Expect a packed Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club racecourse on Friday, November 9, 2018 as world’s richest race for Purebred Arabians – the Dh. 5 million Group 1 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown- is part of what surely promises to be an action-packed meeting to end the 2018 calendar of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.
The big race along with two world championship races and an international series will see professional jockeys, lady jockeys, apprentice jockeys and pony jockeys all at one race meeting with the spotlight on Purebred Arabian horses.
With the UAE celebrating the 100th birth anniversary of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan – the Founder of the United Arab Emirates and one of the world’s greatest promoters of Purebred Arabian horses and the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival marking a landmark 10th anniversary, Friday’s meeting will carry special significance and pride.
In the final race of the night, the world’s richest race for Purebred Arabians – the Dh. 5 million Group 1 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown- 14 runners are in the fray.
The following are those eyeing a slice of the prize money in the 1600-metre turf contest: Ahzar under Francois-Xavier Bertras, Al Chammy under Patrick Dobbs, Cakouet De Bozouls under William Lee, Chaddad under Royston Ffrench, ES Ajeeb under Sam Hitchcott, Fazza Al Khalediah under Pierantonio Convertino, RB Burn under Patrick Cosgrave, Rmmas under Richard Mullen, AF Marrah under Tadhg O’Shea, Al Shamoos under Julien Auge, Joudh under Olivier Peslier, Mawahib under Fabrice Veron, Shomoos Athbah under Dane O’Neill and Wadeeaa under Harry Bentley.
Winner of this race in 2016, RB Burn crossed the finish line first last year too but a Stewards’ verdict ruled in favour of second-placed Muraaqib. While RB Burn’s connections will be looking for a third podium finish, there are quite a few genuine contenders and the list includes Fazza Al Khalediah, Chaddad, Al Chammy, Al Shamoos, Joudh and Rmmas.
Prior to the big race will be the young pony jockeys who will line up for the HH Sheikha Lateefa Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan International Pony race final. Having won their respective races in the newly-added championship series, the following are the pony jockeys to be seen in action: Belgium’s Illuna Cortain, French rider Jad Hondier, Italian Thomas Emma, Koos Westerndorp from The Netherlands, Romania’s Erica Georgescu, Russian Naina Muzheva, Sweden’s Stina Landh, UK’s Harry Davies, Spain’s Alberto Perez, Caitlin Rennie from New Zealand and American Joseph Davies.
The ten runners and lady jockeys contesting the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship final race are Asyyad under Germany’s Rebecca Danz, Bainoona under French jockey Marie Lemartinel, Bushrah Al Reef under French jockey Megane Peslier, Dassan Da under Italian Ilaria Saggiomo, Jaahiz under UK’s Antonia Peck, Mahfouz under Ireland’s Evanna McCutcheon, Ras Esina under Nadia Ibrahim of The Netherlands, RB Inferno under Sweden’s Tina Henriksson, Shaama under Belgium’s Sara Vermeersch and Yaa Salam under Morocco’s Zineb El Briouil.
While Megane Peslier, eldest daughter of Olivier Peslier- who also has a ride in the big race- will be looking to make the most of the presence of her great French Champion jockey-dad, another French lady jockey Marie Lemartinel will be hoping to make it a winning family affair as her father Eric Lemartinel trains her mount Bainoona. Lemartinel has six runners in this race and that includes last year’s winner RB Inferno, this time the mount of Sweden’s Henriksson. Asyyad under Germany’s Rebecca Danz looks the one to beat in this race.
The HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship final race is also expected to be a thrilling affair with the following runners and jockeys in the 1600-metre contest: Ameer Al Reef under Ireland’s Eoin Walsh, MH Tawag under Spain’s Alejandra Gutierrez Baeza, AF Motaghatres under Andreas Tapia Dalbark from Sweden, AF Noqoush under Belgium’s Sanne De Ceulaer, Dahess D’Arabie under Belgium’s Jurico Bogaerts, Faheeda under Poland’s Joanna Grzybowska, Garnishh under UK’s Patrick Pilley, Harrab under Germany’s Esther Weissmeier, Narjes under Oman’s Abdul Aziz Al Balushi and Nimer under Russia’s Anna Markova.
The Festival’s Wathba Stallions Cup For Private Owners Only, a 6-furlong Handicap with a prize fund of Dh 70,000 and the UAE Martyrs Trophy – a Dh 80,000 race for maidens, complete the race list for Purebred Arabian horses while the only race for Thoroughbred horses on the big day is the Dh 125,000 UAE Martyrs Cup – a 1600-metre rated-conditions event.
Commenting on ten years of the Festival, Mubarak Al Nuaimi- Director of External Promotion Department Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism said, “We are proud of how this Festival has panned out in the last decade. On one hand we believe it has firmly confirmed Abu Dhabi as the capital of Purebred Arabian racing while retaining the focus of Arabian horses as part of the UAE’s culture and heritage.
Nadim Lahad- Representative of Emirates Airline and Khulood Al Nuaimi- representative of National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co LLC hailed the success of the Festival and said they were fortunate to be part of the exciting activities that covered various aspects of Arabian racing and equestrian sport.
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) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) said it was a matter and of pride and satisfaction for the Festival.
“We are looking forward to another great final day of racing and all this has only been made possible due to the unlimited support and guidance of 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.”
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 carrier, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFHRA, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abu Dhabi Youth Council, General Authority for Sports and sponsored by Ayadi LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Nissan Middleast Al Massood Automobiles, Nirvana Travels and Tourism LLC, Equicare Veterinary Services, Alawal Stud, Cavalos Equine Care & Supplies, SET Sustainable Environmental Technologies, Al Awani General Enterprises, Omeir Travels, Kabale, YAS Channel, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohammed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, 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 2018, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Anantara Hotel.