Abu Dhabi: Chaoui, ridden by Germany's Nadine Gratz scored an impressive win in the ¤20,000 Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) race at the Hippodrome De Casablanca-Anfa in Morocco on Friday to clinch a berth for the November 4 showdown of champions in Abu Dhabi.
Gratz, the 2009 Fegentri Ladies World Champion in 2009, made it a pillar to post victory in the 10-furlong contest organised by the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Racing Festival.
The winner is owned and trained by Bencheikh Nabeel. Ould Marhoum ridden by Linzi Dowdle and Soufia, the mount of Qatari rider Khadija Al Bastaki finished second and third respectively in the fourth race of the Shaikha Fatima series which was making its debut in Morocco.
"She's a great mare," said the delighted amateur jockey from Germany who has over 20 wins to her credit. "Trainer Nabil told me to hold my mount not far away from the leading group in the early stages of the 2000m trip and Chaoui will do all the work in the home stretch. The mare picked up nicely. I think it was a very tough race. It's good news to book a spot in the final round scheduled in November in Abu Dhabi," the winning jockey said.
The UAE ambassador to Rabat, Al Ash'ari Saeed Al Daheri said: "There's no better way to enhance and develop the bilateral relationship than what sport could do. It was a beautiful family day out in this beautiful place and fascinating surroundings. It's a brilliant move that would help to strengthen the ties between UAE and Morocco."
Noura Al Suwaidi, director general of the UAE General Women's Association, said: "I would like to thank Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, for her generous patronage of the series. The support of Shaikha Fatima for the UAE women has enhanced their status and established a strong base for the women's horse races worldwide."
Lara Sawaya, director of the Festival and head of women racing at IFAHR unveiled a new surprise for the lady riders in the final round of the competition in Abu Dhabi.
"All the lady jockeys who take part in the nine rounds of the championship will be invited to attend the final round in Abu Dhabi later in November," she said.
Friday's race was fourth in the series after Oman, Australia and the US.