31 October 2017, UK ~ Cheik Roque, trained by Phil Collington in Newmarket, UK, for Athbah Stud, will head to the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown (Gr1 PA). With a prize fund of €1.2 million Euros, it is the world’s richest Arabian horse race and will be run on Friday, 10 November 2017, at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club in the Capital of the UAE.
The globe-trotting Cheik Roque finished second in Italy in his latest start and is the first UK-trained runner to be invited to the line-up in the feature event which concludes the 2017 HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival racing season.
Collington commented: “It was a great run by Cheik Roque to finish second in Italy. I have been delighted with his performances all season in the UK and am honoured to receive the invitation. We thank HH Sheikh Mansoor and Lara Sawaya for the opportunity to compete in this prestigious event.”
Also on the supporting card will be the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR) and the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) finals. The UK will be represented in the ladies’ finals by Rosie Jessop. Jessop booked her place when winning the Belgian stage of the contest and bids to emulate fellow UK lady jockey Catherine Walton who was successful in Abu Dhabi in 2016. Though yet to ride in Arabian races in the UK, Jessop who is apprenticed to Newmarket thoroughbred trainer Sir Mark Prescott, has had plenty of experience riding Arabians in Bahrain for Alan Smith.
Jessop said: “I am very much looking forward to the experience as it’s a track I’ve not yet been to. I really appreciate the opportunity to take part in this series and I am grateful to the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival for what they are doing to promote professional and amateur lady riders around the world.”
Genny Haynes, Arabian Racing Organization Director welcomed the news: “ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and of its’ Executive Director, Lara Sawaya. It is great to see a UK trained horse taking part in the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown and we wish Cheik Roque and his team every success next month. We also extend our good wishes to Rosie Jessop and would be delighted if she could record back to back successes for the UK in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) finals.”