Wathba Stud Farm Cup kick starts 2015 French season Al Mahdod makes winning return

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Once again it was Jean-Francois Bernard, the ace handler who kick-started the French Purebred Arabian racing season for 2015 on a bright note when he saddled the winner in the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Wathba Stud Farm Cup on Saturday in Pau.

Al Mahdod, a 6-year-old Munjiz son, returned on a winning note after a 19-month absence, to give Bernard a win with Jean-Baptiste Hamel on board in the 1950-metre Prix Haras de Gélos – Wathba Stud Farm Cup.

Al Mahdod outclassed a star-studded field which included Group 1 winner Djet Taouy the favourite which was also saddled by Bernard.

The Al Shaqab Stables-owned Al Mahdod’s last run was a 6th place finish to Djet Taouy in the Group 1 President of the UAE cup in August, 2013 in Newmarket and on Saturday Djet Taouy finished 5th .

Beanie Du Croate under Sofianne Saadi finished second while Burkhan Al Khalidiah under Jimmy Martin was third for Bernard in the Euros 17,000 run on the dirt in Pau.

“The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival has now started its French campaign having already visited Oman, Australia and Switzerland. This weekend we will be in St Moritz for the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race on the White Turf which is an ice track on the frozen lake,” said Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairman 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 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 The National Archives 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 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 2015, 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.