September 20, 2012, Malmoe, Sweden ~ Top Swedish jockey Per-Anders Graberg partnered Al Dahis to glory in the 1200m The Wathba Stud Farm International Arabian Sprint, the last Gr-3 of the season, at the Jagersro Racetrack (dirt) here on Thursday evening.
The eight-year-old son of Sheridhah-Al Rabab raced from the centre of the track before he changed course to chase the leading pair and find his lead on a sloppy track in the concluding strides to prevail by half a length on the line.
“I think Al Dahis did a very good job and relished the soft ground,” said the winning jockey Graberg in a post-race chat. Al Dahis is owned by Dr. Mohammad Al Nujaifi, and trained by Ms. Pia Höiom in Sweden.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin ZayedAl Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by General Authority for Youth and Sports and Fegentri with Emirates airlines as the official carrier and sponsored by Invest AD, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, Mauzan, AlAwani General Enterprises, Kabale, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2012,Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
Sheikha Najla Al Qassimi, UAE ambassador to Sweden attended the race and gave away the trophies and prizes to the winners along with Lara Sawaya, director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival and Head of IFAHR ladies racing and other officials of the racecourse and sponsors.
“I would like to say a very big thank you for HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs who’s behind all this great success of the Arabian races around the globe,” she said.
“The continuity of the Arabian races under the umbrella of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival is simply something great and useful in linking the people of the UAE with the rest of the world. And such brilliant ideas put the UAE in the mouth of everybody. People in Europe, USA and elsewhere know too much about the UAE culture, traditions and heritage thanks to the strong support of the country’s wise leadership,” she added.
Sheikha Najla also thanked the orgamisers of the Wathba Stud Farm series and the management of the racecourse for the warm welcome and hospitality.
Meanwhile, Lara Sawya announced that HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE, Chairwoman of theUAE General Women’s Union (GWU) and Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation, will be honoured on the Qatar Arabian World Cup at the Longchamp Racecourse which will be held during the French Arc Day.
“The move to honour HH Shaikh Fatima, Mother of the Nation, is a gesture of appreciation of the pivotal role she has been playing in promoting women sports in Arabian horse racing and providing the opportunity to ladies jockeys from all parts of the world to compete and face the challenges to prove their worth,” she added.
Meanwhile, Abdulla Al Muhairi, public relations manager of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority said they are proud to organise the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival.
“The festival has established itself as the premier Arabian racing showcase while it’s still celebrating its fourth anniversary,” he said.
Mats Genberg, secretary general of the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing (IFAHR), and the president of the Scandinavian Arabian Association and director of Swedish Jockey Club said: “The event has developed tremendously thanks to the support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival.”
“Al Wathba Stud Farm Cup races are attracting different breeders and owners and this year it has been promoted to Gr-3 which is a very big jump for the horses in form,” he said.
The same opinion was echoed by the manager of the racecourse Bo Gillborg who thanked HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his great support and backing for the races.
The next stopover for the Wathba Stud Farm Cup will be in Stockton, California where the 17th round of the series will be run over 1200m and carries a total purse of US$8.500 in prizemoney with eight Arabian runners lining up for honours on September 29.
The 18th round will be held also in California on October 6, then moves to Holland which play hosts for the 19thround on October 7 before it concludes in Germany on October 13 with the 20th and final round of the series for the current season.