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Al Walid ends Nafees’ unbeaten run

Once again it was Pau in France that staged the first HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Wathba Stallions Cup series race and Al Walid under Quentin Houdoin gave Al Saqab Racing a winning start.
Eight were in the fray in the Prix du Haras de Gelos- Wathba Stallions Cup which carried a prize fund of Euros 17,000.
Nafees under lady jockey Mickaelle Michel running in the colours of the Royal Cavalry of Oman was unbeaten in four starts last year and seemed the one to beat along with Bandar, owned by Yas Horse Racing Management, the racing arm of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Dalmaz Lotois did the early running with the Al Saqab pair of Al Walid and Kashmir handily placed while a little off the pace was Nafees with Bandar further behind. At the penultimate bend Al Walid under Houdoin forged ahead and soon was hotly pursued by Bandar ridden by Ioritz Mendizabal with Nafees under Mickaelle also moving into top gear.
But the Tim Fourcy-trained Walid was well in control and won smartly while a late surge by Nafees saw the Omani raider fall short but good enough to pip the Frederic Sanchez-trained Bandar for second place.
It was a second career win in six starts for Al Walid, a 5-year-old son of Dahess, and his win here halted the unbeaten run by Nafees. The winning time for the 1950-metre trip was 2:14.20 and the winning margin was one and a quarter length.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, Al Massood Automobiles and Nissan Middleast as official car partners, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority for Sports and sponsored by Ayadi LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Nirvana Travels, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE's General Women's Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2018, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.
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