Alibaba Del Sol aims for third HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival win in 2014

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The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s two races at the Duindigt race course here in The Netherlands promises exciting contests as some of the top Purebred Arabian horses are in the fray.

In the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Al Nahyan IFAHR Ladies World Championship race, Dutch trainer Miss Karen van den Bos is looking to make it a home party as her 9-year-old Alibaba Del Sol bids to become the first horse to win three HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival races in a calendar year since the Festival was launched in 2009.

The veteran star from van den Bos’ yard started with a win on the ‘White Turf’ – the ice track on the frozen St Moritz lake in Switzerland earlier this year and Alibaba Del Sol again visited the winner’s enclosure with a thumping win in Stockholm just a fortnight ago.

Alibaba Del Sol will be ridden by Hungary’s Alexandra Jan in the 2150-metres turf contest. Sartejano under Sweden’s Kathalie Johnsson will be a strong contender while all the other lady jockeys will be looking to clinch a berth in the Abu Dhabi finale of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Al Nahyan IFAHR Ladies World Championship race to be held later this year.

The other lady jockeys and their horses are: Belgium’s Anne van den Troost on Udjess de Bozouls; France’s Alexandra Rosa on Magua DA; Germany’s Olga Laznovska on Munya Farah; Great Britain’s Jessica Gillam on Shrek; Ireland’s Ashling O’Brien on Vent de Faust; Netherlands’ Tjarda Humphrey on Rendal DA; Oman’s Fatma Al Manji on Kentauer Kossack and USA’s Natalie Turner on Paramour T.

The Group 3 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup contest is a mouth-watering clash between the horses that finished 1-2 here last year as well as a handful of other strong contenders. Ameretto and Poulain Kossack won in that order here in Duindigt last year and both are multi-race winners in the Festival.

Nahee in the colours of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs from trainer Jean Pierre Totain’s yard is the winner of the HH Sheikha Fatima race in Toulouse and will be one of the favourites and so will Qatar raider No Problem Al Maury. The Jean-Francois Bernard-trained No Problem Al Maury won the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup in Ostend, Belgium last year and is a globe-trotter with some creditable runs in the USA, Turkey, Qatar and France.

Poulain Kossack, the Dutch champion in 2009 and 2012 is back again while Gazel T, third in Stockholm a fortnight ago and Phraseur Kossack – another Sheikha Fatima Cup winner – all add spice to the contest.

A large crowd is expected as the two Festival races are all set to thrill the racing fans here. Also on the card is the Derek Thompson Arabian Sprint, a race named after one of the world’s top racing commentator Derek Thompson who has now become the face of Purebred Arabian racing thanks to the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.

Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Chairman of Ladies Racing at the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) said, “The field of runners in the two races is one of the best and you cannot ask for a more star-filled card in Purebred Arabian racing.”

“This reflects the success of the Festival and we are happy that the efforts of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE, Chairperson of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood are paying off.”

Wathba Stud Farm Cup race in Arapahoe Park

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Ms Dixie winner of the last Monday’s Wathba Stud Farm Cup (COBRA Distaff Sprint) is back in the fray in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup (COBRA Sprint) on Sunday, June 22, at Arapahoe Park in Colorado, the US.

Also in the fray are Zells Follies, TM Burning Bridges, Sammy V, Djets Son, Dutch Cassidy and Zells Bells.

The race is part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.

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.