8 June 2015 ~ For the last two years HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Arabian Flat Racing Festival has been a big part of the racing offered the citizens of Stockholm on the Swedish National Day. On 6 June in a six race card the Arabian purebreds contested the two carrying far the biggest prizes of the day.
Athlete del Sol (Dormane) had come from Netherlands to repeat his victory in the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, a listed race over 1500 meters. Again he was to meet compatriot Gazel T (Prince d’Orient), fresh from a win over 1730 m dirt in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup at Jägersro and again he was to meet Ghallab (Chndaka), who was best in at the weights.
Carlos Lopez on Athlete, however, made no mistakes and won readily from the turf specialist Daraahem (Fadjik) and Gazelle T, while Swedish sprint champion Mad Makz (Mackzan) finished fourth and Ghallab fifth.
Karin van den Bos is a frequent raider on the Scandinavian circuit and was delighted to receive yet another big race winner.
Ms van den Bos also saddled the red-hot favourite for the HH Shekha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies IFAHR Cup over a daunting 2750 meter. Alibaba del Sol (Kerbella) had made mincemeat of his opponants in last year’s (2014)edition and was expected to do so again, though Gazel T’s stable companion Mirabella del Sol (Kerbella) was 4 kilo better off at the weights. At those former Stockholm Cup Winner Sartejano (Dormane) should be right up with them and the best of the local hopefuls to beat the dutch invasion were Labwah (Asad Saif) and Al Janoob (Magic de Piboul).
While Sartejano resolutely went to dictate the pace with Al Janoob and Labwah not far off, both Alibaba and Mirabella bided their time deep down the field. The made headway through the last bend and had enough dry powder left to go have the race between them in a desperately close finish.
Bred, owned and trained by Gerard Zortelief, who is himself no stranger to Scandinavian racing, the winners received the prizes from the hands of Lara Sawaya, head of the Festival, Adnan Sultan and HE the Ambassador of Abu Dhabi to Sweden.