Second Time Lucky For Tilal Al Khalediah in Obaiya Arabian Classic
25 February 2023
25 February 2023 – Al Khalediah Stables’ Tilal Al Khalediah (KSA) won the top Purebred Arabian race at the fourth edition of the Saudi Cup meeting, the Group 1, $2 million Obaiya Arabian Classic in dominant style, making amends for a nose loss in 2022 behind Hadi de Carrere (FR).
Ridden once again by Adel Alfouraidi, from post 10, the leading local contender did not disappoint his faithful, being ridden patiently from mid-pack to deliberately pick up his rivals, one by one, entering contention for the lead at the top of the King Abdulaziz Racecourse home stretch. Turning for home, he dismissed a game pace-setting RB Rich Lyke Me (USA) and Alberto Sanna, distancing himself from that rival and the remainder of the field en route to a six-and-a-half-length victory.
RB Rich Lyke Me, drawn in the outermost 12, held on admirably after duelling the first 1600m and ultimately dispatching the winner’s Saad Mutlaq-trained stablemate, Qaswarat Al Khalediah (KSA). Trained by Fawzi Nass, the runner-up held off another stablemate of the winner, Hamdani Khaled Al Khalediah (KSA) to third by one length. A fourth member of the Alkhalediah-Mutlaq squad, Mutwakel Alkhalediah (KSA), was another three and a quarter lengths back in fourth.
The final time for the 2000m was 2:16.37.
Adel Alfouraidi, jockey, Tilal Al Khalediah, 1st: "I’m delighted with the performance. I knew he stayed well but it was a challenge from an outside gate. I wanted to hold onto the horse for as long as possible but he was going so well that I had to let him go.
"I cannot explain what happened. The horse is such a good horse. His stablemate was in front of me and I followed him until the 600m pole and then I progressed slowly until the 400m pole and then he just went.
"Today it was a tough race. I had to carry 61kg over 2000m, which was a tough task. I cannot describe to you what it means to me to win this race."
Alberto Sanna, jockey, RB Rich Lyke Me, 2nd: "He ran right up to his best recent form and gave his best. The winner was too good and no shame in finishing second to him."
Fawzi Nass, trainer, RB Rich Lyke Me: "He ran a good race.”
Fahad Alfouraidi, jockey, Hamdani Khaled Al Khalediah, 3rd: "I was happy to sit behind. He gave him a good kick to get a place. Good run."