The Scot Powell-trained 6-year-old started 2016 with a win in this Grade 1 race last year and is again expected to put behind his poor form when racing in UAE at the end of last year and start on a winning note here.
With 16 wins and 5 second-place runs in 23 starts, Paddys Day is the reigning US Horse of the Year and also the two-time winner of the Festival’s Triple Jewel which carries an additional bonus of US$ 150,000- the first leg of three-race series starting with this Amethyst Jewel first leg.
Owned by the Quarter Moon Ranch LLC, the Burning Sand son will once again be starting as the hot favourite under jockey Deshawn Parker in today’s 7-furlong contest which carries a prize fund of US$ 45,000 with 14 runners.
The others to watch out in this Grade 1 race are Easter Man under Ivan Arellano Thess Is Aesome under Travis Wales, Quick Sand AA under Adrian Ramos and Sand Victor under David Cabrera.
The others in the fray are CR Ardiente under Brooke Stillion, Es Mi Cielo under Cassandra Naupac, Jess Is On Fire under Chya Johnstone, Twice Rich under Garber Pivaral, Lil Dude AA under Sasha Risenhoover, Quick And Rich under Kirsten Swan, RB Open Fire under Ernesto Valdez-Jimenez, Raineing Sand under Quincy Hamilton and Lazur Hess under Jacob Radosevich.
Saturday’s meeting also features the Festival’s HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race, a Stakes contest over seven furlongs.
This contest for fillies and mares is also a contest for lady jockeys from around the world and ten of them will be vying to book a berth in the November finals of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship in Abu Dhabi.
French lady rider Solange Gourdain will be on Dartyn Kriss Swa, Denmark’s Lisa Lindbjerg on Ruby AA, Germany’s Lille-marie Engels on Pams Masquerade, Italian Ilaria Saggiomo on Ivory Shores, Belgium’s Anne Engels on Risky Red, UK’s Emma Todd on RB Kinkie, American Zoe Valvo on TM Maddamee, Norway’s Frida Valle Skar on Big Girls Are Better.
The other two jockeys are Spain’s Beatriz Alonso and Bianca Willemenstijn of The Netherlands and the two horses are Miss Paradise and Dream Pearl.
RB Kinkie looks the one to beat while Ruby AA, Dream Pearl and Pams Masquerade are strong contenders.
“The US plays a very important role in the promotion of Purebred Arabian horses and we have seen this with two American-bred horses winning the Festival’s pride and the world’s richest race for Purebred Arabians - the Euros 1.2 million Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown (Group 1) – over the last two editions,” said Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR).
“The Sam Houston Park has always been a regular stop for the Festival and the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup-Grade 1 (Amethyst Jewel – the 1st Leg of the Triple Jewel) has attracted a strong field headed by Paddys Day. The lady jockeys are also raring to go in this US leg of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship after the cancellation of last week’s contest on the White Turf in Switzerland. We can expect very exciting contests in both the races,” Ms. Sawaya added.
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, 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 and sponsored by Al Aweer Stables, Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, 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 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.