Last year’s winner RB Burn is back in contention for the Euros 1.2 million Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Crown Jewel (Group 1) which is the world’s richest Purebred Arabian race. However the Eric Lemartinel–trained 5-year-old under French jockey Gerald Avranche will face a stiff challenge from a handful of serious contenders.
Muraaqib, Faucon Du Loup, Sniper Du Monlau, Shateh, US raiders Paddys Day and Quick And Rich and the two mares-Mahbooba and RB Madymoiselle along with two 4-year-olds in Rmmas and Ahzar, all come in with great credentials and will be eyeing a slice of the Euros 1.2 million on offer.
The Group 1 turf contested has attracted a full field of 16 runners and will round off the night’s racing which will also feature two world championships and a pony race.
HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) will feature 14 lady jockeys from all over the globe and they chase the world champion title in this 1600-metre Prestige race with a prize fund of Dirhams 200,000.
The lady jockeys and the horses they will be riding are: Australian Michelle Hagley on AF Al Mawhebah, Sweden’s Malin Holmberg on Bainoona, Britain’s Rosie Jessop on Bushrah Al Reef, French lady jockey Ingrid Grard on Da’Areen, Italian Ilaria Saggiomo on Deyaar, Slovakia’s Michala Kucharikova on Dhamin, Denmark’s Rikke Bay Torp on Mahfouz, Germany’s Stephanie Hofer on Monawer, Belgian Alice Bertiaux on RB Inferno, Hungary’s Csenge Sutak on RV Moulins Monarch, Italian Giulia Coccia on Sanad, Switzerland’s Nadia Burger on Sheikh Down, Oman’s Fatma Al Manji on Silk Stockings and Denmark’s Lisa Lindbjerg on Tijaara.
Prior to the ladies championship the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice Jockey Championship (IFAHR) final will be run over 1600 metres, a Prestige race with a prize fund of Dirhams 150,000.
Twelve Apprentice jockeys in the contest are: Belgian Loid Bekaert on AF Al Jihad, French Apprentice Yoann Bonnefoy on Mohlahen El Alhan, Algeria’s Abderrahmene Boulesbaa on AF Maher, Spain’s Alejandra Gutierrez on Ifraaj, Poland’s Karolina Dynarowska on Men Alemarat, Oman’s Saif Al Balushi on Qader, Jordan’s Milly Naseb on RB Burning Risk, Denmark’s Ina Toverud on AF Yatroq, Russian Andrei Ivanov on Hamares, Hungarian Alexandra Bihari on Joori, Morocco’s Mourad Zabout on Meydan Du Paon and Sweden’s Ulrika Holmquist on Negmah.
The Festival’s Sheikha Lateefa Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan International Pony race will see the following youngsters in action: Mia Ann Nicholls from France , England’s Earine Dubourg, Denmark’s Selma Sophie Allerup, Belgium’s Ebbe Verhestraeten, Italian Rocco James Dettori, Nasser Hilal Al Alawi and Mohammad Ahmed Al Ketbi from the UAE, Ireland’s Cian Shaun Murphy and Sweden’s Jonas Erik Tunell.
“Each of the young jockeys in the Pony race will be allotted one professional jockey who will be their mentor for this race. Next year this will become a global race series,” said Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, General Manager of Wathba Stallions, Chairperson of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR).
Commenting on Friday’s big race meeting, Ms. Sawaya said, “We only have to thank His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood for all the success and progress of Arabian racing over the last ten years.”
“Apart from the above four races, Friday’s meeting will also have the Wathba Stallions race and the UAE Martyrs Cup- all five races for Purebred Arabian horses-and one UAE Martyrs Cup for thoroughbreds, she added.
“On Thursday the Festival held the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak IFHRA Conference For Training and Education Abu Dhabi 2017 at the National Archives while on Saturday, November 11 there will be a IFHRA Apprentice Jockeys Workshop at the Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel and also the Al Challenge Endurance ride at the Emirates International Endurance Village. The same night the Festival will host the 10th Anniversary Gala Dinner at the Emirates Palace Hotel and on Sunday, November 12 the 800-plus guests from 88 countries will visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi,” Ms. Sawaya stated.
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, 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 Ayadi LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, 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, 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 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.