Star-studded field for world’s richest race for Purebred Arabians
12 November 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ Sunday 13 November the €1.2 million Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Crown Jewel-IPIC (Group 1) race by the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is not only the world’s richest race for Purebred Arabian horses but is also perhaps the most important two minutes of action for the Purebred Arabian racing fraternity.
To be run at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club in the UAE capital, the 1600-metre contest has lived up to its ‘world’s top race’ tag by attracting the best Purebred Arabians currently in racing led by hot favorite Al Mourtajez.
The race, the final of a 6-race meeting will be watched live by over 800 guests who have been in Abu Dhabi through the week soaking in the “One World, 6 Continents, Abu Dhabi The Capital” extravaganza and millions around the world and will mark the end of the 2016 year of activities of the Festival, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
After a thrilling win in the inaugural edition of this race last year (2015), Kalino under Olivier Peslier is back and so are last season’s second-placed Sahabba, third-placed Thakif and fourth-placed Abhaar.
Kahalya Classic 2016 winner AF Mathmoon carries the UAE hopes while the three-pronged US attack brings to the course two-time Sheikh Zayed Cup US Triple Crown winner Paddys Day, plus Sand Victor and Thess Is Awesome. All four have been great performers on dirt tracks and will have to prove their mettle on the Turf here while the added challenge for the American horses is that they will not have the familiar left-handed track but the opposite here.
Having drawn stall 5, surely the one to beat will be Al Mourtajez. With 12 wins in 16 starts the Thomas Fourcy-trained Al Mourtajez is in the form of his life and comes here on the back of four successive Group 1 wins including the Qatar Arabian World Cup.
“He is the best,” said Julien Auge, who has ridden him in all but one of his 16 career starts.
The other horses, Sylvine Al Maury, Loraa, RB So Rich, RB Burn, Faucon Du Coup, Mabrooka and AF Tawaq, are all in with a chance as the Arabians horses are always likely to pull off a surprise, hence a thriller is on the cards.
HE Suhail al Mazrouei, Managing Director of International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) said, “We are very proud to be involved with such a historic race and we thank His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs for giving us this opportunity.”
“Arabian horse have always been dear to the UAE citizens since generations and hence it makes us feel very satisfied to be part of this world class event being held here in Abu Dhabi,” he added.
Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) said, “We are here finally and what better way to round off the year’s activities of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival than this great race amidst the Purebred Arabian horse racing fraternity.”
“Though it is only the second running of this race, the field is the best and for sure the whole racing world will watch while the Arabian horses prove they are second to none when it comes to flat racing,” she added.
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, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, IPIC as Strategic Partner, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of
Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Al Aweer Stables, Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.