Nizam Al Gharbia under leading jockey Silvestre De Sousa did well to stave off a strong challenge from Masharef under Adrie De Vries and prevailed by a neck on the line in the seventh round of 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 here on Sunday.
Early leader Safina Ghantoot dropped back to finish more than nine lengths behind in third place in the first meeting of 2015 at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
“It’s a great ride by De Sousa,” said a jubilant trainer Jameel Salman later. “I was on my feet when I saw Masharef charging down in the concluding stages of the race, but the Latin American fought back courageously and Nizam Al Gharbia responded to finish a good job with a win,” he said.
The four-year-old homebred son of Nizam from Hadia De Faust by Dormane had a good start to the New Year after claiming his second success of the season in four starts.
“He’s a consistent performer who has won two of his four outings in 2014/ 2015 season and was not disregarded in defeat when close fourth in the Abu Dhabi Colts Classic ‘Prestige’ over a mile at the same venue a couple of weeks ago,” the Ajiyad Stables’ handler said.
Regarding the future plan for the colt, Salman said they will wait to find out how he would come out of the race, and the immediate target could be reappearance in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup.
Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, director general of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committee in the Int’l Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) presented the prizes and trophies to the winning owner, breeder, trainer and jockey.
“I would like to thank HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs for his great initiative to encourage the Arabian horse breeding within the UAE,” said Suhail Ali Salmeen Ali Al Mazrouei, the winning owner and also the breeder of the horse.
Al Mazrouei also earned Dh10.000 bonus from the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival to support the breeding of this noble creature in the UAE.
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 Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), National Archives, 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.