The National : Sand Witchh continues her unbeaten run

DELAWARE PARK // Sand Witchh proved too good for her rivals and recorded her seventh consecutive victory to get the Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival’s Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup race off to a memorable start.

With William Hollick, the jockey, making no mistakes on Sand Witchh, the four-year-old mare by Burning Sand was in top form, winning the Group 3 race on Saturday by more than four lengths over Frysk Me Now and Full Of Fiesta, which made a strong finish in third.

The race had a total prize fund of US$40,000 (Dh147,000).

With the Delaware Racecourse decked out with flags of the racing festival, the nine Arabian horses were involved in an exciting competition, with Sand Witchh remaining unbeaten in seven career starts.

“She is such a great horse and has a great temperament,” said Tracy Nunley, the winning trainer. “She has not had much exposure with just one run this year but Sand Witchh proved she is in a class of her own.”

Just before the Zayed Cup race, trainer Todd Fletcher’s Life At Ten scored her sixth successive win in the Delaware Handicap with a prize money of $750,000 on offer.

Yousef al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the US, who distributed the trophies, said: “This is a proud day for the UAE in staging the race festival for the first time here in the US.

“The large turnout of fans and their support has been encouraging, and such events are a vehicle to keep the heritage and culture of the UAE reaching all over the world.”

Otaiba thanked Sheikh Mansour for bringing the race to the US and said “such events will help strengthen and boost the ties between the UAE and the US”.

Lara Sawaya, the director of the racing festival, said: “The favourite Sand Witchh winning with the jockey wearing the colours of the UAE flag complemented the huge success that this race in the US has achieved.”

Ali Moosa al Khamiri, general manager of Dubai Equestrian Club, who also took part in the prize distribution, said: “The UAE has been playing a great role in supporting Arabian races all over the world. Today’s race was of the highest standard.”

Stephen Bowey, director of communications at Invest AD, said: “Once again racing fans got to witness a fantastic contest between the purebred Arabian horses and with the large crowd watching the action, it was a satisfying event for Invest AD to be associated with.”