Toulouse Shows Strong Fields for First Leg of European Triple Crown

Quality fields for Sheikh Zayed Cup (Triple Crown), HH Sheikha Fatima World Championship

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2015 Toulouse leg of the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Cup race in action

20 April 2016, Toulouse, France ~ The Festival’s Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Prix De Carthage – Hannibal) Group 2 over 2000 metres and the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR over 1600 metres have attracted strong fields to the Toulouse Hippodrome in France on Friday, 22 April 2016.

This Toulouse round of the Sheikh Zayed Cup is also the first leg of the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup European Triple Crown series and due to the added prize money and prestige, will see only the best runners.

Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup

Muraaqib, owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler and Minister of Finance, will be under jockey Francois-Xavier Bertras. The 4-year-old chestnut son of Munjiz has won two Group One races in 2015 and will be starting as the favorite.

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Oman’s Azher Al Wardi celebrates after winning the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR race in Toulouse in 2015 on Shen

Racing in the colors if the UAE President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be the 2014 winner of this race, Sir Bani Yas under Jean-Bernard Eyquem with the watchful guidance of Champion trainer, Elizabeth Bernard. The 6-year-old son of Amer finished 5th to Al Mouwaffaq in this race last year (2015) and since has had some good runs including a Group 1 win at Goodwood in the UK.

The UAE adds a third challenge with Ziyadd, a 4-year-old Bibi De Carrere horse owned by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs. A fourth to Muraaqib in the Group 1 at Saint Claude and then a second place run behind Aba’ath in a Group 2 race here in Toulouse gives the Sheikh Mansoor runner a good chance under Jean-Baptiste Hamel, the winning jockey here last year on Al Mouwaffaq.

HH Sheikha Fatima World Championship

In the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR race, this year’s sixth in the series, Oman’s Fatima Al Manji will be hoping to win it again for her country after Oman’s Azher Al Wardi’s triumph last year on Shen. Al Manji, the winner of a HH Sheikha Fatima World Championship race in Texas in 2012, will be riding Yara Alkhair and is coming back after a long absence. Solange Gourdain is paired for this race with Shen.

Britain’s Rebecca Smith, who scored a fairy-tale win in the Ladies Championship series in Houston last year, will be looking to cash in on a late entry into the line-up. She rides Babel de Palmas in the 12-horse race..

Valentin, winner of the Sheikh Zayed Cup in Berlin in 2015, will be under Italian Elisabetta Marcialis who has over 100 winners from 800 starts under her belt while Manuela Slamanig, winner of the HH Sheikha Fatima Cup in Casablanca in 2014, will be riding Shakrra.

The other horse and lady riders are Taajer under Tunisia’s Gabriella Fricano, Argentyne under Germany’s Eva Herresthal, Vedette De Lagrimodi under Julie Jenderson, Laft Nethar under Sweden’s Yasmine Nilsson, Beur Star under French jockey Marie Artu, Djeko Saric under Ireland’s Jeannie Cook and Cassini Of Cardonne under Spain’s Diana Lopez Leret.

Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) said: “Toulouse is an important stop for the Festival and it is also the first leg of the prestigious three-race European Triple Crown in the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup. Ameretto (not running here in Toulouse) has won the Triple Crown four times and we have to wait and see which horse wins the 2016 series. Both the races have some of the top Purebred Arabian horses in the fray and Friday looks as if we will have some exciting finishes,” she said. “HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR race wears the look of a top competition and racing fans in Toulouse, an important centre for Arabian horses, are in for a big treat,” Ms Sawaya added.

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, IPIC as Strategic Partner, 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 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 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.

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