September 3, Craon, France~It was another 1-2 finish for HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs in the eighth running of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival’s Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan – Prix Cheri Bibi, on Saturday at the Craon Hippodrome.
Ghalib, the three-year-old ridden by Christophe Soumillon and trained by Francois Bernard put up a good performance to record a one length victory from Aakif under Arnaud Bourgeais. Un’Art arrived two-lengths back in third place.
Ghalib won the 2,200-metre Group 2 race with a time of 02:31.07 in the presence of a crowd of over 5,000 race enthusiasts. The number 1 and 2 finish horses are owned by HH Sheikh Mansoor.
The 1,2 finish at Craon was earlier staged in Frankfurt less than three weeks ago when three year-olds, Naseem and Thakif captured the top two places in the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival’s Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup for a similar finish.
Mohammed Al Rashidi, Charge D’Affaires at the UAE Embassy in France, Khalid Al Kindi, Diplomatic Attaché, Lara Sawaya, Director of Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing series, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club (ADEC), Henri Malard, President of the Craon racecourse and Alain Desgrange, President of Toulouse racecourse were present during the prize distribution.
Ms Lara Sawaya, Director of the H.H. Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival said: “The unflinching support the Festival continues to receive from HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed enabled it grows bigger and better.”
Ms Sawaya also made an important announcement, saying that for the first time ever in France, the H. H. Sheikha Fatma Bint Mubarak Ladies Fegentri Cup for Arabian racing will be held in Craon, in September 2012 and this will be followed by another in Toulouse in 2013.
“This is first time ever in France, a Ladies Fegentri Cup for Arabian racing is going to take place and with the addition of H.H Sheikha Fatma Cup in Craon, it will have nine races globally during 2012,” she said.
“The 2011 Sheikh Zayed Cup series have already visited great racing venues including, one of our important stopovers at Craon, “Ms Sawaya concluded.
Stephen Bowey, Executive Director (Marketing) of Invest AD said, “The Festival of Sheikh Mansoor has created a huge presence in the global racing arena and we are delighted to be a part.”
Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, director general Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club said, “Today’s race was the most prestigious one here as it was the only Group 2 race with handsome a prize money of Euros 20,000.
Ali Al Mulla, Chairman of Areej Al Ameerat said the growing popularity of the Festival is the result of joint efforts all the parties involved. Mirna Youness of La Sirene said, “It is a matter of joy and pride for us to be part of the festival in promoting UAE’s culture and heritage across the globe. ”
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Arabian Horse Society with support from Invest AD, Areej Al Ameerat, La Sirene, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2011, Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.