The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) enjoyed a warm welcome at Doncaster yesterday for the Royal Cavalry of Oman Premier Handicap, won by Saleemah, ridden by Will Pettis, in the colours of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Trained by Phil Collington, the four year old filly contested the lead with Forta Stud’s Aurora Forta, finally gaining a length advantage in the 2 mile contest. The two finished well clear of the third, Almareekh, also trained by Collington for His Highness.

Photo courtesy: Andrew Kelly PhotographyDON 03_06_2017 Derby Day-143

Collington was slightly surprised by the result saying: “She’s by Madjani, out of a miler, so this wasn’t an obvious race for her. We were a bit disappointed with her run last time at Wolverhampton, but she obviously wants a bit of cut and this ground definitely helped her.”

Pete Hammersley who trained Aurora Forta was delighted with her performance saying: “She ran a cracking race. Munbaher probably went off a bit too quickly on that softish ground, but I’m impressed with the way she kept up with him. Obviously I hoped she would hang on at the finish, but Saleemah just got the edge. It was a gutsy performance from her and also Majid Bin Krayaan who finished fourth.”

This stamina test is just one of a range of single races supported by The Royal Cavalry run on thoroughbred cards, from the lower levels to the highest, of which the Doncaster race is the first this season.  It also includes The Royal Cavalry of Oman Clarendon Stakes, a Group 3 run over 5 furlongs at Newbury on August 19.

ARO Racing Operations Executive Gemma Cobb commented: “That was a brave performance from two fillies on soft ground. We are very grateful for the continued support from the Royal Cavalry of Oman, who have been part of Arabian racing in the UK for many years now.

She concluded: “We thank all the team and racegoers at Doncaster, for a very warm reception, and we also thank the racecourse teams at Taunton, Bath, Newbury for their support of the Royal Cavalry’s single race sponsorship in 2017.”

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