The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival’s 2012 Wathba Stud Farm Cup race series in Europe got off to a great start at the Duindigt race course in The Netherlands on Sunday.
Trainer Diana Dorenburg, who could not win the Festival’s Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Group 2) in Toulouse on Friday more than made up with Blitters Plonja winning the Wathba Stud Farm Cup I race in Duindigt on Sunday.
Owned by Mrs F.F Dyk-Krantz, the 7-year-old mare Blitters Plonja got back to a winning start after a gap of two years. Ridden superbly by Raymond Chang, Blitters Plonja finished ahead of Parma T ridden by Martin Wallow with third place going to Shrek under Toon van den Troost.
The race was run on turf over a distance of 1800 metres with eight horses including two from Germany taking part.
The winning trainer Dorenburg had won a Wathba Stud Farm Cup race last year with Satejano which had gone on to win two Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan races later to win the Festival’s Euro bonus of Euros 30,000.
“It was a good start to the Wathba Stud Farm Cup series which has resulted in a huge surge of interest in Purebred Arabian racing in The Netherlands,” said Wieger Joost de Ruiter, Chairman of the Dutch Arabian Racing Committee.
Abdullah Al Qubeisi of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority said, “We are delighted with the success that we have achieved through the Wathba Stud Farm Cup race series in The Netherlands and in other parts of the world. We are confident that this year’s campaign will also bring us the desired result.”
“The start of another series of races in Europe to encourage small owners through the Wathba Stud Farm Cup reflects the commitment of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival for Purebred Arabian racing,” said Ms Lara Sawaya, Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival and Head of IFAHR Ladies Racing.
“Last year we have witnessed Sartejano’s progress from the Wathba Stud Farm Cup series to finish as Europe’s champion of the Festival winning two big races in the Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup series,” she said.
The H.H Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Arabian Horse Society and IFAHR, supported by General Authority for Youth and Sports and Fegentri with Emirates airlines as the official carrier and sponsored by Invest AD, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, Mauzan, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, the UAE's General Women's Union, the Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2012, Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.