2015 HH Sheikh Mansoor Racing Festival off to a flying start in Muscat
16 January 2014, Muscat, Oman ~ On Friday, 16 January at the Al Rahba Farms Racecourse, Swedish lady jockey Josefin Landgren showed her skills as she cruised home to become the first winner in 2015 of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship.
Landgren outclassed nine other lady jockeys to win the 1600-metre race on Chriss Swa (Chndaka x Triss) to become the first to book her berth in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship finale to be held in Abu Dhabi on 8 November 2015.
In fact, the 24 yr-old amateur jockey had finished last in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship races in 2013 in Stockholm (10th to LL Donner) and in Toulouse (16th to Artex), which made Friday’s win that much sweeter.
Landgren said she followed the instructions of local Omani trainer Khalid bin Saif Al Maliki. The Swede finished ahead of British competitor Jodie Hughes on Kaovino, while German rider Silke Bruggemann on Last American Man BVA took third place in the 10-horse field. The winning time for the 1600-metre distance in the €30,000 race was 01:50:42.
In the early stages, it was the Hungarian Gabriella Vonczem on Secret Treasure who led after a fine start with Austrian Carolin Stummer and American jockey Natalie Turner running second and third midway through the race.
With three furlongs stretching out in front of her, Landgren made her move and Chriss Swa forged ahead to hit the front. From then on there was only clear track as Landgren cruised home to win by more than two lengths.
“I’m truly delighted to see my horse winning this prestigious trophy,” said the jubilant trainer Khalid bin Saif Al Maliki later. “It’s one of the greatest moments in my life to be part of this international event which is held on the same day as the Omani Derby,” he added.
The Swede was equally elated to book the first spot in the dream final of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship in Abu Dhabi on November 8.
“It’s marvelous. I listened carefully to the trainer before the race when he asked me to remain focused and shake the reigns in the straight. I would like to say thank you to my horse who took carried me to the winner’s circle,” she said.
Held under the directives of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs as part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Friday’s race set the 2015 calendar of events for the Festival rolling, to look forward to the series of over 100 races.
HE Ali Saeed Al Saiedi, Charge d’Affaires of the UAE embassy in Muscat and Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committee in the Int’l Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), presented the prizes and trophies to the winning connections.
The trophy ceremony was also attended by HE Murshid Al Romaithi, Officer in-charge of the Consular Affairs at the UAE embassy, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Mansour Al Mansouri from Emirates Falconers Club, Bahrain Shura Council member Ms Lulwa Al Awadhi, NAET Specialist Jamal Al Hout, Mai Daghir and IFHRA Vice Chairman Susanna Santesson.
HE Al Saiedi congratulated the winners pointing out that the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship is unique and they are proud to see this race staged in the Sultanate of Oman.
Ms Sawaya commented: “We are grateful to HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and would like to mention that the huge success of the opening round indicates that there are more exciting races to come.”
Friday’s HH Sheikha Fatima race was held along with the 1600m Oman Derby for Purebred Arabians, the richest and most popular Purebred Arabians event in the Sultanate of Oman which was attended by His Excellency Abbas bin Abdullah Al-Bahrani, Head of Financial Affairs at the Royal Court Affairs who crowned the winners and connections.
The race was streamed live on air and on line via the web TV www.sheikhmansoorfestival.com.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , the 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, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Racing Post.