8 February 2017, Pau, France ~ Sha’hir, under Mikael Forest, kick-started the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Wathba Stud Farm Cup series with a win at the Pau racecourse in France on Tuesday, 7 February 2017.
The 1950 metre race is the first international leg of the Wathba Stud Farm Cup, a race series of the Festival that aims at the grass-roots level to help develop Purebred Arabian horse racing around the globe.
Sha’hir, owned by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani, has won the Festival’s Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Group 3) race in Ostend, Belgium, in August last year (2016).
The 6-year-old Amer son led a 1-2 finish for trainer Francois Rohaut finishing ahead of Barnamaj ridden by Francois-Xavier Bertras, both horses training under the same handler. In third place was Qatari raider Al Nashmi under Gianni Siaffa.
Commenting on the race, Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committee said, “It was a small but quality field of runners that took part in the first race of the Wathba Stud farm Cup series for the year outside the UAE.”
“The Festival heads into another busy week here in Abu Dhabi as the Board Meeting of Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) will be held on Friday, 10 February. We will also have a press conference to unveil details of the prestigious HH The President of the UAE Endurance Cup, a 160-km three star event which will be run on Saturday, 11 February. The next day, Sunday, will be the a triple delight with the President’s Cup Group 1 flat race for Purebred Arabians, the President’s Cup Listed race for Thoroughbreds and the Wathba Stud Farm Cup For Private Owners Only at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club racecourse,” she said.
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 and sponsored by Al Aweer Stables, Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, 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.