Bertiaux wins HH Sheikha Fatima Ladies race and Khataab triumphs in Sheikh Zayed Cup
21 April 2017, Toulouse, France ~ The two races were held as part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, on Friday, 21 April, in Toulouse, France.
Nine started in the €35,000 Sheikh Zayed Cup run over 2000m, the first of the Festival’s premier series in Europe.
Jerome Crabbe on the 5-year-old Khataab (Amer), trained by Thomas Fourcy, did well to stave off the challenge of Peter Sogorb’s Mehdaaf Athbah under Jean-Bernard Eyquem while Meblsh under Julien Auge finished third to make it a 1-3 for Fourcy.
Khataab completed the 2000-metre race in 2:13.72 finishing two lengths ahead of Mehdaaf Athbah in this Group 2 contest.
HH Sheikha Fatima Ladies Championship
Sha’hir, the 6-year-old Amer son, had already won the Festival’s Wathba Stud Farm Cup race earlier this year, and struck once again but this time under Alice Bertiaux.
Bertiaux, a physical education teacher from Belgium riding her 151st race, did not let down handler Francois Rohaut as she steered Sha’hir to a narrow win over Al Shaqab’s Khozan ridden by Sweden’s Charlotta Ericsson.
Dutch rider Leonie Vethaak on Chalwa du Breuil and French jockey Marie Lemartinel on Burj Al Arab finished third and fourth respectively in the 11-horse race over 1600m. The winning time registered by Sha’hir was 1:47.27 in the €30,000 race.
The 34-year-old Belgian said she was highly pleased and elated with her victory. “This is my 16th win and I am looking forward to the final race. Today’s race was very impressive and certainly the competition was fierce. The trainer’s instructions helped me to control the horse and unleash it in time, and I am very happy with this win which will be a good addition to my career record as a race jockey,” she said.
Michel Garbel, Director of Finance and Administration at the Toulouse Track, and Nicole Kraft, Director of the French Arabian Racehorse Association, 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)and other French officials attended the prize-giving ceremony.
Commenting on the Friday’s races, Ms. Sawaya said, “Toulouse has always been a great venue for Purebred Arabian racing and once again we witnessed some top quality contests today.”