The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) welcomed Abbes and Olivier Peslier as the winner of the UAE President Cup (UK Arabian Derby) run at Doncaster today as part of the Cazoo St Leger Festival. The Thomas Fourcy trained colt gained compensation for his runner-up position in the French Arabian Derby in June, by drawing clear of fellow French raider Arion, by four and a half lengths. Alajab finished the best of the domestic trained runners in third. The Group 1PA contest is exclusively for four-year-old Purebred Arabians and was held over the classic distance of a mile and a quarter, with a prize fund of £80,000.
After the race Fourcy commented: “Abbes is a good horse, but he is very laid back. He had a good race, even if he was a bit too relaxed at the beginning. He likes to come through horses to gain his motivation and Olivier Peslier knows that’s how to ride him. They probably went to the front too early, but he won thanks to his class, he will head to the Qatar Arabian World Cup in October and then the HH The Amir Sword.”
Peslier said: “The horse has now won a Group 1 but has always had a lot of ability. Today it was a good race, he responded to my hands, but he still needs more experience, it will be a good preparation for Longchamp.”
Abbes, a homebred colt for owner HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani, is out of Raqiyah, who won a previous running of the UK stage of the UAE President Cup, when it was run in Ascot in 2010, also ridden by Peslier. Abbes has twice been runner-up at this level and has now secured his first Group 1 PA, whilst this is the first success in the race under the UAE President Cup sponsorship for Fourcy, who trained the second in 2019 and three third placed horses since the race came to Doncaster in 2016.
Faisal Al Rahmani, Event Manager for the UAE President Cup commented: “We are happy to see the crowds back on the racecourse, today I met many owners from England and also from Ireland, that are interested in Arabian horses. We hope that these people will spread the word and bring more new people into the sport.
“I’m very pleased with how this year’s UAE President Cup series is going, we have many followers all around the world. Every race produces a star, just like Abbes today. We need to keep this momentum going and hope to encourage more breeding of Arabian racehorses which is part of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. At the end of the year we will look to see what we can do with ARO and hopefully we may be able to support more races next year in the UK.
Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director was thrilled commenting. “ARO congratulates the connections of Abbes on a superb win today. It has been a challenge to support international racing this season and ARO is proud to have been able to ensure it has taken place.
“We were excited to welcome back the President of the UAE Cup in 2016 and we are delighted that this race has consistently produced top-quality winners, Abbes certainly looks to be in that mould. This race is now firmly established as part of St Leger Day, at Doncaster’s most prestigious meeting of the year which enhances the contest’s prestige and Arabian racing’s status in the UK.”
She concluded: “We continue to be extremely grateful to the UAE President Cup Series for their support of our feature race for four-year-olds and to Doncaster racecourse for their support of our racing. We also thank the British Horseracing Authority for their assistance this season, particularly with our international runners.”