US jockeys dominate the Sheikh Zayed Cup and Sheikha Fatima Championship scenes at Sam Houston

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Sam Houston-Texas: Grilla, ridden by David Cabrera, defied the muddy surface to land the third round of the $47.000 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Grade-1 as the American lady jockey Sandee D. Martin partnered RB Burn Baby Burn to glory in the fourth round of the $41.000 HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak World Ladies Championship (IFAHR) at the Sam Houston Park, USA, on Saturday. Both events were contested over seven furlongs on dirt.
The two races were held under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs under the umbrella of the sixth edition of the HH HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.

And despite the heavy rain showers which hit the place since early in the afternoon, Grilla was given everything to make his way thorough and prevail by four lengths before being eased near post. RB Champagne Taste chased the winner home under Gerardo Mora, but didn’t disturb the leader as Burning Fleet, Emesto Valdez up, walked away with the third place trophy.

Elsewhere, Sandee Martin booked the fourth ticket to a dream finale of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak World Ladies Championship IFAHR in Abu Dhabi, the world’s capital of the Arabian horse racing. The brilliant lady put her mount into the clear and RB Burn Baby Burn made every stride a winning one to lead by a length in the shadow of the post. Silja, representing Norway, finished second on board MS Dixie and behind them came Stephanie Dorning on board Zekks Follies.

Lara Sawaya, 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), Ali Mosa, director of the Dubai Equestrian Club, Zayed Al Mansouri, representing Invest AD, Fatima Al Nuaimi, representing UAE Women’s General Union, Prof. Luis Combos, from the University of Texas Health Science, Texas presented the prizes and trophies to the winners.

The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival which 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), 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.

Sawaya commented: “The festival is making steady progress and advancing from one success to another. It began to pay off. Now, the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup is a Grade-1 event. We have started with a listed competition before being promoted to Grade-2 thanks to the increased prize-money and the improving form of the horses making the lineup.

“The fourth round of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak (Mother of the UAE) World Ladies Championship IFAHR has attracted 11 Arabian horses ridden by 11 girls from around the globe. The great form of the horses in contention gave the races all the excitement and thrill that we have been watching to underline the high profile of the festival. All persons involved in the Arabian horse industry were in attendance to watch the race and this in turn will have its positive impact on the promotion of this noble creature. The vision and foresightedness of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the unlimited support of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE, have paid dividends in the process. We are also delighted to have Noura Al Suwaidi in Houston to follow up the girls and ensure their comfort, but she had to return home before the race due to personal commitments.”

Mrs. Kathryn K. Smoke, president, Arabian Jockey Club, USA said: “The festival has brought the Arabian horse to life again through the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup and the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak World Ladies Championship IFAHR.”