Dubai: Teenager Saif Ahmad Al Mazroui said he is ready to challenge for the biggest endurance prizes after delivering a masterclass to win the Shaikh Saeed Bin Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Challenge at the Dubai International Endurance City on Friday.
Riding the MRM Stables-trained ten-year-old gelding Nopoli Del Ma, the youngster grabbed the lead in third loop of the CEI** 120km ride and went on to dominate a record field of 240 riders, before recording one of his most impressive wins.
“My goal is to win the top three rides in the UAE,” said Al Mazroui after completing the gruelling course in a time of four hours and 22.39 minutes.
“My first target will be the His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup (CEI***) in January and after that I will aim for the HH The President of the UAE Endurance Cup (CEI ***/ Feb 14) and the Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup (CEI**/ March 21).
“Having been given the opportunities to ride top endurance horses I am a more confident rider now. This is my third win with Nopoli Del Ma and second in Dubai.
“The horse was in top condition and played a major role in this win.”
Earlier, in May this year, Al Mazroui teamed up with the MRM Stables star to capture the CEI *** 120km Festival Mondial d’Endurance in Compiegne, France.
The ride was attended 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 and Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance.
Al Mazroui said the confidence with which he employed the tactics given to him by Shaikh Mohammad and Shaikh Hamdan made all the difference.
“His Highness Shaikh Mohammad and Shaikh Hamdan gave me valuable tips as the ride progressed. I dedicate this win to them.
“I was advised to secure the lead in the second or third loops and to maintain a fast pace to force the other rides to push their horses,” he said. “The second loop was the hardest because I had to make up a lot of ground from my ninth position at the end of the first loop to move within striking distance of the leader, Abdulla Ghanim Al Marri.” Al Marri eventually took second place aboard Inshalla Slagger, in a time of 04:32.28s.
Mansour Saeed Mohammad Al Faresi, riding the MRM Stables-owned Hadeer, was third in 04:35:42s.
The ride was held under the FEI banner and for the first time featured two starts, due to the maximum field of 240 riders.