Al-Hatab got off the mark on the seventh attempt in the Emirates Breeders (0-55) Handicap which had to be rescheduled from Brighton on August 11 after adverse weather required the meeting to be abandoned. The £4,000 race run over a mile and a quarter featured the same nine runners as had been declared previously. Partnered by Mohammed Tabti, the five-year-old won by three and a quarter lengths from Heritage Valentino and Billy Loughnane, with Aloof and amateur Lewis Saunders seven lengths away in third.
Trainer Peter Hammersley who owns Al-Hatab in partnership with his breeder Julie Kelway, was delighted with the gelding saying, “He’s taken some time, I think it’s more the penny dropping rather than fitness or ability. Billy Loughnane who finished second had been riding him and then he was off with an injury, so Mohammed was down to ride him at Brighton, which got cancelled so it was only fair to put him up again.
“It’s onwards and upwards with Al-Hatab now he’s got the hang of what he’s supposed to do, there should be some improvement in him.”
Hammerlsey who had trained the dam Altesse Kossack and the brother, Al-Tabari said of the family, “They’re all a bit quirky, I didn’t get Altesse Kossack until after she’d had a few runs, on good day she was brilliant, but she did have her off days. Al-Tabari had an amazing turn of foot, but this one has been slow to come to hand, hopefully this is the start of something good for him. He’ll go to the 1m5f at Lingfield in September.”
Tabti who was recording his first win on an Arabian, was also delighted. The 21-year-old is a graduate of AFASEC, France’s jockey school and has been riding for four years; he is currently attached to the Lambourn yard of Paul and Oliver Cole. He commented,
Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer said, “ARO warmly congratulate Pete, Julie and Sue on their win this evening and it is always good to see new jockeys gaining a positive winning experience on Arabians.
“We were so pleased we could reschedule this race at short notice and we thank Neil Abrahams of the Emirates Breeders for presenting the trophy today and for their support of our grassroots competitors, who we are also assisting through our ARO breeders’ scheme. The scheme gives a financial bonus to UK registered ARO breeders whose horses finish in the first three places of all our races, and all bar one of the runners in this race are eligible for the bonus.