are (left) Coolinda Park Winston, Cromarty Park Zataal, Warrawee Naaziq and Ethereal Park Solette.
Scott Benjamin spoke about Polish racing bloodlines.
During the day, renowned trainer and pedigree expert Scott Benjamin gave a fascinating and informative talk on Polish Arabian racing lines. This was of great interest to a number of exhibitors who breed along these lines. Scott then gave a commentary as the HARC approved stallions, their progeny and the other racehorses were paraded in the indoor arena.
A session explaining the vision of HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, patron and founder of HARC, gave participants an insight into the aims of this innovative club. HARC has member countries from around the globe and is endeavouring to provide opportunities for owners and breeders of traditionally bred Arabian racehorses by providing them with designated races, which will be available to accredited HARC horses.
After an afternoon of open barns, where people were welcome to view the stallions and their progeny and support many more Arabian Sporthorse classes, the day came to a happy end as everyone went off to ‘frock up’ for the NARA Awards dinner. Yet another opportunity for Arabian enthusiasts to discuss their favourite subject! Queensland’s Fiona Green triumphed and was awarded NARA Owner and Trainer of the Year, while her horse Coolinda Park Winston was awarded Racehorse of the Year.
Sport Horse Highest Scoring HARC accredited Arabian and High Point Pure-bred was Coolinda Park Walencia.
As with all inaugural events, not everything went according to plan. However, the hard working committees of the Goulburn Valley Arabian Horse Club, NARA and their volunteers combined to mesh the two events into what will become a weekend that should be on everyone’s calendar.
Suncrest Sadaqa’s Pride was one of the Arabian
Sunday morning saw the first of over 60 NARA Futurity nominations presented to judges Kim Cox, Anthony Mountney and Ray Morgan. Three lovely fillies were paraded with Rebecca Cannell’s yearling Desiderata’s Angel Song (Avondale Maestro x Silverton Indian Halo) being judged the winner. It will be interesting to see how these girls develop over the next two years. One of the judges, Anthony Mountney, gave a personal evaluation of each filly with an emphasis on suitable race conformation. Following the award presentation Col Shorter gave a very interesting demonstration of his Acu-Ball muscle treatment on Al Jeda Arabian’s happily obliging elite endurance stallion, Suncrest Sadaqa’s Pride (Chip Chase Sadaqa x Ghabra).
Again, it was great to see some of Australia’s prominent studs represented over the weekend, with Aloha, Mulawa, Coolinda Park, Fieryrange and Al Jeda among them. The palpable camaraderie, enthusiasm, sportsmanship and good will can perhaps be summed up by all the competitors giving the show organizers a rousing three cheers after the High Point Awards at the end of the show.
Thanks must go to our judges, to Scott Benjamin, and to all the GVAHC and NARA committee members and volunteers. Carole and Shannon Hore deserve a special mention as they not only organised the Futurity and catalogue but were also on the show committee and Carole made dozens of beautiful garlands for the winners.
NARA, HARC and GVAHC look forward to an even bigger event next year when the next Futurity entries will be coming up through the ranks. Look forward to seeing you there!
For full race results please go to naraaustralia.com