Just 72 hours after celebrating the success of the 2016 CECF Ordos, Yiqi was against being honoured after its colour bearer General Zabeel added to the euphoria with a storming win at today’s Nadam Race Day.
The iconic Ordos Yiqi Racecourse was again the stage for today’s triumph with the China Horse Club trained performer delivering an imperious win to the roars of a patriotic local crowd. Many of those filling the grandstand were also vocal supporters of Sunday’s CECF Ordos, cheering on local and international jockeys in competition, applauding local entertainment and enjoying a soaring fireworks display.
“We have worked closely with Yiqi over much of this year and it is very rewarding to see them so successful once again today,” said Teo Ah Khing, Chairman of the China Horse Club.
“The Yiqi Government deserve great credit for their efforts to grow the horse industry with events like the Nadam Race Day and CECF Ordos and the people of Yiqi should also be applauded. They are passionate people who understand horses. They turned out in their tens of thousands to make the CECF Ordos a great success and once again showed their full support for today’s Ordos Nadam.”
General Zabeel was in the second of two heats for today’s 2000m Nadam Race with the winner of the 2000m event being the horse who records the fastest time across both heats. Senior jockey Liu Sanping quickly took the initiative from the jump to move to the lead early on General Zabeel. Under a confident Liu ride, the bay quickly found his rhythm and was rolling along in a comfortable fashion. When the rider gave the five-year-old more rein inside the 500m mark the response was instantaneous. General Zabeel immediately began to extend his lead over his rivals, skipping over the deep sand and widening his lead by five then ten lengths. Liu was unmoved over the concluding stages letting General Zabeel stride out as he pleased to take the heat and the event in effortless fashion.
“I was confident in General Zabeel, the only thing I was worried about was that there were two heats for the race and I had to make sure I ran quicker than the winner of the first heat,” Liu said.
“General Zabeel was very strong through the race and was impressive on the day. I have to congratulate Yiqi on their success and thank my club, my trainer and my team for their support today.”
General Zabeel was imported to China from Australia earlier this year by the China Horse Club to provide additional depth to the team’s pool of stayers. The lighted raced gelding was seen as a potential topliner in China having already won a series of races in Australia when under the care of trainer John Thompson. General Zabeel’s win was reminiscent of performances of Alcott and Endzone who were both free-rolling performers who streeted rivals by wide margins.
Tomorrow Yiqi will be repreented by star stallion North Dakota who was victorious at this venue at the 2015 National Traditional Games for Ethnic Minorities. The handsome bay was paraded during Sunday’s CECF Ordos Race Day ahead of his Nadam contest.
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