Shadwell Expands Sponsorships for Arabian Racing
17 August 2015, UK ~ For the first time in its history; the Gr.1 PA UK Arabian Derby (IFAHR) will be sponsored by Shadwell Stud when it is run as part of a Shadwell sponsored card of Thoroughbred Racing on Friday 25th September 2015 at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse.
Re-branded, the Shadwell Arabian Derby (Gr.1 PA) will be the first race on the 8 race card which also includes 2 Gr.2 races and 3 Listed contests for Thoroughbreds.
Shadwell Stud Director, Richard Lancaster explained the reasoning behind the addition of this feature Arabian race to the well established Shadwell Day format:
“Shadwell has supported racing at Newmarket through sponsorship for many years.In the past our fixtures have showcased the very top level of Thoroughbred racing with feature races such as the Middle Park Stakes (Gr.1) and until recently the Fillies Mile (Gr.1).
As many in the Arabian racing community will know, Sheikh Hamdan offered his support to the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) at the start of 2015 when the sport was in considerable need of a major investment in order to operate the current fixture list. One of the races needing investment was the UK Arabian Derby; it seemed appropriate that Sheikh Hamdan, as patron of ARO and the most successful owner ever of Arabian racehorses in the UK should add the race to his feature Thoroughbred fixture of the year.
We hope that the addition of the Shadwell Arabian Derby to a prestigious Thoroughbred card will help showcase the sport and its participants to a wider audience, a major focal point of Sheikh Hamdan’s involvement in the sport.”
Despite being run at different tracks over the years, the UK’s Arabian Derby has always attracted top quality horses.
Recent winners include top fillies KISS DE GHAZAL and MKEEFA, the latter going on to win the Arabian World Cup (Gr.1 PA) at Longchamp and ending the season as the highest rated horse in the world that year.
DJET TAOUY won the race in 2013 as an outsider, beating an incredibly strong field including the Qatari owned MUNTASAR, Sheikh Hamdan’s SIVIT AL MAURY and future Arabian World Cup (Gr.1 PA) and dual Hatta International (Gr.1 PA) winner DJAINKA DES FORGES. DJET TAOUY confirmed this was no fluke by cementing his Gr.1 PA status by taking the Shadwell Dubai International, the feature race at the Dubai International Arabian Races the following year.
Last year’s race saw the UK Arabian Derby run at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile for the first time and a rare UK runner for Monsieur Jean Pierre Totain and HH Sheikh Mansoor take the honours. In a thrilling battle to the line, NAHEE got the better of the gallant filly NAJLAA, also trained in France by M. Damien de Watrigant for HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the Qatari bred MAJD AL URAIQ for Mr Hassan Al Matwi.
Genny Haynes, Director of the Arabian Racing Organisation vocalised the appreciation of the Arabian racing community:
“ARO is delighted that HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum extended his support for Arabian racing not only here in the UK but worldwide in 2015.
With this continued support and additional sponsorship in the UK, it is with great pleasure and excitement that this prestigious Arabian race (the Shadwell Arabian Derby) will now be included in the race programme at Newmarket. This will certainly be another highlight in our Arabian race calendar for 2015 and it is appropriate that an international race of this calibre carries the name of Shadwell under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. ARO would like to express their thanks to His Highness for his continued support of ARO and Arabian racing and for giving the sport a further opportunity to showcase itself at a high quality Thoroughbred fixture.”
The Shadwell Arabian Derby is a race for 4 year olds, run over 1m2f and hopes to attract horses from across Europe to compete for the £50,000 purse. In addition to the prize fund, Shadwell are offering a travel incentive for overseas runners of up to £300 per runner.
Newmarket racecourses have been associated with the UK’s Arabian race program for many years, be it staging headline races such as the Shadwell Arabian Derby or supporting conditions stakes contests during the July Festival.