Abu Dhabi: Champion woman amateur jockey Victoria Allers partners Arabian gelding Aqaba Brown Dirt Cowboy to launch her title defence in the first leg of the 2012 Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup at the Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia, today.
The 2,040m event will be preceded by the second round of the 1,600m Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies IFAHR Cup. Both races are held under the umbrella of the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival and carry a total prize-money of $25,000 and $20,000 respectively.
Seven runners have been declared for the Shaikh Zayed Cup, while a similar number of contenders will battle it to the wire in the Shaikha Fatima Cup — the world’s most prestigious and richest Arabian races of their kind.
“It’s great to start my title defence campaign with a dream ride at this beautiful venue,” said the Norwegian during the draw ceremony at the facility on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the UAE will be represented by Shathra Al Hajjaj, who will unite with the 13-year-old gelding Cedar Ridge Fire ‘N’ Gold.
“Above all, I would like to thank Her Highness Shaikha Fatima for giving me the opportunity to fly the flag of my country around the globe,” she said.
Race 1 – Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup – 2,040m, 5.55pm
1. Franshar Park K Shar 2. Warrawee Naaziq 3. Blakes Heaven Bombora 4. Quinta Essentia 5. Paro Prediction 6. Sinaya 7. Jupiter Samira
Race 2 – H.H. Shaikha Fatima Bin Mubarak Ladies Ifahr Cup – 1,600m, 6.20pm
1. Ridgecrest Shy Guy 2. Wantley Kaliph 3. Ringarah Malik 4. Cedar Ridge Fire ‘N’ Gold 5. Aqaba Brown Dirt Cowboy 6. Chardonnay Park Rasheeka 7. Alchimia