HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival races to spice up Swedish celebrations
5 May 2015, Stockholm, Sweden ~ Swedish citizens enjoy their National Day on 6 May, and a 100 year-old tradition has been revived to celebrate with the races in Gärdet where the two Purebred Arabian races of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival will once again take centre stage.
Racing at Gärdet on National Day has been revived since 2013 and Gärdet is expecting a crowd of around 50,000 as last year to mark the day and enjoy the festivities.
Some of the top Purebred Arabians racing in Europe will be seen in action in the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Listed Cup and the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship races.
All eyes will be on Dutch trainer Karin Van Den Bos and her two stable stars Athlete Del Sol and Alibaba Del Sol after having swept the races here last year (2014). Van Den Bos will be looking to make it a third double triumph, as she also swept the field in 2011.
Spicing up the challenge to the Del Sol horses will be Gazel T and Al Janoob, two winners of the Festival’s races this year.
In the Sheikh Zayed Listed Cup over 1500 metres, Gazel T under Jacob Johanson will be looking to halt Athlete Del Sol under Carlos Lopez. The Gerd Zoetelief-trained Gazel T has made a winning start to 2015 winning the Group 3 Wathba Stud Farm Cup for the fourth year in a row and finishing ahead of European Triple champion Ameretto. A full field of nine horses will make the line-up for the seventh round of the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Listed).
In the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) horses will be ridden by professional lady jockeys and Al Janoob will face Alibaba Del Sol as the latter seeks revenge for his loss in St Moritz.
Beaten to second place in five races and win-less in 11 races last year, the 6-year-old Al Janoob, under Swiss lady jockey Astrid Wullschleger, started 2015 by registering the shock win over Alibaba Del Sol. For Sweden, Al Janoob has been paired with Polish lady jockey Joanna Wyrzyk while Alibaba Del Sol will have Shirley Hunter, the Australian jockey with over 300 winners from 800 races to her credit.
The other lady jockeys who will be vying to win and book a berth in the 8 November final of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship series are Italian Jessica Marcialis on Labwah, American Nathalia Turner on Winston Rocket, Switzerland’s Sibylle Vogt on Maaloof, local Swede Madeleine Smith on Niraan, Pauline Prod’homme, a winner in the series last year on LL Kid Rock, Denmark’s Sara Slot on Dratzan, UK’s Ann Stokell on Mirabelle Del Sol and Germany’s Tamara Hofer who will fancy her chances on a former European Triple winner Sartejano.
“This is such a great atmosphere with Stockholm already in celebratory mode, a large number of visitors and we are expecting a great race meeting tomorrow. It is a great opportunity for the Arabian equine stars and also the ten lady jockeys to display their skill in front of one of the biggest crowds,” said Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR).
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 in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), 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 2015, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Yas Channel, Omeir Travels and Racing Post.