Tourism and Culture Authority highlights importance accorded to private owners
Abu Dhabi: President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan finished as the leading owner with 13 winners while trainer Eric Lemartinel and jockey Tadhg O’Shea topped the Abu Dhabi racing season 2011-12 with 15 winners each.
At an impressive end-of-season party organised by the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival, the winners of the Abu Dhabi racing season, the Wathba Stud Farm Cup Series and the Darley Tipping competition were all hosted at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club (Adec) clubhouse on Sunday night.
Lemartinel and Gerald Avranche emerged as the top trainer and top jockey in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup race series for Private Owners which concluded at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday night.
Journalists covering the races were involved in the Tipping Competition with a win fetching them 5 points, a second place 2 points and a third place one point. In a thrilling competition which went down to the wire, Amit Passela of The National (212 points) finished ahead of M. Satya Narayan of the Gulf News (208) points while Al Ittihad’s Issam Sayed Salih was third with 206 points.
“For us at the Festival it is very important to encourage private owners in the UAE and hence the Wathba Stud Farm Cup series is very high on our list,” said Abdullah Al Qubaisi, representing the organisers Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.
“The Wathba Stud Farm Cup races in Abu Dhabi this year has been of a very high standard and we have seen Group 1 horses like Nieshan and Rabah De Carrere take part and win. We have also this season seen a lady jockey Saleema Al Taleei also win a Wathba Stud Farm Cup race while Emirati trainers had a fair share of the success,” said Lara Sawaya, director of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival.