Dubai International Arabian Races Begins 2016 Australian Season

The two Arabian races in association with the National Arabian Racehorse Association of Australia (NARA) will be staged as part of a full day of Thoroughbred racing sponsored by Shadwell Stud Australasia

lgDIAR23 February 2016, Australia ~ South Australian Jockey Club (SAJC) Chief Executive Officer Brenton Wilkinson announced Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide was chosen by the Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR) committee to host the first two DIAR races of 2016 at the 12th March race meet to complement Shadwell Stud Australasia’s sponsorship of a full card of Thoroughbred racing.

The family-friendly event is a platform to promote the sport of Arabian horse racing in South Australia and showcase Middle Eastern culture, and it promises to be an exciting lead-up event to Adelaide’s premier racing event – the 2016 UBET Adelaide Cup on 14 March.

The two Arabian races in association with the National Arabian Racehorse Association of Australia (NARA) will be staged as part of a full day of Thoroughbred racing sponsored by Shadwell Stud Australasia which is celebrating 30 years of success in Australia. The story started when AT TALAQ trained by Colin Hayes at Lindsay Park Stud in Angaston, won the 1986 Melbourne Cup.

“The event is a great way to acknowledge the long-standing relationship between Shadwell and the Hayes family, both who have played such an important part of Thoroughbred racing in South Australia over the last 30 years,” Mr Wilkinson said.

The Arabian horse races have been made possible through the support of the DIAR program whose patron is His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

HH Sheikh Hamdan was one of the pioneers in bringing European bred Thoroughbreds to race successfully in the Southern Hemisphere, and is one of the most prominent and successful owners and breeders of Arabian racehorses in the world.

“The Arabian horse racing industry is small but growing in Australia, with many drawn to the athleticism of the horses, as well as the excitement of the racing,” Mr Wilkinson said. “Arabian horses are generally smaller than Thoroughbreds, but can carry large weights and have gentle temperaments, opening the door for a broader range of people to get involved in the sport as jockeys.”

Director of Shadwell Stud Australasia, Mark Kelly, reiterated the significance of Shadwell’s support of the race day in South Australia and their connection with the DIAR program.
“We are excited that the connection between Shadwell Stud Australasia and South Australia can be further developed through the sponsorship of a card of Thoroughbred racing in the lead up to the Adelaide Cup,” Mr Kelly said.

“We have invested heavily in Thoroughbred racing and breeding in South Australia for 30 years and this is a great opportunity to commemorate our significant achievements during that time. “

All the Thoroughbred races on 12 March will be named after horses that have won Group One races in Australia in the famous nominated colors of HH Sheikh Hamdan.
“It fits really nicely that HH Sheikh Hamdan is also the patron of DIAR and that this event provides the opportunity to educate more people about the Arabian breed, the sport of Arabian horse racing and the Arabic culture which underpins it.”

Mr Wilkinson said an all-South Australian jockey line-up will feature in the Arabian races – the Shadwell Arabian Stallions Plate valued at $30,000 and the UAE Arabian Plate worth $20,000. The races will be called by Victoria Shaw, Australia’s only professional female race caller.

Along with the Thoroughbred racing and two showcase Arabian races, other events on the day will include a Cultural Marquee where race-goers will be given the opportunity to learn about the United Arab Emirates.

“Race-goers can sample Middle Eastern food and drinks, and experience the art of henna tattoo – all for free,” Mr Wilkinson said. “A face painter and pony rides will provide entertainment for the younger members in the crowd.”

In the lead-up to the March race meet Adelaide primary schools will be involved in an exciting community art project The Arabian Rainbow Competition. The competition allows students to paint a life-sized fibre glass sculpture of an Arabian horse. It is hoped the project will provide school children to learn more about the Arabic culture while nurturing their creative and artistic instincts.

The finished sculptures will be display at Morphettville Racecourse on 12 March and will be judged by the committee of the DIAR, led by His Excellency Mirza Al Sayegh. The winning school will receive a cash prize of $3000, $2000 for second place and $1500 for third place.