French Apprentice Bonnefoy, Slovakian Kucharikova Win First Races in Marrakesh

Bonnefoy, Slovakian Kucharikova win Fatima races at first race meeting at Hippodrome De Marrakesh



13 May 2017, Marrakesh, Morocco ~  A 1-2-3 awarded owner–trainer Kamal Daissaoui in the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Listed) race after he had already won the Wathba Stud Farm Cup, ensuring the spotlight on the first day of racing action on the world’s newest race course in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Daissaou served notice when Brown De Saularie won the Prix Wathba Stud Farm, the first of the day’s four HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival races and then rounded it off in the feature race with his horses finishing 1-2-3 on Sunday, 7 May 2017.

Race Board

Race Board

In the final feature Syndella under Khalid Jbilou got the better of her two fancied stable mates, Bachar De Carrere under Abdelkader El Kandoussi and the Said Samir-ridden Salma Al Khalediah over 1900m.

In between the double win by Daissaoui, Apprentice Yoann Bonnefoy revealed excellent skills as he steadied the wayward Jasma I to win the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship over 1900m race while Slovakian Michala Kucharikova won the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race on Djourman BS over the same distance.

Earlier in the afternoon the 500-plus delegates who had taken part in the three-day World Arabian Horse Racing Conference (WAHRC) along with top officials including the Mayor of Marrakesh inaugurated the Hippodrome de Marrakesh with the introduction of the 6-race ‘UAE Abu Dhabi Race Day’ meeting including the Festival’s four races for Purebred Arabians.

Prix Wathba Stud Farm Cup

Brown De Saulaire

Brown De Saulaire

Daissaoui’s top jockey Abdelkader El Kandoussi on Brown De Saularie demolished the 8-horse field as the 3-year-old son of No Risk Al Maury won the Moroccan Dirhams (MAD)70,000 race by over ten lengths from Izetta Top De Montjoi in the Wathba Cup.

Grand Prix Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup

El Kandoussi could not make it a double though he was on the favourite Bachar De Carrere in the Zayed Cup but finished second to Syndella while Salma Al Khalediah was third, all three in the silks of Daissaoui.

Jbilou who steered the 4-year-old Scoubie De Carrere filly Syndella said: “This is indeed a very great win for me. There were better horses than mine but she showed a lot of heart and kept fighting till the end. My trainer asked me to just keep him off the pace and we took the chance,” said the 21-year-old who has over 50 wins under his belt.

Daissaoui was jubilant and celebrated along with his family members. “I am very, very happy with this success on the opening day of Hippodrome de Marrakesh and also as it is an international race meeting,” he said.

In the Zayed Cup I was expecting my other two runners Bachar De Carrere and Salma Al Khalediah to do better. It was a nice surprise when Syndella won. Bachar De Carrere has won a group 3 race but the two horses have had setbacks in training,” said Daissaoui who owns about 100 horses with 40 of them being Purebred Arabians.

Prix HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Moubarak Ladies World Championship

Djourman win

Djourman BS wins

Earlier 32-year-old Slovakian Kucharikova on Djourman BS managed to defeat the challenge of Dutch lady jockey Cindy Kilkenburg on Nectanebo Al Boraq to win the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race.

My trainer asked me to ride him hard. He was very slow off the gates and was at the rear for a long period. But once we turned for home there was a gap and he took off. The Dutch jockey who came second chased and my horse kept moving ahead to win in a close finish,” said Kucharikova, who will be starting her law practice in September.

Michala Kucharikova

Michala Kucharikova took Ladies Championship on Djourman BS

I am very, very happy. This is my 8th career win and I mostly take part in the Festival races now. This is the second time I have qualified for the final. In 2013 I won in Duindigt and qualified but finished 6th. I am looking forward to Abu Dhabi in November and will be happy to finish 5th and above,” she said.

HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship

Bonnefoy after win

Bonnefoy after win

French Apprentice Yoann Bonnefoy will also be joining Kucharikova in Abu Dhabi but will be chasing the world title in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship. Jasma I looked headed for a win but nearing the finish she started to stray wide before the French 24-year-old steadied her back on track to complete the win by less than a length from Akho Amyr Event under Briton Emma Tutty. In third was Moroccan Walid Bendhekidel on Marhaban Maamora.

Mana Saeed Al Otaiba, former UAE Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Noura Al Suwaidi, Director of the UAE’s General Women’s Union, IFAHR chief Sami Boueinen, Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), sponsors’ representatives, and top Moroccan officials gave away the trophies to the winning connections of the Festival’s four races.

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, 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 with and sponsored by Ayadi LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, 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 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.

~ end supplied report

Photos by Pamela

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