Qatar’s Bassem revels in yet another victory at home
After a shared victory on Thursday, Bassem clinches CSI5* speed class at the Global Champions Tour yesterday
While many would crumble under home pressure, Bassem Hassan Mohamed seems to relish performing in front of the domestic audience. After winning the opening class on Thursday, the Qatar rider struck again by clinching the CSI5* speed class at the Global Champions Tour yesterday.
Under lights at the spectacular Al Shaqab arena, watched by packed holiday crowd, Bassem was astride his 12-year-old Gelding Argelith Squid and the pair galloped around the 1.50m course in splendid fashion to eke out another win.
Argelith Squid once again was in sync with Bassem and the rider was all praise for the horse for giving him his second successive win. “After three-four fences I really felt I could win. My horse did an amazing job today. For sure I am thrilled, but to be honest I am happier how I finished that course and how I planned and how he made it easier for me,” Bassem said.
While on Thursday Bassem had to share his first place with Julien Epaillard after both finished on same time, yesterday the Qatari rider beat his French rival. One of the fastest riders on the circuit, Epaillard on board Safari d Auge flawlessly set a leading time of 64.22 seconds. But Bassem and Argelith Squid shaved off 0.11 seconds off Epaillard’s time by taking the inside line to fence 10, that would have made course designer Uliano Vezzani proud.
France’s Roger Yves Bost and Tesway de la Batia, like many others, cut a stride out between fence 4 and 5 and was on track to challenge Bassem’s time. Unfortunately, the pair couldn’t execute the plan and finished with 8
faults and 66.85 seconds.
The third place went to Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts and J’Adore van het Schaeck, who completed their round in 66.29 seconds.
Bassem, who became the first Qatar rider to win a home Grand Prix last year, will be looking for an encore today. It’s a high class field that will be in action today
at the €375,000 marquee event, including 2018 champion Ben Maher. But Bassem in current form will fancy his chances as he rides with Gunder, who had partnered him in his victory last season.
“Today’s win feels good but I am already looking forward to the last day and hope it goes well,” Bassem said. “I will ride with
Gunder for the Grand Prix, the same horse I had last year. I am looking forward to it. I have had a good season. I was few times in the podium this year and also won a few classes with Argelith Squid,” the 31-year-old added.
Bassem said the local support at Al Shaqab drives him to give his best. “To be honest, I am happy when I see more people.
There is a good support for us and I want to thank everyone who are supporting us,” he said.
Meanwhile, today’s Grand Prix will be see intense battle for championship runner-up position. With Maher to be crowned as the new champion, seven riders are in contention to finish second. Alberto Zorzi is currently second with 237 points, but the Italian has just a four-point lead over last year’s overall champion Harrie Smolders of the Netherlands. But what makes it interesting is the fact that just 28 points separate Zorzi and eighth-placed Christian Ahlmann of Germany. And with 40 points for a win at Al Shaqab, the battle for second place can swing many ways.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s feature class was won by Ahlmann with 11-year-old grey Stallion Caribis Z. The pair came home in 45.06 seconds to set the fastest time as Ahlmann picked up €47,850 in prize money from a total pot of €145.000 in the CSI 5* 1.55m class. Smolders finished second with Emerald, while Shane Sweetnam of Ireland came third with Main Road.
RESULTS CSI 5* Against-the-clock with jump-off 1.50/1.55m (€145.000)
1. Christian Ahlmann (GER) Caribis Z. Time: 45.06 secs. Prize money: €47,850
2. Harrie Smolders (NED) Emerald. 45.61 secs. €29,000
3. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) Main Road. 45.80 secs. €21,750
CSI5* Against the clock (1.50m) Table A, FEI Art. 238.2.1 (€50,000)
1. Bassem Mohamed (QAT) Argelith Squid. Time: 64.11 secs. Prize money: €16,500 EUR
2. Julien Epaillard (FRA) Safari d Auge. 64.22 secs. €10,000
3. Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) J’Adore van het Schaeck. 66.29 secs. €7,500
GLOBAL CHAMPIONS TOUR 2:30pm: CSI 5* GCL of Doha Round 2 - 1.55/1.60m (€95.000 to individual class winners); 5:45pm: CSI 5* Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Doha - 1.60m (€375.000)
9am: Against the clock NO
Jump Off 1.15/1.25m; 11:50am: Against the clock with Jump Off 1.30/1.45m
Qatar’s Bassem Hassan Mohamed celebrates his win on Argelith Squid in the CSI5* Against the clock (1.50m) Table A, FEI Art. 238.2.1, at Al Shaqab Arena yesterday.
Germany’s Christian Ahlmann, astride Caribis Z, poses with Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club general manager Nasser Sherida al-Kaabi after winning the CSI 5* Against-the-clock with jump-off 1.50/1.55m event at Al Shaqab Arena yesterday.