14 August 2017, UK ~ The inaugural UAE Abu Dhabi Day held at Chelmsford City Racecourse on Saturday, 12 August 2017, held six Purebred Arabian races for a cheering crowd of 10,000 fans.
In addition to the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Gr1PA) and the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies and Apprentice World Championship qualifiers, there were three supporting races, run under the Wathba Stallions banner, as part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Horse Racing Festival. This provided an exciting opportunity for a UK Heritage Arabian Racing Club (HARC) horse, Kallista (Sambist x GAS Pepelka) to gain an important victory in front of a much wider audience, in a race not confined to HARC only horses.
Running in the colours of ARO Director Paul Simmons, trained by Peter Hammersley, and ridden by the current UK ARO Jockeys’ Championship leader David Turner, Kallista won the Wathba Stallions (0-50) Handicap over a mile.
After her win Hammersley said: “That was fantastic. Kallista has been so frustrating. The blinkers helped settle her and everything went her way today, Dave has given her a brilliant ride.”
Turner also commented: “It’s been a great evening in front of a fantastic crowd. Kalista ran really well tonight and having won easily here last year for Steve Harrison, she has struggled with her mark since, but this is her level. The blinkers have helped her concentrate more on her work, as she’s clever and is still learning her job.”
Simmons, the UK’s HARC breeders’ representative, said: “She is a lovely mare and very talented but she can sulk in behind, however as soon as she hit the front she travelled really well. Pete and the team have done a great job with her and Dave suits her, he gave her a great ride.”
Chelmsford City Racecourse Manager Fraser Garrity: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to have the Arabian Racing Organisation and the Sheikh Mansoor Festival races here today. Racing is still fairly new to Essex, we’re the only track here and I think the crowd love a good day out and good horses to watch. It doesn’t make any difference to them if they are Arabians or Thoroughbreds.”
Genny Haynes, ARO Director concluded: “It has been a great evening of racing under the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival banner and it is particularly pleasing to see Kallista gain this important victory in a race not confined to HARC approved horses. The HARC scheme has been a great initiative to encourage old and new people to the sport, or, as in Kallista’s case, she is a welcome addition to an established string, demonstrating that HARC is not exclusive in who their horses appeal to.”
photo: Debbie Burt