Seven of the eight horses that contested the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup here on Sunday, February 12 are back with the only absentee being Nil Kamla, replaced by BC Nihal.
Nil Aziz, from Swiss trainer Mrs Franziska Aeschbacher’s yard won that race and will be partnered by German professional jockey Stefanie Hofer this time out.
Though Nil Aziz registered a smart win, once again the two ‘veterans’ from Karin van den Bos’ yard will be major contenders.
Belgium professional Anna van den Troost, a winner here on Nil Kamla last year in the same HH Sheikha Fatima Ladies Championship race will be fancying her chances on Athlete Del Sol while the other Karin van den Bos runner Alibaba Del Sol will be partnered by French jockey Barbara Guenet.
The 36-year-old Guenet is the only amateur among the eight lady jockeys but she is the 2014 Fegentri World Champion Lady Jockey of 2014 and has ridden over 100 winners.
Aeschbacher has three more runners and Nil Alamoon under the 2015 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Champion Astrid Wullschleger, a Swiss jockey, will be looking to better the 5th place finish on February 12.
Nil Ashal under Italian professional Valeria Toccolini and BC Nihal under Polish pro Cornelia Fraisl are the remaining two Aeschbacher runners giving the home crowd a lot to cheer for the Swiss trainer.
Trainer Michal Borkowski’s pair of Estarion under Danish pro Sara Slot and Esid in Zamour under Alice Mills, a UK pro and also a former winner in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship series complete the eight strong field.
While the Lady jockeys tackle the challenge of racing on the ‘White Turf’, the added attraction on the final Sunday is the 78th Grand Prix of St. Moritz. French ace jockey Christophe Soumillon will be one of those on the 16 gallopers in the Grand Prix of St. Moritz. In all, 62 horses will be starting in the eight races.
In spite of the milder temperatures in the middle of the week, conditions on the lake are unchanged.
“Cold nights have been forecast, so optimum conditions are expected for Sunday’s racing. From a sportive point of view the Grand Prix promises not to be a disappointment: there’s an excellent field.
I’m very proud to be able to welcome Christophe Soumillon onto the lake. The HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race is also expected to be a cracker. We expect an extremely passionate race meeting’, said White Turf CEO Silvio Martin Staub.
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 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 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.