Arab Racing 2002

The Arab Horse Society




By Claire Taylor


Warwick, 10th August, was the only evening meeting for the Arab Horse Society racing this season. Heavy showers during the day and previous evening meant the going was soft, however no more rain fell and race goers were able to enjoy a pleasant evening of competitive racing.

The first race, an Open Maiden, went to a grey stallion making his racecourse debut. Owner/trainer Mark Smallman and his wife Claire bred Horizon after winning a stallion nomination to Sambist through the AHS raffle several years ago. Looking very frisky in the paddock Horizon obviously had a lot to learn about racing, and the benefit of having an experienced jockey on board soon became apparent as the race developed. Cassariah jumped off well to make the early running with Princess Eos, while Horizon dwelt at the start and lost a few lengths on the others, and then got squeezed for room on the home turn when making a forward run, despite these set backs, jockey Mark Alston kept his horse balanced and produced him in the home straight to just do enough to beat Benha and John Crofts by a short head. Mark Smallman was thrilled to bits with his winner and explained that the jockey had started riding the horse out at home when Mark had gone touring in Ireland with his band the Rolling Clones; being an ex-thoroughbred jockey, Mark Alston thought that Horizon had a bit of ability and was keen to race him. Coincidentally the first prize included a Stallion nomination kindly donated by Jenny Lees of Pearl Island Arabians.

Jockey John Crofts was able to celebrate after the third race when Debbie Crothers’ Just Taurean won by 6 lengths with a short head separating second and third. Island Benedict had set off to make the running and was soon challenged for the lead by Sakit Sura, these two pulled away at a very fast pace which allowed the winner and second, Drongo, to pick them off in the final furlong.

Sugar Dandy maintained his form by winning the Crabmill Anglo/Part Bred Stakes by a comfortable 12 lengths from Chiloe with Spring Harmony 2 lengths behind in third. Spring Psalm had set off to make the running while Carolyn Green had her horse travelling well into the final bend where she took up the running and only needed to push Sugar Dandy out with hands and heels. Connections must be very proud of their horse who has run at every meeting so far this season and finished in the first two each time, including three wins.

Jockey Phil Collington and trainer Jenny Candlish enjoyed a double with Inspector Morse and WFA Leopard. In the Secret Mission AA/PB Open Stakes Phil made most of the running on the winner to finish ahead of Jenny Peyton’s Hardtoback, better known as a sprinter jockey Rob Woollard held up ‘Harry’ to get the trip who came with a fine run to take second. There was disappointment for connections and some punters as the favourite, Pride Of James, had whipped around at the start and was effectively out of the race.

The final race of the evening was a very competitive sprint with several previous winners amongst the ten-runner line up, including Ibn Munir, Floriferouz and Island Rover. Pierre Deymonaz set off very quickly on Floriferouz closely followed by Sam Morris on Island Rover who was always travelling well on the soft ground and went ahead in the final furlong to finish 1½ lengths the better of Floriferouz with Ibn Munir in third.


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