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DUBAI INTERNATIONAL ARABIAN RACES ENTRIES SHOW SIGNIFICANT INCREASE ON 2016 FIGURES

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was delighted with the significant increase on 2016 figures following the close of entries for the handicaps and the supplementary stage for the international contests on the Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR) card, this afternoon. DIAR promotes Purebred Arabian racing worldwide from the grass-roots to the highest level, with the flagship event organised under the generous patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The 189 entries (up on last years’ 158), include the defending title holders in every Group 1 PA race, in Muraaqib, Sylvine Al Maury and Radames, as well as Foaad, winner of the international conditions race. In addition, both Kamikaze and Zayin Zachilles could defend their 2016 respective wins in the Roda Hotels and Resorts Premier Handicap and the UAE Embassy Handicap, the last two races of the eight-race card.

The feature race of the meeting, the Shadwell Dubai International Stakes, Gr1 PA, has attracted the highest number of entries, with no less than 30 horses, of which 25 are rated over 100. They include ARO and DIAR patron, HH Sheikh Hamdan’s homebred Muraaqib, who has already opened his account this year, winning a Group 1 in France on his reappearance; he could re-oppose the second, Mehdaaf Athbah, who also holds an entry.

With 25 entries is the Shadwell Arabian Stallions Hatta International Stakes, Gr1 PA, which is headed by the Elizabeth Bernard trained Sylvine Al Maury.  For the second year running the Royal Cavalry of Oman’s mare finished her campaign as the top-rated Purebred Arabian mare in the world. One filly who could challenge her supremacy is Naziq, also trained by Bernard, she was a dual Group winner last season and was runner up in a Group 2 on her seasonal debut.

Shadwell Stud Director, Richard Lancaster commented: “The number of entries for this year’s Dubai International Arabian Races is outstanding and is great testament to how important the event has become in the Arabian racing calendar.

“The DIAR prep races have played a vital role in boosting participation – all four winners from the last round of prep races in Holland are expected to run, which is fantastic and a huge thank you to the connections of those horses for their continued support. The stage is set for a great day’s racing.”

Gemma Cobb, ARO Racing Operations Executive said: “ARO is thrilled with this significant increase, as of course this continues the trend set last year. It is also very pleasing to see six defending title holders make entries, as well as other top class international and domestic horses. DIAR at Newbury on 30th July promises to be a really exciting day and is always the highlight of the ARO racing calendar. Declarations close on Wednesday 26th July, with jockey declarations due the following day.”

She concluded: “The DIAR Prep Race scheme has been a great addition, helping to promote the fixture across Europe, together with the other incentives, which I’m sure have been instrumental in gaining these increases. Hopefully we may see one or more of the Prep Race winners or placed horses secure a bonus race on DIAR and thereby claim their additional prize money as Urge Di Gallura did last year.”

ULTIMATE FORCE WINS FROM THE FRONT IN THE ROYAL CAVALRY OF OMAN HANDICAP

Ultimate Force and David Turner put in a fine front-running performance to win The Royal Cavalry of Oman (0-50) Handicap today at Bath, winning by two lengths from Zayin Zamurai, with Senor Dublcheck a further three lengths behind in third. This gave owner-breeder, Heather Phillpott and trainer Peter Hammersley their second win in four days, as Phillpott’s other horse, Unity Belle had won at Chelmsford City on Saturday.

A delighted Hammersley said: “He’s been working well at home all year and has been able to show his true running this afternoon. He’s had three runs on the All Weather and he just doesn’t like it, when he ran here two years ago he was just touched off by a nose by Senor Dublcheck.

“Dave’s given him a cracking ride today, when he’s in front, he’s quite happy to bowl along. I’m pleased with the way he stayed on, he wants a bit further and will probably come back here next month for the 0-60 Handicap over an extra three furlongs.”

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people riding horses and outdoorARO Racing Operations Executive Gemma Cobb commented: “This is the first of two single races to be run at Bath this year supported by long-term ARO sponsors, The Royal Cavalry of Oman, the next will be on Friday 4th August.

“The Royal Cavalry’s sponsorship, which they increased in 2016, got off to a successful start this season with six of eight races at our Taunton fixture, followed by our longest premier handicap, run over two miles, at Doncaster.”

She concluded: “We always receive a great reception at Bath, and we thank them and the racecourse teams at Taunton, Doncaster, Newbury and Windsor for their support of the Royal Cavalry’s race sponsorship in 2017.”

Photos (c) Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media 2017

GOODWOOD PRESS LAUNCH PROMOTES QATAR INTERNATIONAL STAKES

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Representatives from the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO), were in attendance at a press launch for the forthcoming Qatar Goodwood Festival, held at the Sky Bar, Grange St. Paul’s Hotel in London today. The £400,000 Qatar International Stakes (Gr1PA) will be run on Wednesday 2 August on the second day of the five-day annual Festival, held at the historic Sussex Downs course.

 

Clerk of the Course, Seamus Buckley said: “As always we try to produce decent ground, I hate starting off the Festival meeting with fast ground because it’s a long week. It’s been extremely difficult this year, it’s been a very dry spring and early summer. In April, getting ready for the first meeting we had 6mm of rain in 36 days, so we had to water extensively for the start of the season. However, we had 50mm last week and as I speak we have the irrigator slowly working its’ way around the course.”
During an interview with ITV Racing’s Oli Bell, ARO Director Genny Haynes said: “Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club have been sponsoring Arabian racing in the UK since 2009 and inaugurated this race in 2015, as the first leg of the Doha Triple Crown Series.

“This year we have a high-class selection of entries, headed by the 2017 HH Emir’s Sword Winner Ebraz, and the second Tayf. In addition, we have the mare, Prada T, trained by her owner-breeder Gerard Zoetelief in Holland, who has finished second twice in this race so far.”

The second and third stages of the Triple Crown are the Qatar Arabian W

orld Cup (Gr1PA), run at Chantilly in October, and the HH Emir’s Sword (Gr1PA) to be run in Doha in February 2018. This series links together three of the most prestigious international racing events and also carries a $1,000,000 bonus to any horse who can win all three stages.

The closing date for the supplementary entry stage for the Qatar International Stakes (Gr1PA) is Tuesday 25th July at 12 noon.

OWEN DOMINATES FIRST WATHBA STALLIONS FIXTURE OF 2017

James Owen dominated the first Wathba Stallions sponsored fixture of the 2017 Arabian Racing Organisation season at Chelmsford City Racecourse this afternoon. In front of a crowd over 1,000 racegoers, the in-form Newmarket based trainer recorded a four-timer, with victories for Dolfina D’Ibos (0-55 Handicap), Karlos Du Cayrou (0-95 Handicap), Munbaher (0-80 Handicap) and Crahck (Restricted Maiden), giving jockeys Simon Walker and Joanna Mason doubles in the process. The wins put him five points clear in the current Trainers’ Championship and Joanna Mason two points clear in the Ladies’ Championship. Speaking after racing, a delighted Owen said: “It’s been great today, they’ve all run well. I like the track, which is local for us. None of them have had hard races today, so we can go to war again with them.

“I’m pleased to get another win out of Dolfina D’Ibos. She stays well, if she goes up a bit in the handicap a little bit, I might run her in the Ladies race here in August, she does possess a lot of speed. We’re learning more about her, she’s had a few season problems, but we’re getting there with her. Simon gave her a great ride, I know she won easily, but he rode her well.

“Karlos Du Cayrou, he won well too. He enjoyed the surface and he would definitely run here in the Apprentice handicap over a mile – which would be the perfect trip for him. He’s a little bit quirky, but he’s getting better all the time. He comes out of his races well.”

He concluded: “Crahck has been knocking on the door in maidens. The young lad, Lucas Olsen, who rode him in his first two races, has gone back to Denmark now, he did a great job on him. He’s ok, Crahck, he’s a trier, so I’m glad to win with him, and Munbaher, he loves this track. He’s a Madjani, they all seem to like it here. He loves to get his toe in, loves to lead and he likes to race.”

There was also a win for the Royal Cavalry of Oman in the opening maiden, with Riyam ridden by Ellie Mackenzie. Afterwards trainer Said Al Badi commented: “We’re pleased with that. He has improved since he ran in France in May. We thought he would run a good race and he’s won easily.”
The 0-65 Handicap was won by the Peter Hammersley trained Unity Belle, for owner-breeder, Heather Phillpott, giving jockey Sam Lee his first win under ARO rules.

Lee was pleased saying: “It’s my first winner from three rides with ARO. I’ve had quite few winners point-to-pointing; I’m based with Fred Hutsby in Northampton, he gives me a lot of good horses to ride, but this keeps me fit in the summer.

“This is my third season riding over all, I rode one Arabian last year and I thought I’d take it a bit more seriously this season. I ride out for Peter at home and I knew what I had to do – it’s great when a plan comes together, the horse ran as expected, so it went well.”

There was also a first ARO win for Isabella Farnese in the 0-40 Handicap, riding her mother’s Cosmic Girl. Selena Farnese said: “Cosmic Girl’s being retired as a broodmare now. She has a yearling by Monsieur Al Maury and is booked for Assy shortly. Isabella had her first ride on her when she was 17, back in 2011, and this was her second ride, so it’s lovely for her to win. She works for Ed Walker now, so came up from Lambourn to ride today.”

Gemma Cobb, ARO Racing Operations Executive said: “It is a pleasure to host the Wathba Stallions Series again this season. ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and Lara Sawaya and we look forward to our next meeting here, supported by the HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival on 12th August.

“We are also grateful to Baileys Horse Feeds and Brian and Anna Wallace, who generously sponsored the Best Turned Out Awards here today, as well as all the staff and racegoers at Chelmsford who have made us feel so welcome.”

SUCCESS FOR ALAZEEZ IN THE EQUINE CREATIVE MEDIA CONDITIONS STAKES AT NEWBURY

Alazeez had the perfect preparation last night for the forthcoming Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR) meeting when coming home a ready winner of the Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media Progressive Conditions Stakes run at Newbury. The four-year-old son of Madjani, ridden by Dane O’Neill, finished two and a half lengths clear of Lou Raynal, with Al Raha and Zayin Zodiac behind.

Both Alazeez and Lou Raynal had been Group 2 PA placed at the Berkshire track, but Alazeez showed he possessed the greater class for trainer James Owen and HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Afterwards, Owen, who had earlier scored at Newmarket with Bivouac, in the Newmarket Town Plate, said:”It was nice to bring Alazeez here today, it fitted in to his programme quite well, being just over two weeks before the Za’abeel International Stakes. That would be his most likely target on Dubai Day, having won over six furlongs at Chelmsford.  I just feel he would need cut in the ground here on Dubai Day to be seen at his best, as he appreciated it today.

“It’s great to get a turf win for him and a win here at Newbury, it hasn’t been my luckiest track, though I did have a winner here last year. He had a nice easy time there, they’re not bad horses that finished behind him, though it’s probably not best for him to lead, he was pricking his ears in front, but we just didn’t want it to be tactical and we wanted to learn a bit today. Dane has given us a few pointers that we can move forward with.”

Gemma Cobb, ARO Racing Operations Executive commented: “That was a great performance from Alazeez, hopefully he can progress from this, to a win on Dubai International Arabian Races on July 30th. The race was framed to give opportunities for consistent young horses like Alazeez. Holding the race at the same track as DIAR, mirrors our previous DIAR Prep Races which were held here with the same 17 day margin, in 2015 and 2016.

“We are extremely grateful to Debbie Burt, as this is her sixth year of sponsorship with ARO. She has always made a point of sponsoring in a different grade and distance each season, in order to give as many of ARO’s participants the opportunity to win one of her bronzes. This consideration has been appreciated and is reflected in how well her races have been supported over the years.”

Photo: (C) Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media 2017

SMALL BUT SELECT FIELD FOR EQUINE CREATIVE MEDIA CONDITIONS STAKES AT NEWBURY

A small, but select field was declared for the Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media Progressive Conditions Stakes to be run at Newbury on Thursday 13th July. All bar one of the four runners is rated 90 or over, so the standard of competition will be high for the mile contest, for which the winner will receive an original bronze trophy, sculpted by long-time ARO sponsor Debbie Burt.

The field is headed by Lou Raynal and Alazeez – both have been Group 2 PA placed and are winners this season, whilst Zayin Zodiac was just out of the frame in a Group 3 over course and distance last year. The only filly in the field, Al Raha, is a dual winner at this trip in Sweden. She has shown signs of coming to hand in two runs since moving to the UK over the winter, including when fourth to Alazeez in a similar conditions event over shorter on their most recent start.

James Owen, trainer of the favourite, Alazeez commented: “We’re looking forward to running on Thursday, as we’re delighted with the way he came out of his win at Chelmsford. It’s a lovely race which slots in well with his programme as he’s a progressive type and a horse who takes his races well, so I’m hopeful of a big run.”

Gemma Cobb, ARO Racing Operations Executive commented: “The quality of entries for his race is high and it was framed to give opportunities for consistent young horses that are progressing through the grades, particularly with our feature event, Dubai International Arabian Races coming up at the end of the month at the same racecourse.

“We are extremely grateful to Debbie Burt, as this is her sixth year of sponsorship with ARO. She has always made a point of sponsoring in a different grade and distance each season, in order to give as many of ARO’s participants the opportunity to win one of her bronzes. This consideration has been appreciated and is reflected in how well her races have been supported over the years.”

ARABIANS RETURN TO BATH FOR THE ROYAL CAVALRY OF OMAN HANDICAP

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was pleased with the 14 entries for The Royal Cavalry of Oman  (0-50) Handicap to be run over a mile at Bath on Tuesday 18th July.

ARO Racing Operations Executive Gemma Cobb commented: “This is the first of two single races to be run at Bath this year supported by long-term ARO sponsors, The Royal Cavalry of Oman, the next will be on Friday 4th August.

“The Royal Cavalry’s sponsorship, which they increased in 2016, got off to a successful start this season with six of eight races at our Taunton fixture, followed by our longest premier handicap, run over two miles, at Doncaster.”

She concluded: “We always receive a great reception at Bath, and we thank them and the racecourse teams at Taunton, Doncaster, Newbury and Windsor for their support of the Royal Cavalry’s race sponsorship in 2017.”

CHELMSFORD CITY HOSTS FIRST WATHBA STALLIONS FIXTURE OF 2017

The Arabian Racing Organisation is delighted to welcome the Wathba Stallions series to Chelmsford City Racecourse on Saturday 15th July. This is the first of three full Arabian race meetings to be held at the Essex track this season, with a further two fixtures on 12th August and 16th September, which also come under the HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival banner.

The Wathba Stallions series offers welcome support to the sports grass roots with seven race card, including two maidens and a range of handicaps to cater for all grades. This has attracted 62 entries, published yesterday by ARO.

Gemma Cobb, Arabian Racing Organisation Racing Operations Executive said: “It is a pleasure to host the Wathba Stallions Series again this season. ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and Lara Sawaya. Our full meetings have always been very well received at Chelmsford City by the local racegoers and the staff, and it promises to be an exciting afternoon of racing.”

QUALITY ENTRIES FOR EQUINE CREATIVE MEDIA CONDITIONS STAKES AT NEWBURY

The Arabian Racing Organisation was pleased with the quality of entries for the Debbie Burt- Equine Creative Media Progressive Conditions Stakes to be run at Newbury on Thursday 13th July. With more than half the field rated 90 or over, the standard of competition will be high for the mile contest for which the winner will receive an original bronze trophy, sculpted by long-time ARO sponsor Debbie Burt.

The field is headed by Rasaasy, who won a seven furlong Group 2 PA race at the track as a juvenile. Also in the mix is Awzaan, who is Group 1 PA placed at this trip, as well as Lou Raynal and Alazeez – both have been Group 2 PA placed and are winners this season.

Gemma Cobb, ARO Racing Operations Executive commented: “We’re delighted with the entries for this race which was framed to give opportunities for consistent young horses that are progressing through the grades, particularly with our feature event, Dubai International Arabian Races coming up at the end of the month.

“We are extremely grateful to Debbie Burt, as this is her sixth year of sponsorship with ARO. She has always made a point of sponsoring in a different grade and distance each season, in order to give as many of ARO’s participants the opportunity to win one of her bronzes. This consideration has been appreciated and is reflected in how well her races have been supported over the years.”

SUCCESS FOR MITH’HAF ATHBAH IN THE FINAL UK DIAR PREP RACE

Mith’haf Athbah wins the DIAR Prep at Newbury (c) Debbie Burt

Athbah Stud’s homebred colt Mith’haf Athbah made it two wins in two weeks when coming home a clear winner in the Dubai International Arabian Races at Newbury, 30th July International Stakes at Newbury this evening. The five year old grey, ridden by Adam Beschizza and trained by Phil Collington came home two lengths ahead of his other runner, Aghsaan for HH Sheikh Hamdan. Awzaan, also in His Highness’s colours and trained by James Owen, was a further two and half lengths away in third.

Trainer Phil Collington had been hoping for a good run from his horses, Mith’haf Athbah had come out of his Wolverhampton run well, and he was keen to see Aghsaan back on Turf. Afterwards he said: “Obviously Mith’haf Athbah was the form horse in the race and with his next target being at the end of July, early August, this was an ideal opportunity for him to run. He did it well. I’m delighted with Aghsaan, she’s back to her best. She loves it here and on good to firm too, we just don’t want any rain for Dubai Day now.”

This is the last of five Preparatory Races, held in the run up to the highlight of the UK Arabian racing season, the Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR) at Newbury Racecourse, which this year will be on 30th July.

Gemma Cobb, Arabian Racing Organisation Racing Operations Executive said: “This promised to be a strong contest and it didn’t disappoint. It was a great performance from Mith’haf Athbah and we look forward to his next run, hopefully on DIAR. Thanks to the DIAR Preparatory Race Series Bonus Scheme, any of the first three home in this prep race that subsequently win one of the bonus races on DIAR, will receive additional prize money, which is a very welcome incentive.”

She continued: “The final entry stage for Dubai International Arabian Races will close at 12 noon on Wednesday 19th July, with declarations due on Wednesday 26th July.”

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