In a close finish Saggiomo on Kuheilan Aafas 1675 finished ahead of another Kuwaiti-trained runner Al Hamdanieh 1637 ridden by Eva Herresthal of Germany.
The race, organised under the umbrella of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, was part of the meeting which also staged Bahrain’s richest races.
Wakame and Milyar won the richest races in the Bahrain horse racing calendar in the same meeting.
Along with a cash prize of BD20, 000 each, Wakame and Milyar also claimed the prestigious His Majesty King Hamad Cup for imported horses and locally-bred horses respectively.
Wakame, owned and trained by Fawzi Nass and ridden by Hasan Al Saffar, beat Vale Do Sol by half-a-length to win the race for imported horses.
Milyar, owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, trained by James Naylor and ridden by Andrew Eliott, pipped Methary by a head to win His Majesty King Hamad Cup for locally bred horses.
The spotlight was on the Festival’s Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race which was the second richest race of the meeting with BD15, 000 up for grabs.
With the lady jockeys competing to clinch a berth in the November finals of the world championship, it was a close finish and just half a length separated the winner Kuheilan Aafas 1675 from Al Hamdanieh 1637.
Belgium’s Anna van den Troost on Al Hamdanieh 1644 finished third while in fourth place was Great Britain’s Ellie McKenzie on Al Ma’anagieh.
For the Italian Saggiomo, who is now a trainer, it was a great win in the desert. “I have heard so much about the finals in Abu Dhabi every November and now to win and qualify is a great feeling,” said the 40-year-old jockey.
Saggiomo, who was the 2002 Fegentri World Ladies Champion, now, has a chance of adding the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship when she lines up for the final in November in Abu Dhabi.
The race was witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Isa Al Khalifa, Chairman of the National Guard in Bahrain, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Supreme Commission of the Rashid Club for Equestrian and Horse Racing, His Highness Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Vice Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Club, UAE Ambassador to Bahrain Abdul Redha Abdullah Khoury, Lula Al-Awadhi, Secretary General of Bahrain’s Supreme Council for Women and Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR).
UAE Ambassador to Bahrain Abdul Redha Abdullah Khoury thanked the UAE leadership for staging the race for the fourth consecutive year.
Ms. Lara Sawaya said, “We are encouraged by the success of this race and from next year we will plan to have one leg of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship here in Manama.”
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, IPIC as Strategic Partner, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with and sponsored by Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE's General Women's Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.