Gulf News : Wathba winner touted as future star

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Avenches: Rami, a four-year-old gelded son of Dormane, proved too good for his rivals to land the Wathba Stud farm Cup and was underlined as a future star by his trainer Jean-Francois Bernard.

Superbly ridden by Jean-Baptiste Hamel, Rami, owned by Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, romped home to his third successive win and fourth of the season.

Hamel kept Rami at the rear for most of the race and as the five-horse pack turned for the home stretch, the strapping colt shifted gears and cruised home in an impressive fashion. Germany’s top filly FF Terska ran into second place nearly two lengths behind.

Tarfa, a four-year-old Kerbella filly finished third to make it a one and three finish for the Shaikh Mansour-Bernard duo.

“Rami has been improving with each run and along with Tarfa will now take a well-deserved rest. I strongly believe that Rami will be ready to run the big races next season and he certainly has shown that kind of promise in his four wins this season,” said Bernard, who has had a great season in Europe so far.

“The nine-furlong distance is a bit too short for Tarfa and her ideal distance is 12 furlong and more,” said the Frenchman.

The UAE Ambassador to Switzerland Salem Obaid Al Za’abi, who gave away the winning trophies said: “Such races are at the forefront of promoting Purebred Arabian horses and this has boosted the UAE’s status and reputation worldwide.”

“Horse racing has heritage and culture. It is one of the sports with a large fan following in the UAE and Switzerland. In addition to promoting Arabian horses, this activity is also promoting trade and bilateral relations between the two countries,” the UAE ambassador said.


Urs Aeschbacher of the Swiss Arabian Racing Association thanked the UAE for the support and said, “This is such a wonderful opportunity for us to see top Arabian horses perform in front of our fans. It is a landmark event as far as Arabian tracing in Switzerland is concerned.”

“Fans here at the Avenches race course got to see some top class racing and we hope that this start will grow and progress into making Arabian racing more popular here in Switzerland,” said Lara Sawaya, Director of Shaikh Mansour Festival.

Stephen Bowey, representing Invest AD, one of the sponsors, said, “We are delighted to be part of this first step taken in raising the status of Purebred Arabians in this part of Europe.”