The mare “NOUR AL MAURY” from Shagab Racing, under the supervision of Thomas Fourcy and ridden by Olivier Pelier, claimed the title of the main leg of the “Liwa International Stakes” for the first category dedicated to fillies and mares. Meanwhile, “AFRICA DE MONLAU” for Helal Al Alawi and “NORMA AL MAURY” for Rene Koch were crowned champions of the Wathba Stallions Cups. These races took place on July 30, 2023, at the La Teste de Buch racecourse in the capital city of France, Paris, as part of the 15th edition of the Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival Races.
The races of the festival are held with the support and encouragement of Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Court of the United Arab Emirates, with the aim of promoting and spreading Purebred Arabian horse racing in Europe and America under his global festival’s sponsorship.
The featured race, spanning 2000 meters and offering a prize of 50,000 euros, saw the participation of seven fillies and mares aged four and above. The competition was fierce and challenging, with “Ilaaf Layass” initially taking the lead and putting up a strong fight until the final meters when it eventually settled for second place. “Nour Al Maury” displayed a powerful sprint and covered the distance in 2 minutes and 12.69 seconds, securing the victory, while “Sultana” from Azba Racing came in third.
In the Wathba Stallions Cup race, the first leg, covering 1900 meters with a prize of 18,000 dirhams, featured 11 fillies aged only three years. It witnessed an outstanding and well-deserved win for “Africa de Monlau” of Helal Al Alawi, under the supervision of Thomas Dumielo and ridden by Giulio Guadagnucci. “Africa de Monlau,” descending from the “F Al Barq” lineage, comfortably surpassed “Khalisa De Faust” to secure the top spot, while “Kera De Flauzins” came in third. The winning time was 2 minutes and 9.45 seconds.
As for the second leg of the Wathba Stallions Cup, the “PRIX MANGALIE D’ALBRET – AFAC” race, which also covered 1900 meters with a prize of 18,000 euros, saw 10 three-year-old fillies competing. “Norma Al Maury” achieved a remarkable “double” victory for her trainer, Rene Koch, under the supervision of Thomas Dumielo and ridden by Giulio Guadagnucci. After an intense competition, “Norma Al Maury” maintained her lead until the finish line, securing a 0.75-length lead over “Telethla,” with “R B Paris Flight” finishing third. The winning time was 2 minutes and 7.20 seconds.
At the end of the races, Lara Sawaya, the Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival, awarded the winners. During an interview with the French channel Equidia Racing, which broadcasted the race events live on Yas channel, Lara Sawaya praised the championship and the enthusiastic participation, as well as the high level of the participating horses. She also expressed gratitude to all the companies and institutions contributing to the festival’s sponsorship and extended her congratulations to the winners.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival includes the Jewel Crown of HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Zayed Cup, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Cup, the “Wathba Stallions Cup,” and the International Arabian Horse Racing Forum.
The 15th edition of the global festival commenced on January 11 of the current year, featuring new races added for the 2023 season. A total of 152 local and international races are organized worldwide, including races classified into first, second, and third categories.
The festival is supported and sponsored by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the National Archives and Library as the main partner, Mubadala as the official partner, National Feed Corporation as the strategic partner, Emirates Airlines as the official carrier, and Etisalat as the official partner.
Other sponsors include Nissan Al Masaood, Areej Al Amiraat, Omair Travels by Omair Bin Yousuf, Yas Channel, the General Women’s Union, Viola, the UAE Arabian Horse Society, the UAE Global Endurance Village, and the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.