Newbury– Verdora, ridden by top Irish jockey Jim Crowley, raced against the fences to sprint home unchallenged in the concluding stages of the 8th round of the 2000m The Wathab Stud Farm Cup Premier Handicap Stakes for Purebred Arabians at the Newbury Racecourse here on Sunday.
Thirteen maiden horses went under the starter’s orders to battle it out to the wire in the race which carried Euro 8.500 in prize-money plus a bonus of Euro1.000 for the winning breeder.
The six-year-old mare by Dormane was always going well behind the leading pair and got up brilliantly when asked the question by the Irishman to do the better work ahead of hot favourite Zaaqya u nder Tadhg O’Shea. Altessse Kossak, S. Harrison in the saddle, got up late to take third place honours.
The winner covered the distance in 2:25:42 seconds to lead by one length and a half on the line.
The race is held under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs as part of the fourth edition of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival which includes the S heikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak World Ladies Championship IFAHR, The Wathba Stud Cup and H. H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak EARS Conference for Training and Education.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, First Secretary at the UAE Embassy in London, Ms Lara Sawaya, director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor 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.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, First Secretary at the UAE Embassy in London said: “The support of His Highness the President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his brother His Highness Sheikh Mohammed 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 the UAE sports 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 ties and serves the bilateral relationships between UAE and UK which exceeds the political and economical links to include the cultural and sports connections with all categories of the two societies,” he added.
“The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian racing Festival has gained the Olympic quality after coinciding with the Summer Games in London. It’s a true forum to introduce the UAE heritage to the rest of the world and the UAE Embassy in London supports all such events and festivals,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Ali Al Haj, third secretary and Olympic attaché at the UAE Embassy in London said: “The strong presence of the horses from Qatar, Belgium and other parts of Europe has enriched the Arabian races and attracted the attention of small owners and breeders.”
Ms Lara Sawaya, director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festi val and head of IFAHR ladies racing added: “Under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to host the eighth round of The Wathba Cup in support of small owners and breeders, we have seen top quality horses from around the continent in the 13-horse line up.
“And building on this success, it has been decided to add one more race of The Wathba Stud Cup series in 2013 in GB to continue the festival’s support to small owners and breeders. This is in addition to the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR,” she said.
Adnan Sultan, director general of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club said: “The eighth round of The Wathba Cup underlined the great success of the Arabian races in GB and the quality line up of 13 runners indicates the rising trend successful staging of such events.”
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organized to promote purebred Arabians in different parts of the world with the sponsors being the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority ,IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by General Author ity 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