Melbourne-Australia (26/Jan/2012): Champion lady amateur jockey Victoria Allers partners Arabian gelding Aqaba Brown Dirt Cowboy to launch her title defence campaign in the first leg of the 2012 Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup at the Moonee Valley Racecourse here on Friday night. The 2040m event will be preceded by the second round of the 1600m HH 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 contesters 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 something great to start my title defense campaign with a dream ride at this beautiful venue,” said the Norwegian young girl during the draw ceremony at the historic facility on Wednesday.
“I have partnered six winners last year and lifted the trophy which I’m here to defend. Trainer Lew Hyson told me that the seven-year-old Aqaba has won on debut and looks good to go for a double on reappearance. This is definitely good news and something encouraging start with,” she said.
Meanwhile, 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 HH Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the mother of the UAE, for availing me the opportunity to fly the flag of my country around the globe. And I’m truly obliged to Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the patron of the global racing festival for all support and backing he has been providing for UAE women to gain self confidence and trust,” she said.
The 27-year-old amateur lady jockey has just failed in the opener when finished closed second in Muscat a couple of weeks ago.
“I have dropped the whip in the last furlong and as you may know a jockey without his or her whip is like a soldier without his weapon,” she said with a smile.
Shathra said she didn’t know much about her Friday’s mount but she was told that it’s his first time out although he’s 13!,” she said.
Azhar Al Wardi represents the Sultanate of Oman in the race and will be riding Alchimia, an 11-year-old gelding who’s making his second start after finishing third on debut.
Oman is also represented in the HH Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup with the more illustrious rider Fatma Al Manji who will jump on Blakes Heaven Bombora.
The Shaikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Arabian Horse Society and IFAHR, supported by Fegentri with Emirates Airlines as the official carrier and sponsored by Invest AD, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, Mauzan, Alasabeh Al Sihriya, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2012, Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
Race 1 –Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup – 2040M – 5.55pm
1. FRANSHAR PARK K SHAR – Loretta Beckman (5) 62kg
2. WARRAWEE NAAZIQ – Kim Noble (6) 60kg
3. BLAKES HEAVEN BOMBORA – Fatma Al Manji (Oman) (4) 60kg
4. QUINTA ESSENTIA – Aine O’Connor (Ireland) (7) 60KG
5. PARO PREDICTION – Catherine Burri (Switzerland) (2) 60kg
6. SINAYA – Brent McGregor (1) 58KG
7. JUPITER SAMIRA – Daniel Hall (3) 58KG
Race 2 – H.H. Shaikha Fatima bin Mubarak Ladies IFAHR Cup – 1600M – 6.20pm
1. RIDGECREST SHY GUY – Jadey Pietrasiewicz (Netherlands) (5) 62KG
2. WANTLEY KALIPH – Barbara Guenet (France) (6) 60KG
3. RINGARAH MALIK – Berit Weber (Germany) (1) 60KG
4. CEDAR RIDGE FIRE ‘N’ GOLD – Shathra Al Hajjaj (UAE) (4) 60KG
5. AQABA BROWN DIRT COWBOY – Victoria Allers (Norway) (7) 60KG
6. CHARDONNAY PARK RASHEEKA – Phillipa Tutty (Great Britain) (2) 58KG
7. ALCHIMIA – Azhar Al Wardi (Oman) (3) 58kg