Lilij Ann brought the curtain down on the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival’s Wathba Stud Farm Cup 10-race series in The Netherlands with a superb win at the Duindigt racecourse on Sunday.
In a close contest the 6-year-old mare under jockey Anthony Deau did well to get the better of Sadiq under Harry Bentley in the 2100-metre contest which was also the Dutch Arabian Derby for 2012.
It is the fourth career win and third this year for Lilij Ann, trained and owned by Diana Dorenberg. Lilij Ann was strongly challenged by Gillian Duffield’s Sadiq, owned by Margaret de Ruiter-Floor but the former held on to win by a length.
The final race of the Wathba Stud Farm Cup series was watched by a large crowd with the field of runners including Athlete Del Sol winner of the Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup in Berlin this and other Wathba Stud Farm Cup winners Blitter’s Plonja, Detroit, and Shrek OA.
Detroit under Leonie Vethaak and Shakira DA under Bart De Konnick finished third and fourth in the 10-horse race.
Commenting on the Festival’s Wathba Stud Farm Cup race series, Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) said, “In organising the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority has the preservation of the UAE’s cultural heritage and traditions as its driving principal.”
“Equestrianism in general, and Purebred Arabian racing in particular, has been a part of the life and spirit of every Emirati and by promoting this sport globally the Festival seeks to enhance the status of Arabian racing,” he added.
“Under the directives and support of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood the Festival has achieved tremendous success and we intend to continue and build on this,” Al Muhairi said.
“It was a great contest to bring the Dutch series to an end. The Festival’s season is all set to sign off with the grand finale to the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) to be held in Abu Dhabi on November 11,” said Lara Sawaya, Director the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival and head of IFAHR ladies racing.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare and Fegentri with Emirates airlines as the official carrier and sponsored by Invest AD, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, Mauzan, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the HHSheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2013, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.