French trainers field a force of five
August 2018, Doncaster Racecourse, UK ~ A race of Gallic intent looks to land at Doncaster Racecourse for The President of the UAE Cup Group 1 PA on Saturday 15 September 2018. Supplementary entries are yet to close.
The President of the UAE Cup (UK Arabian Derby) will be run at Doncaster Racecourse on Saturday 15th September, as part of the celebrated St Leger Festival, the biggest race day that Doncaster host in their calendar.
Sponsored by The UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs this will be the third renewal of the race at Doncaster that is held exclusively for four year old Arabian horses and run over a mile and a quarter, it boasts a prize fund of £80,000, with £40,000 to the winner and attracts the highest level of participation from horses across Europe. This patronage demonstrates a long term commitment to Arabian racing in the UK as The UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs celebrate their 26th year as the Arabian Racing Organisation’s first International sponsor, something that ARO are incredibly grateful for and very proud to be part of.
Last year the Royal Cavalry of Oman’s homebred colt, Nafees, flew the flag for French trainer Charles Gourdain winning this prestigious Group 1 PA race in the hands of Tadhg O’Shea by two and a quarter lengths, a match that saw him beating Ahzar into second place who had finished much closer in the French equivalent at Chantilly, and Motrag, third almost two lengths further behind.
This year trainer Charles Gourdain will return to Town Moor with Rodess du Loup like his stable mate, Nafees, is a winner of the Qatar Derby – Group 1 PA, winning the 2018 running in the hands of Christophe Soumillon. Rodess du Loup has a wealth of group race experience for owner Mr Khalifa Hamad Al Attiyah winning the 2017 Gr 2 PA French Arabian Breeders’ Challenge des Poulains at Toulouse, finishing 2nd in the 2017 Qatar Total Arabian Trophy des Poulains at Saint Cloud Group 1 PA (beaten by Rajeh, F Rohaut) and 3rd in the 2017 Prix Chéri Bibi at Bordeaux – Group 3 PA.
The Thomas Fourcy trained Rijm could arrive in the UK with a pair of seconds, including when finishing one length behind Rodess du Loup in the Qatar Derby, he will certainly be looking to reverse that form. A consistent horse and placed several times at Gr1 level, Rijm owned by Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani and Al Shaqab Racing will be vying for the opportunity to go two places better than Motrag did in 2017 for the same connections.
The tour de force continues with Francois Rohaut who holds double entries in Goumoh and Rajeh for owner Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani,(Al Shahania Stud. Goumoh showed good form in 2017 when third in the Qatar Total Arabian Trophy des Poulains (Gr. I PA) and was back to winning ways at La Teste-de-Buch in the Prix Ba Toustem – Wathba Stallions Cup in June 2018. Rajeh was victorious in the Qatar Arabian Trophy des Poulains (Gr. I PA) Saint-Cloud in September 2017 has the bar set high, a winner of the Prix Chéri Bibi (Gr. III PA). Rajeh is held in high regard by connections; his trainer sees him as an uncomplicated horse that improves with age on his latest start at Deauville he lowered the colours of Rodess du Loup in the DOHA Cup gaining his revenge having finished fourth in the Qatar Derby, both Rohaut horses certainly fly the flag for successful sire, Jaafer Asf.
Alban de Mieulle’s Meelad has had one run since his move from Damien de Watrigant at La Teste-de- Buch where he finished fourth. Owned by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani his last win was in March at Toulouse over 2000m.
Domestic entries include the four from the all-conquering Phil Collington’s stable, the best being Shomoos Athbah a winner of a Group 3PA at Royal Windsor over one mile back in May and a recent second in the Royal Cavalry of Oman Clarendon Stakes Group 3PA over the minimum distance of five furlongs at Newbury, showing her versatility in the process, she is a hugely talented filly who is a suited by a strong pace and being delivered late. Also representing the Collington team is recent Chelmsford winner Anfaas, not knowing how to run a bad race and is an improving filly. The other ARO trainer based at HQ, James Owen has two horses entered for the Derby, Al Kaaser and Rafeef, who finished 4th and 2nd at DIAR in the Emirates Premier Handicap Stakes (Anfaas 3rd), both lightly raced and have the potential to improve. Peter Hammersley also has entered four horses and the well-bred Abiyah Athbah that ran a promising race on her debut at Chelmsford in August and perhaps his best chance of Group 1PA glory. Wolverhampton winner Pharitz Fahr is the sole representative for Sussex trainer Beverley Deutrom, another lightly raced four year old who is improving with racing.
Alison Lidderdale from ARO commented: “We are extremely grateful to The Ministry of Presidential Affairs UAE for their generous support of this Group 1 feature race for four-year-olds. Being able to run the President of the UAE Cup on St Leger Day itself gives Arabian racing such a boost in the UK, its position on Doncaster’s most prestigious meeting of the year endorses all that ARO sets out to do in promoting Arabian racing in the UK. We are thrilled to be going to Doncaster again and thank them for their support of Arabian racing.”
She went on to say: ‘We should also extend our sincere thanks to His Excellency Faisal Al Rahmani, Chairman of the International Federation of Arabian Horses and Chairman of the President of the UAE Cup series, he plays an important role in driving the profile of Arabian racing worldwide and is a key player in promoting this celebrated global series. We are extremely grateful for the continued support from the President of the UAE Cup series in helping raise the profile of UK Arabian racing– these races make such a big difference to our trainers who aspire to be on the same playing field as the rest of the world.’’
: The Arabian Racing Organisation