Abu Dhabi: Argentina’s Catalina ‘Catita’ Bastons upstaged a strong field of over 100 riders to post an exciting victory in the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday.
Riding the 10-year-old Moreno, trained by Abdullah Al Hammadi for the Al Reef Stables, Bastons completed the challenging 90-km CEN ride in a time of 2 hours 58 minutes 40 seconds.
Finishing second and only a second behind was Spain’s Laia Soria Pinol aboard KY Inefe while the UAE’s Aya Abdullah Reda Ishaq Ali clinched third placed with Oued El Kebir Larzac.
In fourth place was Spanish rider Nuria Figueiras Rifa on Vitamina II while Ireland’s Amy Louis on Terminator Te finished fifth.
All the top five finishers won a four-wheel-drive car each apart from a slice of the Dh300,000 purse on offer.
The ride which was held under the banner of the HH Shaikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival was attended by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Shaikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy National Security Adviser, and Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Baston was quick to praise her horse Moreno and trainer Al Hammadi in preparing the horse for the prestigious ride.
Al Hammadi also trained second place finisher KY Inefe
“I am delighted as the UAE lady riders are very strong and today’s start list was a highly competitive one. But both the weather as well as the course was in great shape and I enjoyed this win,” Bastons said.
The HH Shaikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival also honoured the connections of Ameretto after the horse won the European Triple Crown of the Festival’s Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup for the third consecutive year.
Owner Dr Paul Daviero and jockey Mauro Manueddu were elated to receive a special bonus of 50,000 euros for the Triple Crown victory that comprised races in Germany, Poland and Holland.
Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the Shaikh Mansoor Festival, Chairperson of IFAHR’s Ladies Racing Committee and Chairperson of Apprentice Jockeys & Racing in IFAHR, Shaikha Haya Al Khalifa, Saif Sultan Al Awani, representative of Awani companies, Abdul Rahman Rumaithi and Salah Al Marzouqi from Abu Dhabi Sports Council attended the ride and were present at the prize distribution ceremony.
“The large number of starters, 106 in total, reflects the love and affection for Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood,” said Sawaya.
“This event also marks the UAE National Day and we thank HH Shaikh Mansour and HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak for all their support.”
Top five finishers
1. Catalina Bastons (Argentina/ Moreno) 2 hrs 58 mins 40 secs;
2. Laia Soria Pinol(Spain/ KY Inefe) 2:58.41
3. Aya Abdullah Reda Ishaq Ali (UAE/ Oued El Kebir Larzac) 2:59.17;
4. Nuria Figueiras Rifa (Spain/ Vitamina II)3:07:24;
5. Amy Louis MC Auley (Ireland/ Terminator Te) 3:07:25.