Morocco’s Marmoul, Belgium’s Vande Velde win the Ladies Championship
2 June 2015, Warsaw, Poland ~ The top race on the card was the €35,000 Grade A Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan International Cup.
Grade A Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan International Cup
The winning stallion, Ameretto, showed he had the right stuff to win the Grade 1 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan International Cup in front of a packed house at the 76-year-old Sluzewiec racecourse in Warsaw, Poland, on Sunday, 31 May. The 400-plus delegates who had just finished the Festival’s three-day World Arabian Horse Racing Conference were delighted with the racing.
The rarely beaten grey stallion, a consistent performer in the Festival’s races and winner of the Festival’s European Triple Crown, had lost to Gazel T in Sweden earlier in May. Now reunited with regular jockey Manuel Manueddu, the 9-year-old son of Amer showed he still was on top with a superb win against Westim (Lukasek up) and end the latter’s unbeaten 6-race win since debut.
Westim did not go down easy, but the champion in Ameretto (Amer x Win Taouy x Drug) would not let the younger horse succeed as he shrugged off the 5-year-old Nougatin son’s challenge to win the 2400 metres race.
Owner Dr Paul Daviero said, “He needed that run in Sweden and today it is the 12th win for Manueddu on Ameretto. We will now be taking him to Duindigt for a similar Sheikh Zayed Cup.”
It was an afternoon of celebration for two young lady jockeys. Morocco’s Bouchra Marmoul won the Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) race riding Wasilew, and Belgium’s Zoe Vande Velde won the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship race on Perfecktor.
Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR)
Bouchra Marmoul, the only lady currently racing in Morocco apart from two young apprentices, had worked well with Wasilew to stave off the double challenge from Ireland’s Aileen O’Sullivan on Zahim and the fast-finishing Kasir Al Khalidiah under Dutch lady rider Tjarda Humphreji. Locked in a stride-for-stride tussle with Zahim, the 22-year-old Marmoul, who hails from a humble background, said she just prayed to God.
“The trainer asked me to keep the horse in front and I just did that,” said Marmoul. “Having finished third three times in this race series I am now finally so happy to have won and am looking forward to the Abu Dhabi showdown in November.”
HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship
Earlier, in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship, Belgium’s Zoe Vande Velde was put into the starting line-up just 30 minutes before the draw after Bahrain’s Ali Al Showaikh pulled out. The Belgian grabbed the opportunity to make a winning debut and book her place in the final in Abu Dhabi on 8 November.
Vande Velde fought start to finish on Perfektor, coming in ahead of Benefis under young Moroccan rider Omar Lakjal with Sariah Al Khalediah under Irish rider Eoin Walsh in third, followed by last year’s winner in the HH Sheikha Fatima Ladies race Nicolas under local hope Konrad Mazur.
“I have heard so much about the final meeting held in Abu Dhabi and now that I have qualified, I can’t wait till November. This has been such a great experience and I think I was just lucky to be here, but to cap that with a win, it simple great,” said the 21-year-old Belgian.
Six other races were on the card and a large crowd enjoyed with a dozen UAE envoys and the WAHRC delegates also present. UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Poland, HE Asim Mirza said he had received many telephone calls from top officials in the Polish government who hailed the WAHRC which focused on the future of the Purebred Arabians and said this was the first ever time such an event was held here.
“Such meetings will further boost the strong relationship with the UAE in the various fields of investments, tourism and other sports and social activities,” he said.
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 in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2015, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Yas Channel, Omeir Travels and Racing Post.