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[RC] Linda in Abu Dhabi - day 7, part 2 - Jay Randle

Once again scrutiny of the vetting was fairly intense and horses were
pulsing down relatively quickly and getting through the vetting well. A
couple of mis-presents showed high heart rates on the monitors so they got
shoved out again.

We were also watching two Castlebar horses – Sholar and Oslo – who were
both doing their first ride over here. Both did exceptionally well with
Oslo competing in about 13th or 14th place I think. He looked really well
and bright at the end and averaged about 21.5km for the 120km. Sholar
also did so well, finishing further down the list but still looking well.
He was a little tired but he is not as seasoned as Oslo.

At this stage the top ten had quite a number of Australian horses in it so
we had plenty to barrack for. Another compulsory re-present was required
before the horses could go out on the last leg. We watched the first six
horses go out and I have to say that Kalkadoon Vagabond, who went out
third 2 and ½ minutes after the first placed horse, looked really strong.
We were cheering for him and for the second place horse (Garaman Mikado
who we were told was also an Aussie horse). One horse went out that
wasn’t on our list in about 7th or 8th place and we were thinking he’d
gone the wrong way when he went off and chased the leading horses. He
flew out of the timing gates looking as fresh as a daisy.

We raced out and got in the car and then flew through the desert, at one
stage getting airborne after crashing through an unseen bump. We soon
came across the pack with the three front running horses all who were just
cruising along. We tried to stay out of harm’s way with the traffic and
then scooted ahead to park on top of a small set of sand dunes to watch
the horses come past us. Of course, the whole cavalcade had to come past
as well and we had the biggest laugh when a flash white 4WD came flying
along in front of us, hit the top of the dune and then sunk into the
bottom and got bogged!

The driver proceeded to rev the guts out of the car and just dug himself
in further. Then a few more cars came hurtling over the dunes and almost
landed on top of the bogged car but managed to avoid a collision by inches
and probably the same margin from getting bogged. We drove off the top of
the dune and then followed the pack in just behind the front runners. The
third placed horse dropped off the pace and then, about 300m from home the
guy riding Vagabond put his foot down and dropped the second place horse
off and head back into home and lots of cheering from his team.

We turned around and went back out to see how some of the other horses
were going and nearly got run over by a big black Hummer ute who was
absolutely hammering along. We think it may have been Sheikh Mohammed’s
body guards because we saw the two cars head off across the desert. After
following a few more horses back into the finish line we headed to the car
park and then into the vet ring to watch the final vetting. The winner
vetted through fine and there were heaps of noise and lots of carrying
away of the rider to throw him into the water trough!

I don’t have the final results as we headed off and went back to the
stables after the first few horses had vetted through but it was good to
see the Aussie horses do so well.

So far today has been fairly quiet, working the horses this morning and
then we headed to the camel souk to see if we could get some jet (their
version of lucerne) but they didn’t have any. Prices were very cheap
there and we were able to get a couple of things that we’d been missing
out on (sponges and some buckets). We’ll head back to the stables this
arvo and then, if we get finished up early enough, we are going into Dubai
to see the Arabian flat racing.

Cheers and stay safe

Linda




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