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Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival runs in France on Friday

posted on 22/04/2016: 1750 views

TOULOUSE: he two featured races of the H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, to be run on Friday, April 22nd, at the Toulouse Hippodrome in France, are set to be mouth-watering clashes between top campaigners.

The Festival's Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Prix De Carthage – Hannibal) Group 2 over 2,000 metres and the H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR over 1,600 metres, have attracted strong fields.

The 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 in contention are a bunch of class performers.

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

However, the winner of this race in 2014, Sir Baniyas under Solanje Gourd, will be racing in the colours of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The 6-year-old son of Amer finished 5th to Al Mouwaffaq in this race last year and has since been a Group 1 winner at Goodwood in the UK, as well as enjoying some consistent runs.

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

In the H.H. 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 Azher Al Wardi's triumph last year. Al Wardi scored on Shen and the winner is this time paired with Solange Gourdain.

Al Manji, the winner of a H.H. Sheikha Fatima World Championship race in Texas in 2012, will be riding Yara Alkhair and is coming back after a long absence.

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 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 H.H. Sheikha Fatima Cup in Casablanca in 2014, will be riding Shakraa.

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 France's Ingrid Grard, Djeko Saric under Ireland's Jeannie Cook and Cassini of Cardonne under Spain's Diana Lopez.

Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairperson of Ladies and 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 like ending up with some exciting finishes," she said.

"H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship IFAHR race wears the look of a top competition and racing fans in Toulouse, which is an important centre for Arabian horses, are in for a big treat," Ms. Sawaya added.

The H.H. Sheikh Mansour 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, and the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare.

The Festival is 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 Travel, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, The Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE General Women's Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the H.H. 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, and Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


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