It will be a historic night of racing at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club as the curtain comes down on the 2014 race series’ organized by the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival which include two world championship finals.
The feature event will of course be the Festival’s Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, which is a Group 3 event and has a prize fund of DH 420,000 and will be run over a distance of 1,600 metres.
The UAE’s Champion Trainer Ernst Oertel, who started the season in great form, has two strong contenders in Richlore and Shayel Aldhabi.
Apprentice, Daniel Muscutt, who cannot utilise his claim, rides Richlore while Tadhg O’Shea will be on favourite Shayel Aldhabi.
The other top contenders include AF Lafeh for Ali Rashid Al Raihe and the Eric Lemartinel-trained Albar Lotois.
On either side of the Festival’s Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup will be the grand finales of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR) series and the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) final.
With lady jockeys and Apprentice jockeys from six continents in the fray in these two world championship finals bear the name of 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, Mother of the UAE.
In the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR), which will be run over 1,600 metres with a prize fund of Dh 200,000, trainer Oertel saddles four horses which includes Molahen El Alhan, to be ridden by Dutch professional Jadey Pietrasiewicz.
However Lemartinel’ Bigg N Rich is likely to garner support from followers of form with Belgian Anna van den Troost in the saddle.
The new series launched in 2014 was the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR) Series and the winners of the four races held in the US and Europe will now be joined by 10 others in a 2,200-metre contest with a prize fund of Dh 150,000.
The UAE’s Ahmed Al Subose will be riding AF Al Alma but once again it will be Oertel who has four strong runners in this Apprentice Championship final.
Frenchman Gianni Saffia has the best of Oertel’s quartet when he starts off on Najm Alemarat but last season’s top trainer of Purebred Arabians, Majed Al Jahouri has a strong chance with his two runners Ghalib and Merzal.
Earlier at the grass root level, horses of Private Owners will compete in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup race final with prize money of DH 70,000.
“Sunday will be a great meeting for all the four races under the umbrella of the Festival and the quality and variety of owners, trainers, jockeys -ladies and apprentices includes, is a reflection of the success of the Festival mooted by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs,” said Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Chairman of Ladies Racing Committee in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) and Chairman of Apprentice Jockeys & Racing in IFAHR.
“That and the support of 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, Mother of the UAE has lifted Purebred Arabian horses to a new high at the global level and we are in for some great racing tomorrow in from of the cream of the Purebred Arabian racing and endurance fraternities,” she added.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with Arabtec Holding PJSC as the Official Partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), 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, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Racing Post.