18 August 2016, Sandown, UK ~ Group winner Sir Bani Yas heads the list of declarations for the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup to be run at Sandown Park on 20 August. The Group 1 race for Purebred Arabians will be run over a mile (1600m) at the prestigious Grade One track and is part of two family-orientated Emirates Days. Al Asayl’s Sir Bani Yas won the Qatar International Stakes (Gr1PA) at Goodwood last season and was third in this years’ contest, so he is already proven over a mile at the highest level.
Not the only Group 1 winning miler to line up, Lahoob won this race last year at Lingfield Park. HE Sheikh Nasser Al Hashar’s grey had previously won a Listed event over a mile at the Curragh. Also among the eight declarations is HH Sheikh Hamdan’s Al Maktoum’s homebred filly, Aghsaan. She has progressed well this season, winning the Group 3 ARO Cup at this trip and was runner-up in a Group 1 event over further, so the return to a mile should play to her strengths.
On Friday 19 August, the Esher course will witness the UK stage of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship Series. This innovative contest travels the globe and allows both amateur and professional lady jockeys to compete against each other on Purebred Arabians. All bar one of the remaining Thoroughbred races are also supported by HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival.
The race has attracted great support from UK trainers and their connections and it promises to be a very competitive handicap, as all of the runners are very closely matched on ratings. UK representative Anna Wallace is a former ARO Ladies Champion and also a breeder of Arabian racehorses. Wallace has been a great supporter of the series and has drawn recent winner Synergy, who broke her maiden in another HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan sponsored race at Hereford two weeks ago.
ARO Racing Manager Amanda Smith was delighted saying. “The HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup promises to be a very exciting Group 1 contest. I am thrilled that Sir Bani Yas is travelling over from France to compete in the race. He is a very classy horse and will be a worthy competitor for some of the top UK trained horses. Following the Ladies race on Friday, this event is the pinnacle of a fantastic month for the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Festival. We are incredibly grateful to the Festival and to Executive Director Lara Sawaya for their ongoing support of UK Arabian racing.”
Group 1 Racecard:[gview file=”http://www.horsereporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Sandown-ARO-Racecard-20th-August-1.pdf” save=”1″]
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, IPIC as Strategic Partner, 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 and sponsored by Al Aweer Stables, Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, 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 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.
Lahoob photo: Debbie Burt Equine Creative Media