AQABA Brown Dirt Cowboy celebrated his second win last Saturday after taking out a showcase arab horse race at Caulfield.
The 1200m Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayhan Cup is the biggest and most lucrative arab horse race in the southern hemisphere.
The nine-year-old stallion is trained and bred by John and Christine Wilcox at the Aqaba Arabians Stud at Loomberah.
Since the early 1990s, arabs have not been able to race against thoroughbreds in Australia, although there is now a resurgence in arab racing in Europe that is flowing through to the Australian tracks.
The stallion has now had five starts, breaking his maiden at the Torbanlea Picnic Races in October.
This race was one of two that showcased arabians at the Caulfield meeting, with this race the cream of Australian arab sprinters.
Aqaba Brown Dirt Cowboy jumped out of barrier five well and settled just behind the leaders with some good cover.
The stallion found some room on the turn and powered away to win by an increasing four and half lengths.
“I knew he had it in him if he turned up on the day,” John said.
“He was midfield but then just put the pedal to the metal and flew home.”
The horse had north Queensland jockey Katie Spalding on board after the Wilcoxes found her through Facebook.
Moonbi thoroughbred trainer Lew Hyson has been helping Christine train Brown Dirt Cowboy at the Tamworth track.
“Tamworth Jockey Club has been so good to us and let us use their facilities,” John said.
The Wilcoxes are passionate about their horses and are very keen to see arab racing take off in Australia.
Known for their staying ability, arabs are used for endurance racing and are known to race over 200km.
“They are the most versatile equine athlete on the planet,” John said.
“The times they have been producing in these races are equal to the big races in Europe.”
“There is no reason we couldn’t export horses and bring big arab races to
“The big sheikhs of racing love them and travel around the world to watch them race.
“If we attract them and their money to Australia it will be good for thoroughbred racing as well.”
The Aqaba stud is now looking at more arab races, with 12 Queensland meets set to feature all-arab races in 2014.
There will also be some more showcase races at Caulfield and a possible gala arab race at the Magic Millions.
Obviously an Elton John fan, Christine named Aqaba Brown Dirt Cowboy, as well as his father Aqaba Captain
“When the real Cowboy turns up no one will beat him,” John said.