In a fascinating battle all the way to the finish, Sand Victor under Hugo Herrera delivered another shock to hot favourite Paddys Day to win the $48,700 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Arabian Cup Diamond Jewel, a Grade II race, on Saturday, September 17, 2016, at Los Alamitos in the US.
Bred and owned by Betty and Joseph Gillis, the Terri Easton-trained Sand Victor proved that his win over Paddys Day in the second leg of the Sheikh Zayed Cup Triple Crown race in Pleasanton was no fluke, though the margin of victory had reduced from two lengths in that 6-furlong race to a neck in Saturday’s contest over a mile.
Sand Victor however fell short of winning the US $ 150,000 bonus as Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Triple Crown champion and that honour went to Paddys Day for the second consecutive year. Paddys Day won the first leg in Houston to earn 8 points and with 7 points each in the second and third legs finished with 22 points. Sand Victor did not take part in the first leg and with 8 points each for winning the second and third legs, finished with 16 points.
Saturday’s 9-horse race soon became a two-horse battle after Twice Rich, ridden by Apprentice jockey Rosie Higgins, the wife of Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux who was also present, set the pace. Paddys Day ridden by Richard Mullen had a lot more to do while Sand Victor was swiftly driven to the lead with about two furlongs left.
In the final furlong, Sand Victor and Paddys Day battled stride for stride but the grey held on to win by a neck from the favourite. While Sand Victor’s connections walked away with a major slice of the $48,700 on offer for Saturday’s race, owner-trainer Scott Powell will receive the $150,000 bonus for the Triple Crown champion’s title win by Paddys Day.
Sand Victor’s trainer Teri Easton said, “He is a very nice horse and today he showed a lot of guts and heart.”
Mr. Boutros Boutros, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Marketing & Brand, Representatives of the UAE Embassy in US, Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), Hall of Famer and America’s top female jockey Julie Krone and Denise Gault, Chief Steward of the Arabian Racing Cup were among others who gave away the trophies to the winning connections.
Boutros Boutros hailed the success of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival in promoting both Purebred Arabian racing as well as the Culture and Heritage of the UAE all over the globe.
US trio for world’s richest Arabian horse race
Ms. Lara Sawaya announced that Saturday’s winner Sand Victor and Paddys Day along with Desert Honour are likely to be the trio of horses that will be invited from the US to take a shot at the Euros 1.2 million Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Crown Jewel (Group 1), the world’s richest race for Purebred Arabian horses that will be run on November 13, 2016 in Abu Dhabi.
“With such stars like Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, another Hall of Famer and the first female jockey to win a Triple Crown race and a Breeder’s Cup – Julie Krone, and a large crowd in attendance, today’s final leg of the Triple Crown went to the wire. It was such a great finish and Abu Dhabi and the Purebred Arabian fraternity will be looking forward to watch these great horses compete against the world’s best in the richest race for Arabians,” said Ms. Sawaya.
“After this we just have one more race in the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, the Festival’s premier race series and that will be held in Toulouse next month,” Ms. Sawaya said.
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, IPIC as Strategic Partner, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Al Aweer Stables, Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, 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 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.