The racing fraternity watched in awe as Qatar raider Kalino won the world’s richest race for Purebred Arabians – the Euros 1.2 million Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown (Group 1) on Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club race course as the curtain came down on the 2015 activities of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.
In a stunning display, the HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani-owned Kalino, under big race jockey Olivier Peslier, outclassed some of the best Purebred Arabian horses to score a memorable win for trainer Alban de Mieulle.
Peslier pressed the button as they turned for home in the 1600-metre contest and Kalino, whose sire Kaolino had won the Dubai Kahayla Classic in 2004, showed a great turn of foot to stave off the fast-finishing Sahabba under Jean-Baptiste Hamel while a distant third was Thakif under Wayne Smith.
It was a great turn-around for Kalino after his 19th-place finish in the Qatar Arabian World Cup, which was won by Al Mourtajez at Longchamp over the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend last month.
“It is a great win. This is like a French team but the horse is from Qatar. I’m so happy to come and win here tonight. We have seen all the best jockeys and horses as well as apprentice jockeys here and to win amongst them feels great,” said Peslier.
“This title is for Qatar,” said Sami Al Boenain, the IFAHR chairman who hails from Qatar. “This was a well-organised and best event for the Purebred Arabian Horses. I would like to thank HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs for the beautiful race,” he said after receiving the trophy on behalf of the owner from HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Earlier Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development attended the races and met the jockeys on an evening and night that was full of spectacular shows, a photo exhibition of the Festival’s pictures by Morhaf El Assaf, and world class racing.
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) said, “This is a historic night for Purebred Arabian racing and Abu Dhabi. It is the perfect culmination of 2015 for the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.”
Ms Sawaya once again stressed on the reasons of the success and said it was all due to the constant supervision and direction for the Festival by HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and 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.
Apart from the two finals of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) and the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR), two other races were held for Purebred Arabian horses.
Dubai World Cup winner and former UAE Champion Jockey, Fernando Jara made the perfect return to local action, landing the UAE Martyrs Trophy on Af Al Sally for UAE trainer Musabah Al Muhairi.
“It is nice to be back, especially with a winner straightaway,” said Jara. “I am really looking forward to the season ahead.”
In the Wathba Stud Farm Cup, the Helal Al Alawi-trained Al Shabab won under jockey George Buckell.
“This horse is tough and game,” said Buckell. “I was always pretty happy just off the speed and he picked up nicely when I asked him.”
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.