ABU DHABI – Kiss De Ghazal won the Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival’s Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Prix Cheri Bibi), at the Craon Racecourse in France on Saturday.
The three-year-old filly, trained by Jean Francois Bernard was slow to start. Trailing the field until, getting into top gear, inside the last two furlongs, Kiss De Ghazal, under Jean-Bernard Equem streaked past the post to register a six-length victory from Musharab who had looked to be an assured winner at one stage of the race. Musharab, owned by Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, was one of the favourites. Another fancied horse, Iban Battuta Monlau, was another four-length behind in third.
It was Kiss De Ghazal’s second successive win after her maiden win in La Taste in France, this year. Jockey Jean-Bernard Equem after receiving his trophy said: “Just after the half-way mark, Kiss De Ghazzal rode up strongly and overtook Musharab and went on the win it comfortably.”
The race was the sixth in this year’s Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival. The total prize money on offer for the Group 2 race was euros 20,000.
The Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival’s Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup race series is being organized by Abu Dhabi Authority of Culture and Heritage (ADACH), Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and Wathba Stud Farm with sponsorship from Invest AD, Bonyan International Investment Group (Holding) LLC and Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2010.
Abdulla Al Shamsi, Charge D’Affaires at the UAE Embassy in France and Lara Sawaya, Director of Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival and Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, director general of Abu Dhab Equestrian Club, gave away the trophies to the winning connections.
“Horse racing has heritage and culture. It is one of the sports with a large fan following in France. In addition to promoting Arabian horses, the campaign is also promoting trade and bilateral relationships between the two countries,” he said.
Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Director of Communications, ADACH, in a statement said: “Craon is a historic race course in France and it’s very significant for our international campaign to promote Arabian horse which reflect positively on the county’s image and heritage.”
“Lara Sawaya, Director of Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival said: “The success of the race was evident from the eagerness of the owners of Arabian horses to participate in the race carrying the name of Sheikh Zayed, as well as the presence of large race-goers at the race course today.”
“Abu Dhabi has been at the forefront of promoting Purebred Arabian horses and this has boosted UAE’s status and reputation worldwide,” said Al Nuaimi.
Stephen Bowey, Communication Director at the Invest AD said: “We are delighted to be involved in the Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival, as flat racing has a global following and Arabian Purebred horses have been successful at prestigious meetings.”