Arabian Festival Celebrates Opening of New Marrakesh Racecourse

Ten in line-up for Sheikh Zayed Cup (Listed) race

6 May 2017, Marrakesh, Morocco ~ Morocco, the country that is second in the world to Turkey for the number of Purebred Arabian horse races held yearly – opened its 7th race course on Sunday, 7 May 2017, which featured four races of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival on debut day.

Omar Skalli, CEO of Society Royale Encouragement du Cheval (SOREC) said, “On Sunday we will be inaugurating our 7th race track here in Marrakesh. We stage 2000 races in Morocco and 700 are for Purebred Arabians. Ninety per cent of Arabian horses are bred here in our country. We have around 3000 horses and a thousand owners and this latest conference and race meeting on Sunday is bound to propel the growth further.”

Morocco opens the racecourse located in Saada Commune in Marrakesh with the ‘UAE Abu Dhabi Race Day’ meting. The racecourse is built on an area of 34 hectares and has a racetrack of 1430 metres (7F).

The Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Listed) race is the highlight of the meeting and is complemented with the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship race and the Wathba Stud Farm Cup race.

Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Listed) race, a 1900-metre

In the race with a prize fund of Moroccan Dirhams (MD) 400,000 on offer, the following ten horses are in the fray: Bachar De Carrere, Jazzar, Autza, Mahess De Piboul, Risk De Riolat, Kanzaman, Salma Al Khalediah, Gharib Zemmour, Syndella, and Diabolo Hipolyte.

HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship

The winner of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race will qualify for the championship finale in Abu Dhabi in November and the horses and lady jockeys in the 1900-metre race are:

Daqude-Ra (MICHELLE EDDEN), Djourman (MICHALA KUCHARIKOVA), Assad Al Boraq (SILKE BRUGGEMANN), Assafin Al Boraq (JOANNA WALTON), Ayman Thabet (MELANIE PLAT), MAYSOUR-RA (PATYCJA KLOS), NECTANEBO AL BORAQ (CINDY KLINKENBERG), NOUREYEV (MICHELLE HAGLEY), Bariza Bouznika (NORA HAGELUND HOLM), Fehria (ZINEB EL BRIOUIL). Dawliz and Chokri are the other two horses in the line-up for a slice of the Dh. 320,000 on offer.

HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship

The HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship race over 1900 metres and with a prize fund of (MD) Dh200,000 will be contested by the following horses and Apprentice jockeys:

Zaiim Maamora (PAOLO MURINO), Jasma (YOANN BONNEFOY), Akho Amyr Event (GEMMA TUTTY), Faicail (ESTEHER RUTH WEISSMEIER),Marhaban Maamora (WALID BENDJEKIDEL), Layal Maamora (SAID ADNAN JAAFAR), Janah Bouznika (FELICE JACOBS), Salam Adarouch (LEE KANG SEO), Camell (ISSA AL BALUSHI), Labess Maamora (MOURAD ZABOUT), Amepaul and Chahine III.

Wathba Stud Farm Cup

The fourth race under the Festival’s umbrella is the Wathba Stud Farm Cup and this race supports the grass-roots level and small owners of racing with a prize fund of (MD) Dh70,000 and has attracted eight runners:
Izetta Top De Montjoi, Brown De Saularie, Cavaltero Mearage, Enigma Al Coyan, Khaoula Marrakech, Annakhil, Faouzi II, and Iguidere Zemmour.

The race meeting is being held on the sidelines of the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference in Marrakesh. Omar Skalli explained the culture of horses in Morocco.

Deeply embedded in Moroccan culture, horse racing has been organized in Morocco for more than a century. This is one of the main missions of SOREC which for more than 10 years has carried out important efforts of professionalization and organization aiming to reach the international standards of quality. Today, Morocco hosts the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference. This privilege testifies to the confidence enjoyed by the Moroccan horse racing sector with international racing bodies.”

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) said, “Sunday is indeed a history-making day as the Festival brings all its four races to the new racecourse here in Marrakesh opens for action for the very first time.

Over the last three days the WAHRC has been a huge success and now with action on the tracks, all this has been possible only due to the support and guidance from 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.”

Over 400 members of racing fraternity drawn from 86 countries will be there and this will be a huge moment for the Festival, Morocco and Purebred Arabian horse racing,” Ms. Sawaya concluded.

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 with 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, 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.
  • end supplied report

Photo: Action of 2016 race organized by the Festival in Casablanca, Morocco

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