The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) looks forward to hosting its’ first UAE Abu Dhabi Day at Chelmsford City Racecourse this Saturday 12th August. This is the first time the UK stages of the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Gr1PA), and the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies and Apprentice World Championships (IFAHR) will be run together on the same card. The three supporting races are under the Wathba Stallions banner, all run as part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Horse Racing Festival. The six-race fixture is staged as part of Chelmsford’s successful music night series, the event will conclude with live music from UB40.
Declarations for the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Gr1PA) include proven older horses such as Kalino, the winner of the 2015 HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown (Gr1 PA), which, with a prize fund of €1.2 million Euros, is the world’s richest Arabian horse race. Also lining up are fellow Group winners Al Mouwaffak, Aghsaan and Macallan, whilst Mith’haf Athbah and Lou Raynal have also been Group placed.
The HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) offers the valuable opportunity for professional and amateur lady riders to compete and exchange experiences. Saturdays’ line-up includes Germany’s Tamara Hofer who has ridden over 73 winners from 700 rides. Whilst representing the UK for the amateurs is Ellie Mackenzie, she is currently heading the ARO Ladies Championship and is also just behind the leader in the Silks Series for lady riders riding under Thoroughbred rules.
Whilst the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR) UK stage promises to be a highly competitive renewal. Four of the ten apprentices have already tasted success at the Essex track, two of which, Milly Naseb (Jordan) and Jordan Uys (Zimbabwe), both boast a remarkable 19% strike rate at the course. Also successful there is Paddy Pilley (UK), who in addition to being the most experienced of the riders (41 wins from 535 rides), has also drawn last years’ winner, Emiraaty. Whilst Manuel Fernades of Portgual, who is apprenticed to Newmarket trainer, Sir Mark Prescott, is on a roll with three winners from his last four thoroughbred rides.
This meeting is the highlight of HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival events in the UK, which for the first time will be run as part of a full evening of Purebred Arabian racing at Chelmsford City racecourse. The winning riders of both the Ladies and Apprentice races will qualify to ride in the series finals, held in Abu Dhabi on 12th November, which supports the world’s richest Arabian horse race, the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown (Gr1 PA).
Gemma Cobb, ARO Racing Operations Executive said: “ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and of its’ Executive Director, Lara Sawaya. I am looking forward to seeing some very competitive Arabian racing at this track, as our meetings have always been very well received by the local racegoers and the meeting has been sold out for a number of weeks now. It is also an honour to facilitate the running of Chelmsford City’s first ever Group 1 race to be staged at the course.”