20 August 2016, Sandown Park, Uk ~ Sir Bani Yas added another Group 1 win to his collection when drawing clear of the field in the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup at Sandown Park today. Ridden by UAE Champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea, the grey struck for home up the centre of the course, with second place Aghsaan choosing the stands rail and Awzaan, finishing third, on the far side.
Speaking after the race O’Shea commented. “It’s a privilege to get offered the ride on him by the Al Asayl team, he’s a very, very good horse. Obviously he’s been a model of consistency, so it’s great get another Group 1 under his belt. I work for HH Sheikh Khalifa and Al Asayl over the winter months, so I’m delighted to ride him a Group 1 winner in Europe. Tactically it was a tricky race to ride as they split across the track, but the main thing was not to get to the front too soon. I waited as long as I dared and then pressed the button. Thankfully he had enough class to get to the line well.”
Trainer Elizabeth Bernard was delighted saying, “It was hard at the finish as the horses went to different sides of the track. Sir Bani Yas likes to battle, so when he can’t see the other horses, it is more difficult. If he gets to the front too early, he stops because he thinks his job is finished, so it is very important to hit the front at the last moment. Tadhg O’Shea rode him very well as he doesn’t know him. We may have another race before the Qatar World Cup, but I will speak with the racing manager.”
Arabian Racing Organization Director Genny Haynes couldn’t be happier with how the two Emirates Days at Sandown had gone commenting. “That was a superb performance by Sir Bani Yas to win today and by the two placed horses Aghsaan and Awzaan, who have progressed so well this season. It follows a great victory yesterday by Germany’s Monique Luebcke on Koline, in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR), giving Stephen Gregory his first ever win as a trainer with ARO.”
Haynes continued. “We are so grateful for the fantastic support the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Festival and its’ associate sponsors continue to give UK Arabian racing and to Lara Sawaya who works tirelessly to promote the sport around the globe. It was also an honor to see the UAE Ambassador to the UK, HE Suliaman Hamad Almazroui in attendance today.”
Regarding the next event: “Our next event,” said Haynes, “is at Hereford on 28 August, and is also sponsored by the Festival. This meeting, which supports the grass-roots of the sport in the UK, has received nearly 90 Purebred Arabian entries – the highest figure for a domestic fixture this season – which is incredible. We are also delighted to see the return of the UK stage of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentice (IFAHR) series at Lingfield Park on 10 September.”
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.
~ end supplied report
Photos:Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media