Dubai: In form UAE national team rider Shaikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum notched his second win of the season on nine-year-old gelding Tonki Dee Boo Kokoda with victory in the 120-kilometre Emaar Endurance Challenge at Dubai International Endurance City on Saturday.
Shaikh Rashid, who finished second behind His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the FEI World Endurance Championships in August at Euston Park in the UK, has since extended his form to the UAE’s domestic circuit.
Shaikh Mohammad and Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs, attended Saturday’s ride.
Shaikh Rashid had previously won the 120km Al Wathba Challenge ride in Abu Dhabi in November, also with Tonki Dee Boo Kokoda, but yesterday’s win at Seih Assalam was achieved in stark contrast his victory at Al Wathba.
In the Abu Dhabi ride, Shaikh Rashid and Tonki Dee Boo Kokoda were 49th after the first stage and 40th after the second stage but charged to 9th after the first 40km before moving into third place after the second 40km.
Shaikh Rashid then took the lead in the third section and won in 4 hours two minutes and 5 seconds with an average speed of 29.74km/h for the 120km event.
Esmail Mohammad, trainer of the winning horse, told Gulf News that Tonki Dee Boo Kokoda was one of the best horses among the 23 that he trains at the MRM Endurance Stables. “He is a very quiet type of horse and always willing to give his best,” Mohammad said. “Has a big heart.
The trainer added that the next target could be one of the two 160km events to be held later in the season.
National Day Cup winner Fatma Jassem Saeed Al Marri, on Ohio, gave Shaikh Rashid a tough challenge on the final two loops but had to be content with second place while another woman, Egypt’s Noura Abdullah Ahmad Mahmoud, finished third on Jalbenmar Al Haaq.