Tomas Lukasek scored a great victory on Tefkir pushing favourite Ziyadd to second place in the Polish leg of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Group 3) race at the Sluzewiec race course in Warsaw, Poland on Sunday.
Earlier there was cheer for the Gulf region when Bahrain’s Ali Al Shuwaikh on Eastway won the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR) series while the Polish fans rejoiced in wet conditions when Joanna Wyrzyk won on Cepton to clinch the final berth to qualify for the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) 2016 series final to be held in November.
All eyes were on Ziyadd, a horse owned by HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, but jockey Pierantonio Convertino kept the recent European Triple Crown winner at the rear for most part of the race and ion the final two furlongs despite a great effort could not match the stamina of the 4-year-old Tefkir under Lukasek.
“It was a very tough race and some very good horses were in the line-up. But I fancied my chance and I always ride to win. This is so exciting and I am looking forward to make a trip the Abu Dhabi,” said the Czech-based Lukasek.
Soon after he received his trophy her was invited to be part of the November 13 finale of the Festival by 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), Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR).
Earlier, the Polish fans were delighted when Joanna Wyrzyk on Cepton did very well to finish ahead of Norwegian Hagelund Holm on Dar Dunia while American jockey Erika Taylor on LB Naj finished third.
“I have been in Abu Dhabi before but not as a participating jockey so in November I will try and do my best to do well for my country in the Championship finale,” said the 19-year-old Wyrzyk.
“It has been an amazing ride and an equally amazing experience to compete with lady jockeys from around the world,” the Polish winner said.
Bahrain’s 29-year-old Apprentice Ali Al Shuwaikh was a rather comfortable winner on Eastway while Scottish jockey Rowan Scott finished second on Inextremo. It was his Al Shuwaikh’s 31st win in 438 starts and he will take on fellow qualifiers in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR) series, also to be held on November 13 in Abu Dhabi.
HE Yousif Isa Hassan Al Sabri, UAE Ambassador to Poland along with Ms Lara Sawaya and other guests gave away the trophies to the winners of the three races.
Al Sabri said it was great to see young lady jockeys and apprentice jockeys being given this opportunity by the UAE leadership to further their skills and careers.
Ms Sawaya said that a large number of Lady Jockey and Apprentice jockeys would be in Abu Dhabi during the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2016 (ADIHEX) in October. “We will be inviting the entire finalist to this year’s ADIHEX and we have lined up quite a few events to help these jockeys improve their skills and learn from some of the most experienced jockeys of the world,” she 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.