Last year’s Group 1 winner RB Burn back for challenge
8 November 2017, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ An impressive televised draw ceremony kicked off what will be a full five days of events in Abu Dhabi. The 10 November race card includes the world’s richest race for Purebred Arabians, two world championships, and a newly-introduced ponies race, bringing another year of Festival races to a close under the banner of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.
The One World, Six Continents events began with the draw for horses and post positions at the Abu Dhabi National Archives in the UAE capital on Tuesday, 7 November 2017.
Last year’s winner RB Burn is back in contention for the Euros 1.2 million Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Crown Jewel Group 1 along with US top runner Paddys Day in a field of 15 Arabian runners invited to compete in this 1600m turf race.
The Eric Lemartinel-trained RB Burn drew gate 14, while another in his stable, Mahbooba, drew gate 15. Rmmas, owned by HH Sheikh Mansoor drew gate 9 while three-time US Triple Jewel winner in the Sheikh Zayed Cup Series, Paddys Day, will start from gate 5. The strong line-up includes Muraaqib, Faucon Du Loup and Sniper Du Monlau among others.
The draw was attended by UAE Ambassador to the Oman, HE Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, General Manager of Wathba Stallions, Chairperson of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), Dr. Abdullah Al Raisi-Director General of the National Archives, Faisal Al Rahmani, President of the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFHAR), Khalid Al Hussein-representative of the Sports Authority, Nadim Lahad-Emirates Airline Representative, Musallam Al Amri-Director of Al Jazira Stables and Sheikha Al Shamsi-Representatives of the General Women’s Union, as well as a number of representatives of government agencies, sponsors, owners, trainers and guests of the Festival.
HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR)
Omani Lady jockey Fatma Al Manji will be riding the Jaci Wickham-trained Silk Stockings and will be joined by the winners of 13 races in the 2017 Ladies calendar around the globe who will be contesting the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) final.
HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship
The draw for the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR) was also held and 12 Apprentice jockeys from around the world will be bidding to win the final on Friday.
HH Sheikha Lateefa Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan International Pony
The Festival unveiled the world’s first-ever ponies’ race in the country with nine young jockeys in competition, including the son of famous jockey Frankie Dettori and two from the UAE. The young jockeys hail from Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Italy and Sweden. The UAE riders Nasser Hilal Al Alawi and Mohammad Sultan Al Ketbi are the children of trainer Hilal Al Alawi and ex-jockey Ahmed Al Ketbi, respectively. The parents of the two boys, who were present during the draw ceremony, said that they are very excited to see their children racing in Abu Dhabi.
Ms. Sawaya said the Pony Race, run over two furlongs, will feature youngsters aged from 11 to 14 years.
“The race is held under the initiatives of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to promote the new generation of riders who will one day end up as Professional jockeys.”
She pointed out that the 14-year-old Belgian rider Ebbe Verhestraeten has already competed in 700 races winning 270 of them, having started his career at the tender age of seven. Another youngster to watch for will be 12-year-old Rocco James Dettori, son of ace jockey Frankie Dettori.
Ms. Sawaya said the Festival had invited 800 guests for the week of events representing 88 countries from all continents of the world. The Conference day, 9 November, will hear experts, educators, owners, trainers in the racing world and confirms the logo of the Festival which is One world, 6 continents Abu Dhabi, the Capital.
The International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) will hold its General Assembly at the Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel on Wednesday, 8 November 2017.