Newbury: Verdora, ridden by top Irish jockey Jim Crowley, raced against the fences to sprint home unchallenged in the final stages of the eighth round of the 2,000-metre Wathab Stud Farm Cup Premier Handicap Stakes for Purebred Arabians at the Newbury Racecourse on Sunday.
Thirteen maiden horses battled it out to the wire in the race, which carried €8,500 (Dh38,617) in prize money plus a bonus of €1,000 for the winning breeder.
The six-year-old mare by Dormane was always going well behind the leading pair and responded brilliantly when asked by the Irishman to move ahead of hot favourite Zaaqya, ridden by Tadhg O’Shea. Altessse Kossak, S. Harrison astride, made a late charge to take third place.
The winner covered the distance in 2:25:42 seconds to win by one-and-a-half lengths on the line.
The race was held under the directives of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, as part of the fourth edition of the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival. This includes the Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak World Ladies’ Championship IFAHR, The Wathba Stud Cup and Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak EARS Conference for Training and Education.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, First Secretary at the UAE Embassy in London, Lara Sawaya, Director of the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival and head of IFAHR ladies’ racing, Adnan Sultan, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, and Abdul Rahim Al Hashemi, PR manager at the UAE Women’s General Union, crowned the winners after the end of the race.
Shaikh Mohammad said: “The support of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his brother His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and their Highness the Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, represents a true boost for UAE sport in general and the equestrian discipline in particular, which enhances the strong presence of the UAE at all international arenas.
“The staging of such a successful worldwide events promotes the UAE and fosters the bilateral relationships between UAE and UK.”