January 31, 2014, Melbourne ~ A small but classy field of seven runners have been declared to kick off the new season’s curtain raiser of the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, and eight lady jockeys will battle to the wire in the second round of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne on Saturday, February1.Both events are staged under the umbrella of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival. The two races will be held prior to the regular thoroughbred program.
Lara Sawaya, director of the Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and chairman of the Ladies Racing Committee (IFAHR) clarified: “According to our 2014 rules, every race will involve not less than eight contenders, two of them should be professionals. For Caulfield, our two professionals are from Korea and Australia.”
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“The Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup carries Euro 35,000 in prize-money and Euro 30,000 for the HH Sheikha Fatima Championship. Over and above the Euro 30.000, the festival has provided Euro 40,000 for the top five jockey clubs which collect points to be used to support professional lady jockeys,” Sawaya added.
Racing action gets underway at Caulfield with the $80,000 Robert Hunter Handicap (1400m) at 1.15pm and concludes with the Mornington Cup Prelude at 5.30pm.
The three-year-olds clash in the $135,000 Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) is shaping as one of many highlights on Saturday’s eight-race Caulfield program.
Headed by Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) winner Fast ‘N’ Rocking, who currently holds a nomination for the Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m), the race also includes six Australian Guineas entrants including exciting colts Prince Harada and Bull Point.
A further highlight promises to be the $120,000 Listed Sportingbet Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m) which has attracted a stellar field of 14 runners headed by ATC Derby (2400m) winner Ethiopia.
The fourth Stakes race on the card, the $120,000 Robert Taranto W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m), similarly lacks nothing for quality featuring a crack field of 13 runners headed by last start Kensington Stakes (1000m) winner General Truce.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and Fegentri with Arabtec Holding PJSC as the Official Partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Al Rashid Investment, 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 2014, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Racing Post.