Impressive AF Rahia lands Wathba Stud Farm Cup in Abu Dhabi

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Abu Dhabi – Champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea made all the running on debutant AF Rahia to smash a strong field of 15 runners in the 1400m Purebred Arabians UAE-Bred Fillies Maiden Wathba Stud Farm Cup-Sam Huston Park For Private Owners Only at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club here on Sunday.

However, the impressive three-year-old daughter of Martin Al Maury was put on top speed right from the moment she has left the machines and kicked away from the pack to lead by seven lengths on the line.

It was also a double delight for the Emarati trainer Ibrahim Al Hadhrami who completed a double for him and leading UAE breeder and owner Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda after Royston Ffrench rode AF Al Hazer to a thrilling victory in the second race.

“She’s a big baby,” Al Hadhrami said later. “O’Shea gave her a perfect ride and the filly did everything right from start to finish,” he added.
Al Hadhrami said it’s still pre-mature to say what will be her next target though she may return to the track again next month. “We have to talk to the boss and the apparent option would be the UAE-Bred fillies Classic at the same venue in December,” he predicted.

The race is held under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs as part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival which 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 Tourism Development & Investment ompany (TDIC), Invest AD, Arabtec Holding PJSC, Al Rashid Investment,Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2014, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Wathba Stud Farm, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, and Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah.

Adnan Sultan, director general of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club thanked HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed for encouraging local horse breeding and racing pointing out that the Wathba Stud Farm Cup has become the target of small breeders and owners within the UAE and abroad.

Meanwhile, Lara Sawaya, Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Chairman of Ladies Racing Commitee in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) said: “The race was a great success considering the number of the horses entered and the field of 15 horses which has been declared to make the lineup. It was the biggest field of the six-race-card and this is evidence that the festival is on the right track, thanks to the faresightedness vision of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan.”

Sawaya will be heading for UK to follow up arrangements and preparations with the officials for the upcoming fifth anniversary World Arabian Horseracing Conference London 2014.

The five events function will run over five days beginning on Wednesday, 28 May and will comprise three days of seminars at St James Theatre, London followed by racing at The Racecourse Newbury on Saturday, 31 May and the first ever FEI endurance ride from The Racecourse on Sunday, 1 June. The official event hotel, The Royal Garden, Kensington is expected to welcome in the region of 400 delegates from all over the world.

The fifth and final day of the event will see the first ever running of the H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies CEIO Two star 120k endurance race starting and finishing at The Racecourse and taking in the surrounding countryside.