Gulf News: Mansour racing festival comes to San Francisco

Pleasanton, a small city or rather a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area, is the latest stop of the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Global Arabian Racing Festival as today’s Wathba Stud farm Cup attempts to revive Arabian racing in California.

A small field of seven runners have entered in the dirt race to be run at the Alameda County Fair racetrack which is said to be the oldest one-mile horse racing track in the US and the Arabian Jockey Club (AJC) is hoping that today’s race will help boost small owners of Arabian horses in the region.
Present in the line-up are a pair of Burning Sands sons, the seven-year-old So Big Is Better and the six-year-old Qjuick Sand PW.

The two ran in Stockton and finished first and second respectively and So Big Is Better has been nominated for a Darley Award every year since 2008 while Qjuick Sand PW was the four-year-old Colt of the Year and Sprinter of the Year in 2009.
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Le Fromage, NC Casey Jones, Ordination, Otis and Velite Star complete the field in this first-ever race of the Shaikh Mansour Festival to be held here in California.

The Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Global Arabian Racing Festival had earlier this year staged the first Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup race at Sam Houston Park racecourse making its debut in Texas while over the last two years Delaware Park has also been staging the Zayed Cup race.

Response

“This is the first of the five races that will be run in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup race series in the US and we are very happy with the response to this first-ever race in the state of California,” said Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Director of Communications of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) in a press release.

A total of five races in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup series will be held in the US this year with race courses in Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Fairplex and Fresno to stage it after today’s race in Pleasanton.

Ali Al Mulla, Chairman of Areej Al Ameerat said in the press release: “The success that the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival’s races all over the world have achieved is a proud moment for the UAE as well as for Purebred Arabian racing.”