It was a repeat show by MH Kanz when the 4-year-old chestnut filly under Jose Santiago won the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Wathba Stud Farm Cup race at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club race course on Sunday, November 15, 2015.
The Elise Jeanne-trained MH Kanz had made a winning debut in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup race a year ago and then went without a win in six races since then but on Sunday, the Akbar filly showed great character when fighting it out with AF Al Alama to get back to winning ways.
MH Kanz looked an unlikely winner turning for home in the 1400m conditions race but produced a telling finish under Jose Santiago.
MH Kanz led with about 500 metres left in the Dh 80,000 race run over 1400 metres. But AF Al Alama under Tadhg O’Shea took the lead with about 300 metres to go while MH Kanz again hit back to lead. But with about 100 metres left AF Al Alama again hit the front but Santiago on MH Kanz fought back to take the lead in the final 50 metres to finally win by over a length.
The win by MH Kanz also gave trainer Elise Jeanne and jockey Jose Santiago their first win of the 2015-16 UAE racing season.
Prior to the Wathba Stud Farm Cup race, HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan made a winning debut as an owner when Areem won the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Prep race for Purebred Arabians.
Quickly sent to the front by Wayne Smith, Areem bounded clear just after halfway and never looked likely to be caught, providing trainer Nacer Samiri with his first winner in the process. Four times a Group 1 winner locally, including the 2013 National Day Cup over this course and distance, Areem was ridden for the first time by Wayne Smith.
“He’s a very smart horse, and a straightforward one,” said Smith. “We all know he likes to lead, dictate a good pace and try to put the race to bed before the others can get competitive.
“I wouldn’t know what the plans for the horse are but I would like to think the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup would be his next target. “I’m just grateful for this opportunity and thank the whole team for preparing a really good spare ride for me.”
“We congratulate HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for scoring a victory with his very first runner Areem, a horse bred by HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister 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, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR).
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2015, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Yas Channel, Omeir Travels, Racing Post, Paris Turf and Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics.