Abiyah Athbah and Phil Dennis winning the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup (Gr2PA) at Royal Windsor over six furlongs © Debbie Burt


Consistent mare gains first black type win along with her trainer and jockey

Saturday 29 June 2024 –

Abiyah Athbah, the UK’s highest rated mare finally got deserved black type success in the £20,000 HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup, a Group 2PA contest held over six furlongs at Royal Windsor today. Partnered by Phil Dennis she was in command from the outset and was never headed. Upstart Crow and Darragh Keenan tried to challenge, but lacked the mare’s turn of foot and had to settle for third place as stablemate, Fareedhat El Izz and Adam Farragher stayed on for second. Farragher was sporting a black armband in memory of the late Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Nujaifi, father of owner breeder Dr Mohammed Al Nujaifi who passed way earlier this week.

This was the first running of the race under the sponsorship of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival, who support ten races in the UK this season and 150 globally, culminating in the Group 1PA HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown in Abu Dhabi in December. A crowd of over 5,500 had gathered to watch the race at Royal Windsor on one of their summer Saturday highlight’s Ladies Day.


Phil Dennis, jockey, 1st, “It’s my first Group winner ever, whether it’s Arabian or thoroughbred I’ll certainly take it. I rode her over a mile last time at Doncaster and she actually rallied towards the line so dropping back to six I was fairly keen to make plenty of use of her. She probably visually looks keener than she is, she’s enthusiastic, but never over cooking it, it went right for her today.”

Pete Hammersley, trainer, 1st, “The cards all fell right for her today. We felt coming into the race that she was really in the form of her life. Sue [Wileman]kept saying that she’s never felt better and the stop watch on the gallops confirmed that, the ground has come right for her, she needs it quick. To be fair she’s always been taking on horses better than her, they come and go and then the next year there’s another one, and now she’s finally reaped the reward.”

Jenny Lees, Dilmun Racing, owner, 1st, “We were so excited, we can hardly talk. It’s wonderful, mainly for Peter, he’s put so much into this, I really wanted it to happen for him.”

James Owen, trainer 2nd, 3rd, “I thought Fareedhat El Izz ran really well, Abiyah Athbah’s a real sprinter and got her conditions, it was a fast run race which took both of mine out of their comfort zones. Fareedhat El Izz stayed on well at the end and will have leaned a lot. We’ll step her up into better things against her own age group I think. Upstart Crow was just flat out all the way, stayed on well, different conditions on a different day, but he’s more of a stayer.”


Lara Sawaya, Pete Hammersley, Phil Dennis, Abiyah Athbah, Sue Wileman and HE Mansoor Abulhoul Al Falasi, winners of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup (Gr2PA)

©Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media

HE Mansoor Abulhoul Al Falasi, the UAE Ambassador to the UK, “It’s hugely meaningful for the UAE to be hosting these sort of events, given that our founding father HH Sheikh Zayed loved the Arabian horse. 

“To see that continue through HH Sheikha Fatima sponsoring this high-level Arabian race at Royal Windsor racecourse, which of course is continued by the support of and generosity of her son HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed, so for me it marks a huge celebration between Emirati and British culture coming together. I was also really impressed with number of people who were here today to watch the race.”

Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival commented, “It’s been a beautiful day at Royal Windsor for Ladies Day, we have the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup won by Abiyah Athbah, a mare, and owned by Jenny Lees of Dilmun Racing, so it is very appropriate. We thank HE Mansoor Abulhoul Al Falasi, the UAE Ambassador to the UK for attending today and assisting with the trophy presentation.”

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer said, “We thank HE Mansoor Abulhoul Al Falasi and Lara Sawaya for attending today for the Festival’s most prestigious UK Arabian race. We are delighted for the win of Abiyah Athbah who always gives her best on the track and we congratulate Jenny Lees, Peter Hammersley and Phil Dennis who are all winning their first Arabian Group race today and also Abiyah Athbah’s groom Sue Wileman who won the Racing Welfare Best Turned Out Award presented by Chloe Martin.”


Pete Hammersley, Jenny Lees, Phil Dennis, HE Mansoor Abulhoul Al Falasi, Lara Sawaya and Genny Haynes winners of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup (Gr2PA)

©Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media