Dubai: Dutch star Alibaba Del Sol bids to become the first horse to win three races in a calendar year in the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival when he lines up to contest the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Al Nahyan IFAHR Ladies World Championship at Duindigt Racecourse in the Netherlands on Sunday.
Trained by award-winning Dutch handler Miss Karen van den Bos, Alibaba Del Sol faces 10 rivals in the €30,000 (Dh150,000) contest for Purebred Arabians aged four and over.
A nine-year-old bred in France, Alibaba Del Sol has won two Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup races, the first on ice at the St. Mortiz, Switzerland in February and the second at Gardet racecourse in Stockholm’s Royal National City Park just last month.
Alibaba Del Sol, who will be ridden by Hungary’s Alexandra Jan, takes on another European stalwart in Sartejano, who is trained by Holland’s Diana Dorenberg and will be ridden by Sweden’s Kathalie Johnsson.
Other notable runners in the contest include Hubb Oterman’s Kentauer Kossack. the mount of Omani rider Fatma Al Manji while British jockey Jessia Gillam takes the ride on the Daniel C Klopm-trained Shrek OA. Gillam is a work rider for trainer David O’Meara at Yorkshire-based Hambleton Racing.
Meanwhile, the Group 3 Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup looks a mouth-watering clash between multi race winners Ameretto and Poulain Kossack who finished 1-2 in this event last year.
Nahee, who races in the colours of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and is trained by Jean Pierre Totain, looks to have strong claims as will Qatari raider No Problem Al Maury.
Trained by Jean-Francois Bernard No Problem Al Maury won the Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup in Ostend, Belgium last year and is a globe-trotter who has delivered some creditable runs in the US, Turkey, Qatar and France.
Adding further spice to the event are Poulain Kossack, the Dutch champion in 2009 and 2012, Shaikha Fatima Cup winner Phraseur Kossack and Gazel T, who was third in Stockholm a fortnight ago.
A large crowd is expected as the meeting which is being held under the banner of the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.
The card also features the Derek Thompson Arabian Sprint, a race named after one of the world’s leading racing commentators who has now become the face of Purebred Arabian racing thanks to his passionate involvement with the sport.
Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of Sthe haikh Mansour Festival and Chairman of Ladies Racing at 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.”
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) at Arapahoe Park in Colorado, the US.
Also lining up are Zells Follies, TM Burning Bridges, Sammy V, Djets Son, Dutch Cassidy and Zells Bells.
The race is part of the HH Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.