French Arabian racing season kicks off with Wathba Stud Farm Cup

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France kicks off its Purebred Arabian racing season for 2015 with the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Wathba Stud Farm Cup on Saturday in Pau and the race has attracted a classy field.

Ten have entered for the 1950-metre Prix Haras de Gélos – Wathba Stud Farm Cup contest on dirt and the prize money on offer is Euros 17,000.

Starting as favourite is one of the four runners from trainer Jean-Francois Bernard’s yard, Djet Taouy, owned by the Royal Cavalry of Oman.  The 6-year-old son of Dahess last year won the Festival’s Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup in Newbury and then went on to win the Group 1 President of the UAE cup in August at Newmarket. With David Michaux on board, Djet Taouy looks the one to beat.

Also in the fray are Bernard runners Burkan Al Khalediah, Haydar Al Khalediah and Al Mahdod, the last-named coming back after a long absence.

Al Mahdod and Photon Du Loup represent Qatar’s Al Shaqab Stables while the other runners are Kerchera, Ainhoa Djass, Beanie Du Croate, Chedor Du Bouzouls and Al Barshaa.

Four year-old Al Barshaa, trained by Damien D Watrigant is owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance and will be ridden by Matthias Lauron.

“France is an important country as it is one of the leaders in Purebred Arabian racing and breeding and we are delighted that their Arabian racing season starts with the Festival’s Wathba Stud Farm Cup,” 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.