Spain's race course hosts first Arabian race
6 May 2018, Madrid, Spain ~ While there were several other top races in the world on the same day, it was a memorable one for the UAE in the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival events, both on the endurance circuit in Madrid and the Gran Hippodrome De L’Andalucia race course in Seville in Spain, on Saturday, 5 May 2018.
Ajaayib (Mahabb), owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler and Minister of Finance, was ridden to a superb win by Mickael Forest in the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, Seville’s first-ever Listed race.
The Francois Rohaut-trained daughter of Mahabb stayed with the leading pack for most of the race and once on the home stretch, forged ahead to post a convincing win finishing ahead of Al Shamoos under Julien Grosjean from Al Nujafi Racing and Al Nama under Richard Mullen from Al Shaqab Racing in the Euros 35,000 race run over 1500 metres.
Earlier in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship leg over 1900 metres; there was more success for the region when Omani raider Al Mah’youb carried Belgian Sanne de Ceulaer to a comfortable win.
Al May’youb under Belgian Sanne de Ceulaer finished ahead of Al Neksh under Hunagrian Huszar Korinna while in third place was Haramil under Turkey’s Mahson Turan.
“This is my first race on an Arabian horse and am so thrilled I won. I am looking forward to the final in Abu Dhabi. Many of my jockey colleagues have been there, so I will pick their brains and prepare for the prestigious race,” said de Ceulaer.
The loudest cheers were reserved for the pony riders as the Festival unveiled the opening leg of its newest series – the HH Sheikha Lateefa Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Pony International race series.
Eleven-year-old Alberto Peres-Luna on Rayo showed a lot of class and promise winning this first of the ten races to be staged around the world. Diego Dorantes on Caramelo and Diego Ruiz on Latigo finished second and third respectively.
While Alyazia Al Romaithi on Holoutaria registered a smart time of 5 hrs 39 mins 16 secs to win the 120-km ride, Asma Ahmed Janahi on Oregon in third place, Alia Ahmad Al Saboori on Maur Perejil (5th place) and Shathra Al Hajaj riding Negriza Del Falot (7th place) ensured the UAE also topped the Team Championship in this Nations Cup ride.
Agda Muxi Crusellas of Spain on Before De Bordenave finished second while Carlota Villegas, also of Spain on Zeus Fkt 25, finished fourth. The UAE’s Nesreen Ali Khalid on Ciro De completed a perfect day for the UAE with an 8th place finish.
Later Spanish riders completed a 1-2 in the Festival-sponsored 100-mile (160-km) ride to mark 100 years of Zayed with Angel Soy Coll on Warrens Hill Chayze finishing first in a time of 9 hours 8 minutes and 58 seconds. Paula Muntala Sanchez on Al Hfifa Zafira helped Spanish sweep with the third place.
“I thank my father for encouraging me into the sport and I hope I win for Spain in the final in Abu Dhabi,” Alberto said.
The UAE Ambassador to Spain HE Dr. Hessa Al Oteiba, HE Sulaiman Hamid Al Mazroui – UAE Ambassador to UK, HE Yousif Al-Sabre-UAE Ambassador to Poland, HE Mohammed Al Suwaidi-UAE Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, Edward Hamod, Director of National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC, Dr. Abdulla Al Raisi, Director of National Archives, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi-Director General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) along with others attended and gave away the trophies at the Gran Hippodrome De L’Andalucia race course in Seville.
On the sidelines of the Seville race meeting, the Abu Dhabi Youth Council, the Abu Dhabi Police Youth Council members along with the other young participants at the Forum and the Apprentice jockeys attended a Youth Circle meeting organized by the Festival. Various experts in racing spoke to the youth on issues related to the racing sport.