Late entrant Viana races to victory on Heron HVP
27 October 2015, Sao Paulo, Brazil ~ It was a dramatic night at the Hippodrome of Cidade Jardim in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival made a debut in Latin America with the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR) race.
Brazilian Apprentice jockey Roberlei Viana Filho was not on the starting list but got a chance to ride Heron HVP after Chilean jockey Benjamin Sancho failed to turn up. Filho grabbed that opportunity and demolished the opposition to win on Heron HVP and clinch the final berth available to race in the final of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR) in Abu Dhabi on 8 November 2015.
Due to the heavy rain the night before the race, the Jockey Club of São Paulo changed the track from Turf to Sand.
Ten Apprentice jockeys started the race and unfortunately just after the start German lady jockey Sandra Eichenhofer fell from her horse. That left nine in the fray and Viana took an early lead and then made every post a winning one. The winner is trained by Eduardo Garcia and owned and bred by Agropecuária Vila dos Pinheiros.
“First I thank God for the opportunity to participate in a very important race. I was traveling so I was not chosen for the race. I arrived today and as the Chilean jockey did not come I was called to race his horse Heron HVP,” said Viana Filho, after his win.
“I realized that the horse was great and very well trained so I thought I’d be among the first at the start and that’s what happened. I tried to stay in front as much as I could. In the final 300 meters I felt I could demand more of Heron HVP and he responded very well,” he said.
The Brazilian now joins the other winners – Australia’s Ben Thompson; Belgium’s Zoe Vande Velde; Puerto Rico’s Jomar Torres Roman; Italian Andrea Fele; Irishman Ian Queally; Canada’s Brandon Duchaine; Russian Emil Kunakbaev and Isis Magnin of France- along with a few invited riders for the final on 8 November.
Ms Saada Saab Antypas representing the Festival gave away the trophies along with other Brazilian racing officials.
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 in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 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, National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, 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 Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, 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, Yas Channel, Omeir Travels, Racing Post and Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics.