May 13 Malmo Jagercro Ractrack Sweden ~ On Friday, the Wathba Stud Farm Cup Annual Series will share the limelight on one of Europe’s biggest dirt track nights for thoroughbreds. 12 runners from six countries will vie for the E16500 group-three race for four-year-olds, the fourth leg in the 21-event series.
Among the runners is the Scandinavian champion Arabian SR Dorwan from Denmark and the Swedish Jockey Club voted Arab of the year, Al Dahis of Iraq. Hotly tipped Gharaa meanwhile, is ridden by two-time German Derby winner Fredrik Johansson.
The winner’s trophy will be presented by the UAE ambassador to Sweden Her Excellency Shaikha Najla Mohammad Al Qasimi.
Lara Sawaya, festival director said: “The most important thing is that we have established a base in Sweden with this debut event from which we can grow and further encourage local Arabian breeders internationally.”
Mats Genburg, chairman of the Scandinavian Arabian racing Association (SARA) said: “Arabian racing plays the role of the kid brother to thoroughbred racing in Europe. But our inclusion in the Shaikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival is an important sign of credibility which will put Arabian racing up where it belongs in Scandinavia. There’s a long-standing 30-year tradition of Arabian racing in Sweden. We have 40 races a season, two of which are now sponsored by UAE, no race is below €3,000 (USD 4,233,Dh15,804). So there is already a solid foundation here. Inclusion into Shaikh Mansour’s festival is not a lifebuoy in that sense but it is a very appreciated tap on the shoulder. We’ve always played a kid brother role up against thoroughbreds in European racing, but with this recognition we can finally get the chance to show what we can do.”
The Shaikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is a three-pronged competition in its third year since inception. Aside from The Wathba Studfarm Cup there is also the parallel-running Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayhan Cup and the Shaikha Fatma Bint Mubarak Ladies Fegentri. Races are held all over the world from April through to October.
The Shaikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organized by Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by Invest AD, Areej Al Emarat, La Sarine, Abu dhabi Equestrian Club, Wathba Stud Farm and the General Women’s Union.