Metrag runs away with Zayed Cup
5 June 2017, Rome, Italy ~ Metrag showed a solid run in the 4 June 2017 Listed Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup while Italian Guilia Coccia and Hungarian Alexandria Bihari booked their berths in the finals of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies and Apprentice World Championships at the Rome Capannelle (Ippodromo delle Capannelle).
Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Listed Cup
Metrag, the five-year-old son of Amer under Qatari jockey Faleh Bughenaim, won the €5,000 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Listed Cup, a second win in four starts. The Thomas Fourcy-trained Metrag had finished 7th to stablemate Khataab in his last run in the Festival’s Sheikh Zayed Cup in Toulouse in April of this year but on Sunday lived up to his favorite status with a fluent run over the 2400-metre distance.
Yenka under Rosario Mangione did most of the running while Bughenaim kept Metrag just off the pace and with two furlongs to go the Al Shaqab runner made his move. It ended in a 4-length win for Metrag with the Gunter Richter-trained Ramiz Al Aziz under Mauro Manueddu making a late run to finish second ahead of Nil Aziz under Carlo Fiocchi. The winning time was 2:45.24.
HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship
Hungarian jockey Alexander Bihari had been a regular in the Festival’s races but a rift in her National Federation had left her out of racing for nearly two years. That issue was resolved in May and was announced at the Festival’s World Arabian Horse Racing Conference in Morocco. Sunday’s race was her debut as an Apprentice jockey and the 24-year-old Bihari grabbed the opportunity to win the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship race on Loskhar. Bihari and Loskhar demolished the field to win by over five lengths in the €20,000 race that was run over 1700 metres.
Villasaltobyoliena under Bahraini Apprentice Ali Sameer finished second to Bihar while Germany’s Claudia Pawlak rode Vanitosu to third place.
Now qualified to race in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship final in November, Bihari thanked the Festival for supporting her during her two-year tussle with a section of the Hungarian racing body. “This is like a re-birth for me. My horse was all over the place but at the end we managed to get into a steady pace and the win is a great moment for me,” said Bihari after her 26th career win in 301 starts.”
HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship
In the €30,000 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race run over 1800 metres, the home crowd were delighted as two Italian lady jockeys finished 1-2.
Guilia Coccia on Sedilesu came up with a searing run in the final furlong to push Debora Fioretti on Tabasco into second place while Ireland’s Jeannie Cook on Triade finished third. “I was a late entrant and I am so happy to qualify for the final. That is a great event in November and now I hope I can carry my country’s flag on the big stage with a good finish,” said Coccia.
The three races were run as part of the Abu Dhabi Day race meeting at the Capannelle race course under the umbrella of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.
HE Saqr Nasser Al Raisi, UAE Ambassador to Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and San Marino, and the Permanent Representative of the State to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) along with Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) and other sponsors’ representatives and Italian racing officials, gave away the trophies. HE Al Raisi and Ms Sawaya conveyed their greetings to the UAE leadership on the advent of the Holy Month of Ramadan.