Sport | Horse Racing

Hazza takes President's Cup

He started on a slow pace but steered the horse brilliantly to take the crown

  • By M. Satya Narayan, Chief Sports Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 February 12, 2012
  • Gulf News

Shaikh Hazza, the winner of The President’s Cup endurance ride, finishing the last loop
  • Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News
  • Shaikh Hazza, the winner of The President’s Cup endurance ride, finishing the last loop at the Emirates Endurance Village in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
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Abu Dhabi: Shaikh Hazza Bin Sultan Al Nahyan revealed great horsemanship when he won the prestigious HH The President's Cup CEI Three-star 160-km endurance ride at the Emirates International Endurance Village here yesterday.

While winning the Dh1.5 million ride, Shaikh Hazza also denied Sultan Ahmad Al Beloushi his third consecutive success in the President's Cup.

Riding 12-year-old Glenmorgan, Shaikh Hazza started on a slow but steady pace and from being positioned 46 after the first stage out of the 126 riders who started, he went on to score a brilliant win against some of the UAE's top riders.

Shaikh Hazza and Glenmorgan completed the six-loop 160-km ride in six hours 21 minutes and 35 seconds finishing ahead of Al Beloushi on Cronus, the winning pair of last year's ride with National Day Cup winner Fatima Jasem Al Merri on Ohio in third place and recent winner of the His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup 160-km ride - Abdullah Ganem Al Merri in fourth place.

Shaikh Hazza, whose previous best in the President's Cup was a 9th place finish in 2002, moved from 46th position to 12 after the second stage of 31 kilometres and after the third set of 31 kilometres he got into the top ten.

Challenged

Abdullah Ganem Al Merri on Shardell Aladin dominated for most of the ride among the top five but Shaikh Hazza took the lead in the penultimate loop of 22 kilometres and then staved off the champion trio in the final 16 kilometres to win by over a minute.

"I dedicate this win to the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and to my father," said Shaikh Hazza, whose younger brother Shaikh Khalid had won this prestigious President's Cup in 2007 on ZT Faraventure.

"It was a very tough ride, the competition was of a very high level with riders from all over the world. I decided on a strategy which would help keep my horse in good condition and only increased the pace in the final two stages," said Shaikh Hazza, whose winning horse Glenmorgan had scored a great win in the Al Wathba Challenge Cup over 120 kilometres on January 7 under Tayef Atiq Sabt Al Falahi.

Earlier in the morning, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, who won this Cup in 2008, had to make an early exit after his horse Sari went lame in the third stage.

The ride 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 Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler and Minister of Finance, and Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, along with many other top ranking officials.

Gulf News
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