: Strong field as Shaikh Zayed Cup hits Berlin

Berlin: The Berlin debut of the €20,000 (Dh105,466) Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Listed) at Hoppegarten race course Sunday has attracted a strong field of twelve runners including former Dutch champion Poulain Kossack, who was an impressive winner at Duindigt, Holland last month.

Poulain Kossack, who also won the North European Derby in 2010, will be joined by two horses who finished behind him in the Dutch leg of the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival series in today’s big race.

Bachi Bouzouk, who finished third and fifth placed Omani DA will line up alongside Wathba Stud Farm Cup winner Athlete Del Sol and Lillij Ann, winner of the President’s Cup in Germany. Lillij Ann will be ridden by five-time Germany champion Andrasch Starke.

Another interesting contender is Sayf, the 2008 winner of the Scandinavian Arab Derby in Malmo, who looked in good form when winning a 11-furlong contest in Germany in May.

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Proud debut

Serouda Du Breuil, winner of the first ever IFAHR Cup on Duindigt last month, Eris Al Nath, Padishak, Phraseur Kossack, Sartejano and Vasilij are among the other runners in the Shaikh Zayed Cup which makes a proud debut at the historic Hoppegarten race course.

Today’s Purebred Arabian race will figure in an exciting thoroughbred race card featuring the €175,000 Grossen Preis von Berlin (Group 1) and the €80,000 International Super-Handicap which have attracted strong contenders from Dubai’s Godolphin stable.

Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Director of Communications of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) said, “Berlin becomes our second venue in Germany and with the UAE Embassy extending full support to our efforts we are delighted with the response.”

“This debut race in Berlin is very important and a great milestone for the His Highness Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival.

“Next year we will be staging the first-ever Her Highness Shaikha Fatma Bint Mubarak Ladies Fegentri Cup and the Third World Arabian Racing Conference here in Berlin,” said Lara Sawaya, Director of the Festival.

“Sunday’s race is also important as it is one of the three races that will count for an additional bonus of €30,000. The same horse that garners maximum points in the three legs which will end in Warsaw, Poland will decide the winner.”