Arabian Racing returns to Brazil after More than a Decade

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Attentaddo VE on the inside heading to the finish line

 November 21, 2013, Sao Paulo, Brazil ~ The Grand Prix National or GP NACIONAL DO CAVALO ARABE ran on Sunday November 10, 2013 at the Sao Paulo race track.This was the third time since 2002 Arabians raced in Brazil, as the first race took place this year on September 30. The second was Premio Haras Sahara on Oct 27, which started the rivalry between Atentaddo V, who won that day, over Thunder Rach in the 1200m dirt race.

On November 10, on  a 10 race card, the Arabians ran first. After a well fought battle of 1300m, Attentaddo VE (Wonderfull Boy x Dahaby NA) and Thunder Rach (Foccus Rach x Talita Rach) crossed the wire together for a photo finish.

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Thunder Rach grey on the outside

Results: Winning Time-Tempo : 1:29:834


X1º – 1300 M – 4 years and up – SEM APOSTAS – PURO SANGUE ÁRABE

1300m 4 years +

Horse, Jockey, weight, finish time

1 ATENTADDO VE                A.QUEIROZ               59          1:29.834        1/2

2 THUNDER RACH            JEANE ALVES           53          1:29.884        1/2

3 AL POL RACH                   M.QUINTANA            59          1:30.611          4

4 ROMULUS RACH          N.CUNHA                      56          1.31.701          6

5 OLIVER RACH                 M.RIBEIRO                   53          1:31.820      6 3/4

6 BMV RICK                        R.MAIA                             56          1:36.107         36


Atentaddo VE:



Trainer – Treinador : J.L.ARANHA

Pedigree – Filiação : WONDERFULL BOY e DAHABY NA

Thunder Rach:

Owner – Rach Stud

Breeder – Rach Stud

Pedigree- (Foccus Rach x Talita Rach) 

What did it take to bring Arabian racing back to Brazil’s racetracks? Horsereporter interviewed Paulo Jamil Saliba, owner and breeder of Rach Stud and Racing Director of the ABCCA Arabian Breeders Association of Brazil, who is a top Arabian breeder and has been instrumental in the resurgence of the popularity of Arabian racing in Brazil.

HR: How long has it been since Arabians raced on the tracks in Brazil?

PJS: “Actually the Arabian Premiere on September 30th was the return to Racing in Brazil after 11 years. That race was 1100m on dirt and was won by All Pol Rach ( Polonez x After the Rapture by Aristo Kossack).”

HR: Why did Arabian racing stop in Brazil?

PJS: “The races were held in Paraná, far from the breeders. The Arabian breeders are mainly concentrated in the state of São Paulo. Besides, the shows were the main interest of the market at that moment.

HR: What is your involvement with Arabians?

PJS: “I’m a breeder, along with my family, for the last 28 years. Our farm is the Rach Stud located in *Minas Gerais. Our program is based on Polish bloodlines and we have been very successful in shows and Endurance racing. My interest in racing has grown a lot in the last 10 years.

“Since 2009 we also breed Thoroughbreds and are racing them successfully. In 2005 I had started the negotiation with the **Jockey Club de São Paulo (JCSP) for having Arabian racing there. They agreed at that time, but we could not have the horses living and training there, they had to stay at the Chacara do Ferreira, a training facility owned by the JCSP.”

“The Arabian breeders at the moment showed no interest though, mostly because the show horse was the main focus. In 2010 I started the negotiations again, and at this time they said OK, including having the horses located inside the JCSP.”

“I was at that time already the Racing Director of the ABCCA but frankly at that time I had quit, because I was not seeing the breeders showing any further interest. Then in 2012, our friends from ANCAF (NACIONAL DO CAVALO ÁRABE) were interested in running the races, and I helped them in the negotiations with the JCSP. It seemed that it was going to happen, but for some reason they didn’t follow up with the project.

“After going to watch the Arc (Paris Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe) and the Qatar Arabian World Cup last year, I realized that Arabians had to race in Brazil, since we are one of the largest breeders of Purebred Arabians in the world and we have and all kinds of bloodlines, exceeding in Endurance and other activities so…why not? Back in Brazil, after a while, I started talking again with the JCSP board, and in June 10, after setting a commitment between ABCCA and the JCSP, the first horses arrived there at the track. I’m the Racing Director of the  ABCCA now and for the next three years. My brother Ricardo Saliba is very involved with the project too. Our main concern is to show the breeders that they will have a function for the 3-year-old horses until they are 5 and up, and they can go to other sports if they want. The racing is very important to create a market for young horses.”

HR: Were this year’s racing Arabians bred for racing?

PJS: “In the last 40 years we, the Brazilian Breeders, have imported bloodlines from all over the world. Today in the pedigree of the Brazilian Horse you find Polish, Russian, Crabbet, Spanish, Egyptian, Domestic American, old Argentinian and Uruguayan and some French blood.

“For the last 15 years, since Endurance racing has become very popular in Brazil, the breeders have carefully selected horses for soundness, good structure and stamina. So, most of the horses going for racing today have been bred for endurance.”

“The first races showed some great potential on horses like All Pol Rach, Atentaddo VE and Thunder Rach. The are mostly from Polish bloodlines crossed with Russian/ Domestic American/ Egyptian. I think it will be very exciting to find out what are the bloodlines that will show speed and stamina at the racetrack. Some blood were never tested here, and many surprises can happen.”

HR: Are the Thoroughbred owners helpful with the Arabians racing?

PJS: “Yes, They are very helpful and accepted the Arabian very well. I’m also a TB breeder and knowing many breeders and the board of the JCSP has made everything easier.”

 HR: Any special rules for the Arabians to race?

PJS: “We follow the rules of the Thoroughbred racing, except for weights. They used to reduce the weights on older horses, but we don’t on Arabians. The jockeys and trainers are the same.”

HR: Any other race tracks in Brazil that will have Arabian races?

PJS: “A small racetrack in Paraná just had one Arabian race and the Gávea Racetrack in Rio de Janeiro is considering the possibility. We already had 4 races and intend in future to have from 4 to 8 races per month.”

HR: Are there many lady jockeys on the tracks in Brazil?

PJS: “ There are many females jockeys in Brazil. The number is increasing lately. At the moment, only Jeane Alves, one of our top jockeys. has ridden in an Arabian Race, and she really enjoyed it.”

HR: Is there betting that will be in place for the Arabian races?

PSJ: “We had only one race with betting right now, and it was OK. For the next races, depending on the number of horses and owners, the JCSP will let us have betting again.”

HR: How is the prize money funded?

PJS: “Last July we had a Stallion Breeding Auction in benefit for the Arabian Racing in Brazil. This auction brought R$110,000,00, something like US$50,000,00. From this amount we are paying the purses. Beside that, we get 15% from the betting on each race, but now, we had betting in only one race. Soon we will need new funds to keep paying the purses. We are going after sponsorships and we intend to have another Breeding Auction soon.

HR: When did you join IFAHR – International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities?

PJS: “Last October  I went to Paris representing ABCCA and attended the General Assembly. At that meeting Brazil was elected a new member of IFAHR. We believe that with this membership Brazil will be recognized as a new center of Arabian Racing with a lot of potential to expand. We believe that soon other countries of South America will join IFAHR too.”

HR: We wish you all the luck with your good breeding and commitment.

~As noted in the ArabBrazilian Chamber of Commerce news of June 30, 2013: Saliba believes Arab horse races may benefit from the new phase of the São Paulo Jockey Club, which is renegotiating debts and improving its betting system. Total race revenues should go from the current R$ 100 million per year to R$ 400 million. According to Saliba, the races will be broadcast by Band Sports. “We were lucky that the Jockey Club is at a good moment, there are forecasts of increased visualization and sales. This is a new market and we may see good results,” he says. The races will be run on grass or sand, in 1,200- and 2,000-metre tracks.


*Minas Gerais: one of the 26 states of Brazil and ranks as the second most populous.

**Jockey Club of Brazil:





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