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62 RUNNERS DECLARED FOR ARO SEASON FINALE AT HUNTINGDON

The final fixture of the UK Arabian racing season takes place this Saturday, 23rd September, at Huntingdon racecourse in Cambridgeshire, with 62 runners declared. The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) Season Finale will start at 1pm, with an eight-race card, headed by the Gold, Silver and Bronze Finals, plus two further handicaps and maiden races, sponsored by the Arabian Horse Organization, Forta Stud and the Heritage Arabian Racing Club. As the last UK fixture of the 2017 it is where the Season’s Champions will be crowned. Whilst it is certain that ARO Patron, HH Sheikh Hamdan will win his sixteenth ARO Owners Championship, James Owen his second Trainers title and Joanna Mason her second Lady Jockeys title, the remaining championships are not so definite, promising a thrilling afternoon of racing.

Gemma Cobb, Arabian Racing Organisation Racing Operations Executive said: “ARO looks forward to our final fixture of 2017 and I’m sure that though many of the championships look to be settled, there could be some close finishes which may turn things around, which will add to the excitement. We thank Huntingdon racecourse and all the days’ sponsors for their support of this meeting.”

She continued: “ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and congratulate him in advance of receipt of his sixteenth ARO Owners Championship. It is thanks to his patronage and the support of all our sponsors in 2017 which have contributed to the success of the sport this season, ensuring the future of Purebred Arabian racing in the UK.”

HAT-TRICK FOR COLLINGTON AT FINAL UK WATHBA STALLIONS FIXTURE AT CHELSMFORD CITY

Trainer Philip Collington recorded his first hat-trick of the 2017 season with wins for Alwaleed, Saleemah and Hau Kola at the final Wathba Stallions sponsored UK fixture at Chelmsford City on Saturday. There was also a treble for ARO Patron HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who owned and bred Alwaleed and Saleemah and also Al Kaaser who is trained by James Owen. Recording doubles were jockeys Will Pettis (Alwaleed and Saleemah) and Charlie Price (Hau Kola and Kayclaire), whilst trainer Delyth Thomas’s double was more notable because Kiraa is the dam of Kayclaire. The mother and daughter combination have previously been dual winners for Thomas at a HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival fixture at Hereford last year.

Going in to the fixture, HH Sheikh Hamdan was already confirmed as Champion Owner for the 14th time. The remaining Championships now look more settled, as following his win on Asra Min Al-Talqa in the opening race, David Turner, is now four wins clear of his nearest rival, Will Pettis in the Jockeys table. Whilst trainer James Owen, is five winners clear of Phil Collington and looks more assured to claim his second consecutive title, as does Joanna Mason, who is four clear in the Lady Jockeys’ Championship.

Gemma Cobb, Arabian Racing Organisation(ARO) Racing Operations Executive said: “It was a pleasure to host our final Wathba Stallions fixture of 2017 at Chelsmford City. ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and Lara Sawaya. Run as part of the Festival, the Wathba Stallions UK series offers welcome support to the sports grass roots with races including handicaps, maidens and conditions events to cater for all grades.” She continued: “This was our fourth visit to Chelmsford City racecourse this year and we are delighted with how our sport has been received by the local racegoers, who clearly love their racing. We thank all the staff at the track for their support and assistance this season.”

 

Photos (C) Megan Rose Photography

NAFEES DOMINATES IN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UAE CUP (UK ARABIAN DERBY) ON DONCASTER ST LEGER DAY

The Royal Cavalry of Oman’s homebred colt, Nafees, dominated the final stages of the Group 1 President of the UAE Cup (UK Arabian Derby) run at Doncaster this afternoon. Drawing clear in the hands of Tadhg O’Shea, the colt won by two and a quarter lengths, from Ahzar who had finished much closer in the French equivalent at Chantilly in June, with Motrag almost two lengths further behind.

Trainer Charles Gourdain, who is based in Pau in France, was delighted with his colt’s win saying: “It is the last Group 1 race for four-year-olds this season and he has shown today that he is the best of his generation. I would like him to have a break now and we will look forward to next year.”

Tadhg O’Shea was also pleased with Nafees, commenting: “He’s a really nice horse. Charles told me to drop him in and ride him with loads of confidence. He settled well, maybe I had him too switched off, so I had to give him a shake of the reins, but to be fair, he really picked up the bridle. He’s a very good four-year-old with a potent turn of foot.”

Representing the Royal Cavalry was their Racing and Bloodstock advisor, Jean-Pierre Deroubaix, who thanked Oman, His Majesty the Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said and Brigadier General Abdulrazak Al Shahwarzi of the Royal Cavalry for the opportunity to manage their stable.

Of the Nafees’s performance he said: “We had to run against older horses in the summer, but this race was perfect for him. The trainer gave good orders and the jockey followed them. Somedays it doesn’t work, but today it was perfect.”

Faisal Al Rahmani, General Secretary for the President of the UAE Cup series, was happy to be back for a second year saying: “It’s been a beautiful day, it’s wonderful to run the President of the UAE Cup on such a prestigious race day in the UK. We want to progress this series across the world.”

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) had been thrilled by the prospect of a rematch between Nafees and Ahzar and the race itself did not disappoint. Run over a mile and a quarter, The President of the UAE Cup had resumed its’ association with the UK Arabian Derby last year and is exclusively for four-year-old Purebred Arabians. Sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, it boasts a prize fund of £80,000, with £40,000 to the winner.

ARO Director, Genny Haynes commented: “We are delighted for the Royal Cavalry of Oman, who have also been a long-term supporter and sponsor of Arabian racing in this country. This the final Group 1 of the UK Arabian racing season, and the last for the Purebred Arabian classic generation in Europe. We hope that Nafees, Ahzar and Motrag emulate last year’s winner and placed horses who have all won Group 1 races across Europe this year, which has really upheld the form of this race, and the value of Arabian racing in the UK and worldwide.”

She continued: “We are extremely grateful to the Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their generous support of our feature race for four-year-olds. Moving the President of the UAE Cup to St Leger Day itself this year, further enhances the prestige of the race and the status of Arabian racing in the UK, with it being run as part of Doncaster’s most prestigious meeting of the year. We thank all the team at Doncaster for helping to promote the day and for their support of Arabian racing.”

Photos (C) Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media.

ARO LOOKS FORWARD TO FINAL UK WATHBA STALLIONS FIXTURE AT CHELSMFORD CITY

The Arabian Racing Organisation looks forward to their final Wathba Stallions sponsored UK fixture of 2017. The seven-race card to be run at Chelmsford City Racecourse on Saturday 16th September, will get underway at 1.00pm. Run as part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, the Wathba Stallion series offers welcome support to the sports grass roots with the days’ races including a range of handicaps, plus a maiden and a conditions event for juveniles to cater for all grades.

Gemma Cobb, Arabian Racing Organisation Racing Operations Executive said: “It is a pleasure to host our final Wathba Stallions fixture of 2017. ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and Lara Sawaya. The last HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and Wathba Stallions sponsored meeting held at Chelmsford City in August also included the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, the first ever Group 1 race to be staged at the track. Held in conjunction with their popular music nights, it drew a huge crowd, introducing a while new audience to top class Purebred Arabian racing.”

She continued: “This is our fourth visit to Chelmsford City racecourse this year and we are delighted with how our sport has been received by the local racegoers, who clearly love their racing. We thank all the staff at the track for their support and assistance this season.”

ENTRIES TOP ONE HUNDRED FOR ARO SEASON FINALE AT HUNTINGDON

The Arabian Racing Organisation was thrilled with the 104 entries received for the ARO Season Finale to be held at Huntingdon on Saturday 23rd September. As the last fixture of the 2017 UK Arabian racing year it is where the Season’s Champions will be crowned. Whilst it is certain that ARO Patron, HH Sheikh Hamdan will win his 16th ARO Owners Championship, the other championships are not so definite with a further 16 races still to be run.

Gemma Cobb, Arabian Racing Organisation Racing Operations Executive said: “ARO is delighted with the 104 entries received for our final fixture. This is the highest number received this year outside of our seasonal highlight, Dubai International Arabian Races, which of course also includes races open to international runners. I’m sure all eight races on the card will be highly competitive affairs and we thank Forta Stud, the Heritage Arabian Racing Club and the Arabian Horse Organization for their support of individual races on the card.”

She continued: “ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and congratulate him in advance of receipt of his sixteenth ARO Owners Championship. It is thanks to his patronage and the support of all our other sponsors in 2017 which have contributed to such a high number of entries and which is ensuring the future of Purebred Arabian racing in the UK. Declarations for the meeting are due on Thursday 21 September by 11am.”

FRENCH DERBY ONE-TWO REOPPOSE FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UAE CUP (UK ARABIAN DERBY) ON DONCASTER ST LEGER DAY

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was excited by the prospect of a rematch between Nafees and Ahzar in the Group 1 President of the UAE Cup (UK Arabian Derby) to be run at Doncaster this Saturday 16th September. These colts filled the first two places in the French equivalent in June, with the Royal Cavalry of Oman’s homebred Nafees, the narrow margin winner in the final strides. The President of the UAE Cup is the oldest Purebred Arabian race series and it is fitting that it is to be run on the same card as the UK’s oldest thoroughbred classic, the St. Leger.

Also in the mix is another Group 1 winner in Motrag, who stepped up on his French Derby form when third in a Newbury Group 1 in July. My First General was also behind in the French Derby, but has since won a Listed race over further, and been Group 3 placed in Holland. A potential improver is Dutch raider Pronto T, winner of an international conditions event at the Newbury July meeting. His owner-breeder-trainer Gerard Zoetelief is no stranger to giant slaying having won the Group 1 European Cup with the mare Prada T, who is from the same family. The UK trained representatives, Eqleem (for HH Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum) and Shammat Al Hosn (for Forta Stud), have won at this trip, but both are untried in Group 1 company.

Run over a mile and a quarter, The President of the UAE Cup resumed its’ association with the UK Arabian Derby last year and is exclusively for four-year-old Purebred Arabians. Sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, it boasts a prize fund of £80,000, with £40,000 to the winner.

Faisal Al Rahmani, General Secretary for the President of the UAE Cup series said: “The President of the UAE Cup Series sponsoring at the legendary St Leger meeting is indeed an honour.  This being the second year of our association with Doncaster Racecourse, we are confident that the President’s Cup, a Group 1 race for pure-bred Arabian horses, will prove to be an outstanding contest on a major date for British racing”.

ARO Racing Operations Executive, Gemma Cobb commented: “This the final Group 1 of the UK Arabian racing season, and we are thrilled to have Nafees and Ahzar as part of the eight-runner field. This is the last race confined to both sexes of the classic generation of 2017 in Europe and shows what a welcome addition to the Pattern this race is.

“The first three home in last years’ contest have all gone on to win Group 1 races this season. This further enhances the races’ Group 1 status and I’m sure it is due in part to the prize money boost for this race which was implemented last year.”

ARO Director, Genny Haynes was also pleased commenting. “We are extremely grateful to the Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their generous support of our feature race for four-year-olds. Moving the President of the UAE Cup from Ladies Day to St Leger Day itself this year, further enhances the prestige of the race and the status of Arabian racing in the UK, with it being run as part of Doncaster’s most prestigious meeting of the year.”

Female jockeys celebrated as HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival announces Women of the Future Sport Award nominees

The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, one of the world’s most respected horseracing organisations run under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, has today announced its nominees for the Women of the Future Sport Award category.

Furthermore, UAE Champion Jockey and Festival Ambassador Richard Mullen will join the prestigious judging panel to provide further context to the racing industry and assist in the selection of the Sport category finalists.

Endorsed by the Arabian Racing Organisation and the Amateur Jockeys Association of Great Britain, the following women have been selected for their stand-out achievements in racing this year having met with the criteria for entry, under the age of 35 and with permanent residency in the UK.

Page Fuller, 22.

Having returned to racing following a serious ankle injury in 2016, Freelance jockey Page Fuller is enjoying exceptional success in the saddle, helping trainer Jamie Snowden on a weekly basis and riding winners for the yard.

To date, Fuller has ridden 54 winners (Arabian, Flat and National Hunt racing and Point-to-Point) and has ridden abroad in countries including France, Belgium, Germany and Abu Dhabi.

In 2013 she was the AGA Ladies Point to Point Champion, Reserve Lady Rider Champion in her first season Arabian racing in 2014, Champion Arabian Lady Rider 2015 and Champion Amateur Lady National Hunt Jockey 2016/17.

 Ellie MacKenzie, 24. 

 Flat rider and Amateur jockey Ellie MacKenzie now rides for PD Evans in Wales following National Hunt success with the likes of Jonjo O’Neill, Paul Nicholls and David Pipe. Currently on two wins and many placings from 16 amateur Flat rides, MacKenzie is achieving notable success within the Thoroughbred circuit.

In addition to riding under rules, MacKenzie has been an ARO jockey for three seasons and is dedicated to trainer Jenny Lees. At present, she has six wins under ARO rules and has recently enjoyed a Group 2 victory aboard Riyam at Newbury on Dubai Day.

During the inaugural UAE Abu Dhabi Day at Chelmsford Racecourse earlier in August, Ellie came third in the UK leg of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race.

Joanna Mason, 27.

Granddaughter of legendary Yorkshire trainer Mick Easterby and a successful Point-to-Point and Jump jockey before breaking her back in two places in 2015 in a serious Point-to-Point fall.

Since making a full recovery, Mason has won at Epsom three times and this year came first aboard Tapis Libre in the Ladies’ Derby Handicap race at the world-famous racecourse. Having embraced riding Arabians, Mason was named Champion Female Jockey in 2016 and is currently leading this year – she is three wins ahead and is second overall in the male and female championships.

Last year Mason came runner-up in the Lady Amateur Championship and is current joint leader for 2017.

 

Festival Executive Director Lara Sawaya commented, “We have seen such incredible goals achieved by our lady riders who compete in HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival races from all over the world, and we are so proud to nominate Page, Ellie and Joanna for the Women of the Future Awards.

‘These girls have shown exceptional ability and are such wonderful ambassadors for British racing. On behalf of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak we wish them the best of luck and hope they are selected for the final judging stage. To receive nomination is a huge achievement and they should be very proud of this.”

If candidates are successful during the initial judging stage, the Women of the Future Awards committee will invite the shortlisted nominees to attend an informal judging day in London on Monday, 9 October 2017. The winner will be announced during the awards dinner at London’s Hilton Hotel, Park Lane on Wednesday, 15 November 2017.

The Women of the Future Sport Award is sponsored by the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

For more information about the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and the Women of the Future Awards please visit www.sheikhmansoorfestival.com and  www.womenofthefuture.co.uk.

SIXTY-EIGHT ENTRIES FOR WATHBA STALLIONS FIXTURE AT CHELSMFORD CITY

The Arabian Racing Organisation was delighted with the sixty-eight entries received for the final Wathba Stallions sponsored UK fixture of 2017. The seven race card to be run at Chelmsford City Racecourse on Saturday 16th September, which will get underway at 1.00pm. The Wathba Stallion series offers welcome support to the sports grass roots with the days’ races including two maidens and a range of handicaps to cater for all grades.

Gemma Cobb, Arabian Racing Organisation Racing Operations Executive said: “It is a pleasure to host our final Wathba Stallions fixture of 2017. With just two full fixtures remaining of the ARO season, the Championship tables still look very competitive, particularly the Ladies Jockeys title and the Purebred Arabian title, so there is still plenty of excitement to come.

“ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and Lara Sawaya. The last HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and Wathba Stallions sponsored meeting held at Chelmsford City in August also included the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, the first ever Group 1 race to be staged at the track. Held in conjunction with their popular music nights, it drew a huge crowd, introducing a while new audience to top class Purebred Arabian racing.”

RACHAEL GOWLAND APPOINTED TO ARO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was pleased to announce today that Rachael Gowland has been appointed to the ARO Board of Directors. Gowland has a wealth of experience in the Thoroughbred breeding industry having worked at The National Stud and Shadwell Estate Company and is currently working for the European Breeder’s Fund (EBF). During her four years working for ARO Patron, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, she project-managed the Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR) program, developing race meetings in Italy, Great Britain and France, whilst introducing further meetings in Holland, Sweden and the USA as part of the series.

DIAR Newbury, the flagship of Arabian racing, also came under Gowland’s jurisdiction and with the team at Shadwell, Newbury Racecourse and ARO, spear-headed its development under the guidance of the DIAR committee.

Photo: Rachael Gowland receives the the Senora della Hippica award for services to Italian racing

Now working at the EBF, an organisation funded by stallion owners and investing in racing’s prize money; Gowland works with nearly every racecourse in the country taking on race-planning, PR and sponsorship for the fund.  She aims to bring these skills and connections in to use for the benefit of Arabian racing.

Gowland said: “I am very much looking forward to taking up a position on the ARO board of Directors. The number of Arabian horses being raced in GB has grown recently and it is important that we find ways of encouraging domestic racing and breeding while aiming to produce horses that compete on the international stage and provide race meetings that attract the best horses in the world.”

She continued: “The sport of Arabian racing presents a great number of opportunities to engage existing and new participants and to grow and evolve in the future.  After working for the organisation’s patron, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum for four years, I am delighted to have the opportunity to be part of ARO’s development and to ensure that the sport and the breed are both protected and nurtured.”

ARO Chairman Charles Gregson welcomed the appointment saying. “We feel Rachael will be a great asset to us all, as her experience in both Arabian and Thoroughbred racing and breeding will be invaluable in moving our sport forward. The enthusiasm and passion for Arabian racing developed whilst working for our Patron, combined with her thorough knowledge of racing in general and the contacts developed in the wider racing community, will be very advantageous to Arabian racing in the UK.”

For all ARO’s Media Enquiries Debbie Burt may be contacted on: 00 44 (0) 7782 349047 or via email: equinecreativemedia@gmail.com

HAMMERSLEY TEAM LEAD THE WAY IN RACING WELFARE BEST TURNED OUT AWARDS

Peter Hammersley’s team currently head the overall yard list for the Best Turned Out Championship during the 2017 Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) season, with 14 awards. The leading groom title is divided in to two categories, yards with 10 or more horses, with Ria Tillet (of Collington Racing) ahead in that category; whilst Jayme Plumb and Sarah Davenport are tied at the top of the table of yards with less than 10 horses. Racing Welfare is sponsoring the overall championship with a trophy to the leading yard and cash awards of £125 to the two top grooms which will be presented at the ARO Season Finale to be run at Huntingdon on September 23.

Racing Welfare is the only charity to support all people who work in racing, from recruitment to retirement, and their services are also available to those working with Arabian racehorses, not just thoroughbreds. They also confirmed the appointment of ARO registered amateur jockey, Ellie MacKenzie as the new Racing Welfare Jockey Ambassador for Arabian Racing this season, further raising their profile in the sport.

ARO Racing Operation Executive Gemma Cobb commented: “ARO welcomes the involvement of Racing Welfare in Arabian racing and the sponsorship of the Best Turned Out Championship is a great incentive for the hard-working staff in our sport. Racing Welfare also sponsored the individual Best Turned Out Awards at the UAE Abu Dhabi Day at Chelmsford City and each winning groom received a cash prize and a Racing Welfare gilet. We wish all the yards and their grooms the best of luck for the remainder of the season.”

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