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TOP CLASS ENTRIES FOR QATAR INTERNATIONAL STAKES AT GOODWOOD

 

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) were thrilled with the top class entries for the Qatar International Stakes, a Group 1PA run over a mile as part of the Qatar Goodwood Festival on Wednesday 27th July. The £400,000 race is the most valuable Arabian race in the UK and the most valuable race over a mile for Arabians in Europe. The race has seen many of the highest rated Arabians in the world compete and win such as Al Mourtajez, Muraaqib, Tayf and Lady Princess, as well as Ebraz, the only horse to win it twice.

Last year’s winner Lady Princess, has since finished second in the Qatar Arabian World Cup in Paris, won the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan Jewel Crown in Abu Dhabi and the HH The Amir Sword in Qatar making her the highest rated Arabian mare in the world. Trained by Thomas Fourcy for Khalifa bin Sheail Al Kuwari, the diminutive mare has now won six top level races and has not finished out of the first three in her 14 starts, the majority of which are all black type races.

Also in the list is the American bred First Classs, who has joined Jean de Mieulle from his uncle Alban de Mieulle for a European campaign. The five-year-old son of Dahess had a fantastic winter in the Gulf, winning the Qatar Derby for four-year-olds in December and then raised the bar in Saudi Arabia winning their first $1million dollar Turf race for Arabians, the Al Mneefah Cup. His star continued to shine in Dubai when he gained his first Group 1PA win in their premier race, the Kahayla Classic in March. Leased by Nayef Saad bin Sharida Al Kaabi from his breeders Cre Run Farm, First Classs appears equally effective on turf or dirt.

Third highest rated is Hattal, trained by Xavier Thomas-Demeaulte for YAS Horse Racing Management. The six-year-old son is bred in the purple being by their leading stallion Mahabb out of their Kahayla Classic winning mare Mizzna. He has five Group 1 PA wins to his name, including the UAE President Cup-UK Arabian Derby at Doncaster in 2020.

Mwarid is one of two representatives from Al Shaqab Racing who first won this race in 2016 with Al Mourtajez. The six-year-old is also beautifully bred by world champion sire Amer out of their first Group winner Al Nachmiya. His three wins this winter include the Late Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani National Day Trophy and was last seen finishing second to Lady Princess in the HH The Amir Sword. He is trained by Eric Lemartinel who has enjoyed a fine debut season in Qatar, finishing tenth in the trainer’s championship. Their other entry Aajel, is a lightly raced four-year-old who was Group 3PA placed on his latest start and is trained by Thomas Fourcy.

Francois Rohaut, who trained Muraaqib to win in 2017, has entered two, Samlla and Djafar. The Al Shahania bred Samlla runs in the colours of HE Sheikha Reem bint Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani and is a dual Group 1 winner, scoring in Deauville’s Al Rayyan Cup (Prix Kesberoy) and has since won the Qatar International Cup over this distance as part of this year’s HH The Amir Sword Festival. Third in that race was Djafar who earlier in the Qatar season had won their Guineas and now joins Rohaut from Gassim Ghazali, carrying the colours of Abdullah bin Fahad Al Attiyah.

Also entered from France is Ghurat Al Zaman. She is a daughter of her owner-breeder Dr Al Nujaifi’s multiple Group 1PA winning stallion Hilal Al Zaman who has been having a fantastic season around the globe. This year the penny seems to have dropped with this progressive mare who has won black type races at this trip and further for trainer Damien de Watrigant, who also trained her sire. Entered from Sweden is Djelano owned and trained by Maria Hagman-Eriksson and the winner of the Wathba Stallions Sprint Cup, a Listed PA contest on the dirt at Jagersro last October.

The domestic challenge is also strong with the UK’s highest rated mare Bayan Athbah seeking to add to her two Group 1PA wins of 2021. Trained by Phil Collington for her breeders Athbah Stud, her stablemates Ekleel Athbah and Rebal Athbah who have both won this season, also hold entries. Five-time leading ARO trainer James Owen also has three entries headed by Al Kaaser who was sixth last year, along with Al Mahbooba and recent winner Balqees for Gary Allsopp who is new to Arabian racing. Leicestershire based handler Peter Hammersley also has two entries, Zayin Arabian’s  Zayin Angkor Centurion who has twice contested the race before and Dilmin Racing’s Abiyah Athbah who was sixth in 2020.

HE Issa Bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club Chairman commented: “We are proud of our sponsorship of the Qatar International Stakes as one of our most valuable races and part of our commitment to promote Arabian racing. We are very pleased to see this race, once again, attracting some of the world’s top Arabians and promising to be a fabulous addition to the Qatar Goodwood Festival. I’m sure fans of all forms of racing will be fascinated by the spectacle of the Arabian horses at Goodwood. QREC would like to thank ARO and Goodwood for the excellent coordination and cooperation.”

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer commented: “The Qatar International Stakes never disappoints in terms of the quality of horses it attracts, as you would expect with the very generous prize money on offer. Year after year is it an absolute privilege to see some of the world’s best Arabians compete in this race and showcase our sport to a wider audience.

“ARO is extremely grateful for the ongoing support of UK Arabian racing by Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, who have been sponsoring this race at the Qatar Goodwood Festival since 2015.”

Concluding she said: “As a Group 1 race it is an early closer, so we will be accepting supplementary entries until 18th July. We would also like to thank the British Horseracing Authority and everyone at Goodwood and Fontwell racecourses for their assistance, in particular for our overseas runners.”

 

ONE-TWO-THREE FOR COLLINGTON IN THE EMIRATES BREEDERS MAIDEN STAKES AT ROYAL WINDSOR

Newmarket based trainer Phil Collington had the one-two-three in the Emirates Breeders Maiden Stakes at Royal Windsor this afternoon. Ekleel Athbah ridden by Tom Marquand had the race set up for her by her stablemate Kafou Athbah, who was sent into an early lead by Silvestre de Sousa. The grey filly was able to assert from a furlong out and kept on well to finish two and a half lengths in front. Lujain, making her debut for Collington in the colours of John Elliott stayed on from the rear despite running very green throughout the race.

Collington was naturally pleased by the performances of his principal patron Athbah Racing’s horses but was just as delighted for Elliott for whom he trained his first winner as a trainer in 2016. Commenting after the race he said: “Obviously Ekleel Athbah was the one to beat. Her first two runs were messy races for her, she suffered with a stop start gallop in Belgium and at Wolverhampton they didn’t go overly quick. Tom said that he was aware of what happened in those runs so he sent her to the front a lot earlier.

“I told Silvestre to be positive on Kafou Athbah, as he does a lot of lead work at home. I think he appreciated running on turf as well, as he’s like his sire No Risk Al Maury who I used to ride, they like good, good to firm ground. As for Lujain, that has made my day. I’m thrilled for Ekleel of course, but I’m so pleased for John and Teresa.”

As for the horses next targets he said: “We’ll see what’s on offer for Ekleel, I don’t want to run her back too quickly. I’m really pleased I didn’t run her at Doncaster, I don’t think that would have helped her mentally. We’ll give her a short break and see what’s on offer after that. Kafou could go to the Wolverhampton maiden, or we might just wait to get him back on Turf. Lujain could go to Wolverhampton, she looked like she was staying on strongly today.”

Marquand who was riding his second winner this season for Collington and Athbah Racing said of Ekleel Athbah’s win: “She jumped off well, followed Phil’s other horse and travelled better than the rest. She’s still learning and going in the right direction and should progress from this.”

Genny Haynes, Arabian Racing Organisation CEO commented: “ARO congratulates Phil and his team on their success today, hopefully we will see Ekleel Athbah progress to our more high-profile races later in the season. Athbah Racing has had great success starting their younger horses in the UK, who have then gone on to even greater achievements abroad.”

Concluding she said: “We are also delighted for John and Teresa Elliott, small owner-breeders who are the backbone of the grass roots of our sport which the Emirates Breeders Series is designed to encourage. We’re grateful for their support of our racing and we also thank the British Horseracing Authority and everyone at Royal Windsor racecourse and Sky Sports Racing who continue to show our racing live on their channel.”

 

INTERESTING NEWCOMERS IN THE EMIRATES BREEDERS MAIDEN STAKES AT ROYAL WINDSOR

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was delighted with the final declarations for the Emirates Breeders Maiden Stakes to be run at Royal Windsor racecourse on Monday 13th June. The mile contest has an interesting mix of newcomers and not just the horses, as Mitchell Hunt becomes the first UK licenced thoroughbred trainer to race an Arabian. However, he had plenty of prior experience with the breed when assistant to five times leading ARO trainer James Owen, who also has three runners in the race.

Phil Collington has the strongest hand numerically with four runners, headed by recent second Ekleel Athbah, partnered by Tom Marquand and Kafou Athbah ridden by Silvestre de Sousa. Of their chances he said: “Obviously on her two runs to date Ekleel Athbah would be the pick of mine. Kafou Athbah and Alghazaal will have come on for the experience of their first runs and they should be a lot sharper this time.

“Lujain has been training very, very well she’s hard fit now and ready to run. I advised Athbah racing to purchase her half-sister Sultana who has been Group placed in the UAE and suggested to John Elliott that he should buy Lujain, which was just prior to Sultana’s win in Abu Dhabi.”

Elliott will no doubt be hoping Lujain will do as well for him as a previous Shadwell bred purchase, Merwah, who won twice in his colours and has since bred him two winners. Jaldi Karo who was fourth in the UK Arabian Derby and later won at PA Group level overseas and Hau Kola who was Collington’s first winner as a trainer.

There is plenty of homebred interest in the race as Zikada Zayin, Hunt’s debut runner is a product of leading UK breeder Paul Simmons’s Zayin Arabian Stud. Of her chances Simmons says: “I’m looking forward to seeing her run. She’s the last foal out of my foundation mare CS Comete. She’s going nicely at home, so we are hopeful of an encouraging debut. She’s my first runner with Mitch, with whom I also have a thoroughbred in training.”

Owen has also diversified into breeding and is looking forward to watching his first homebred run in the colours of his wife Jenny. Mayfair is out of 2017 ARO leading racehorse Dolfina D’Ibos, who won three races for Owen’s Racing Club that year, and there are half-sisters by RB Burn and Al Mourtajez to come. Owen comments: “Mayfair’s work has been good against horses that have won this season and Hollie Doyle will ride.”

Genny Haynes, ARO CEO commented: “ARO is delighted with the strength of this quality field, which also demonstrates that the enthusiasm for breeding racing Arabians in the UK continues, which is fitting for a race supported by the Emirates Breeders Series.

“ARO is also thrilled that the first licenced thoroughbred trainer to take the plunge with Arabians, Mitchell Hunt, gained his initial experience under ARO rules and we wish him every success with both breeds.”

Concluding she said: “We also thank the British Horseracing Authority and everyone at Royal Windsor racecourse for their support and Sky Sports Racing who will once again be showing our race live on their channel.”

JEEWAN STAYS THE DISTANCE IN THE WATHBA STALLIONS CUP AT BATH

The Happy Birthday Your Majesty Wathba Stallions Cup (0-65) Handicap may have been the longest race in the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) calendar, however it was still able to produce a thrilling finish at the end of the two mile one furlong marathon.  Long-time race leader Jeewan and Dougie Costello beat Aljawaaher and amateur jockey Lewis Saunders by a nose in a photo. In third was a previous Wathba Stallions Cup winner Falcon Du Roc’h, whilst Gerko De Tenelle, trained like the winner by Jayme Plumb, was fourth.

Plumb who also owns both horses with her husband Darren, was delighted with their performances saying: “This is our second ever winner with ARO. Jeewan won carrying the colours of Darren’s late father, and that’s their first win, so that’s really special for us. This is only our second season with Jeewan since we got him from Shadwell, he’s so quiet at home a child can ride him, but he livens up when he gets to the races.

“Dougie gave him a lovely ride. It’s a trip that both our horses liked, we’ll see how they are after the race and what the handicapper does before making any further plans.”

Darren Plumb with Jeewan and Dougie Costello – winners of the Happy Birthday Your Majesty Wathba Stallions Cup (0-65) Handicap at Bath

©Debbie Burt – Equine Creative Media

It was a first Arabian winner for jockey Dougie Costello who had previously ridden Jeewan for his owner breeders Shadwell Estates before the horse joined the Plumbs two years ago. Commenting on the horse’s performance he said: “We got a soft lead in front and he was crying out for the line when it came. He’d probably appreciate a bit of juice in the ground, but he’s tough and he acts on this, but I’d say he’d be happier on easier ground.”

Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival, said: “The Festival is thrilled to see such a competitive finish to the race honouring Her Majesty and we congratulate the winners today. It is also fitting that Jayme Plumb should train the first winner on Bath racecourse’s annual Ladies Day card.”

ARO Director Bill Smith who presented the trophies said: “ARO warmly congratulates Jayme and Darren Plumb on their success with Jeewan and Gerko De Tenelle. ARO is extremely grateful to the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival and their sponsorship of our racing through the Wathba Stallions Cup series which provides excellent support to our small owner-trainers such as the Plumbs.

“Jeewan is also the third winner this season for our participants who have bought or leased horses from the Shadwell dispersal, ensuring that the legacy of our Late Patron, HH Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum continues in UK Arabian racing.”

Concluding he said: “We also thank the staff at Bath racecourse and the British Horseracing Authority for their assistance with our racing and Baker McVeigh International for sponsoring the Best Turned Out Award which was won by Annette Hansford and Falcon Du Roc’H.”

FALCON DU ROC’H BIDS FOR REPEAT WATHBA STALLIONS CUP WIN

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) is looking forward to their first visit to Bath on Saturday in which Falcon Du Roc’h bids to repeat his 2021 success by winning on his seasonal reappearance in the Happy Birthday Your Majesty Wathba Stallions Cup (0-65) Handicap Stakes. The £4000 race will be run over 2 miles and a furlong as part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival package of UK Arabian racing sponsorship for 2022.

Falcon Du Roc’h will be partnered once again by Cameron Iles for Nikki Malcom’s Dorset based Stride Ahead Racing, for whom the pair won a Wathba Stallions Cup Stakes at Royal Windsor last year. Malcolm is no stranger to first-time out success with her runners and credits her time spent working for leading Arabian trainer Bill Smith and her own experience in Endurance riding as part of the British team in being able to get her horses to peak fitness when it matters.

Of Falcon Du Roc’h’s chances Malcom said: “He’s not been tried over two miles, but he’s a stamina horse through and through on his pedigree, so I’ve got no worries.”

Also in the line-up is Peter Hammersley’s homebred Stonehenge, the only proven winner over two miles, and has prepared his horse with this race in mind saying: “He had a setback two years ago and we could never get him quite right last year. This year he’s different again and the Bath race is his main target.”

He’ll be joined by recent second Aljawaaher, owned and trained by Steve Blackwell. The horse is in the veteran stage but has shown he’s still capable on his day and finished ahead of both Falcon Du Roc’h and Stonehenge, as well as Gerko De Tenelle, when they met last year over 1m4f at Wolverhampton. Gerko De Tenelle is one of two runners for Oxfordshire trainer Jamie Plumb, whose Jeewan is top rated in this event. Both horses will be tackling the stamina test for the first time and could find improvement for it. Heritage Valentino represents leading trainer James Owen and is the least experienced of the runners. The five-year-old will be making his turf debut as well as his seasonal reappearance at the West Country track.

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer said: “ARO is delighted to once again be racing at Bath with a race that recognises Her Majesty’s birthday celebrations, that fittingly also falls on the racecourse’s Ladies Day. ARO is extremely grateful for the support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival and in particular their sponsorship through the Wathba Stallions Cup series which champions the grassroots participants of our sport.

“We also thank the staff at Bath racecourse and the British Horseracing Authority for their assistance with our racing.”

ALLSOPP CONTINUES WINNING STREAK AT DONCASTER

Gary Allsopp, the latest recruit to the owners ranks of the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was back in the winners’ enclosure again at Doncaster this afternoon when Wanaasa, making her debut in his colours, won the Emirates Breeders (0-95) Handicap over a mile. He also shared in the success of the second placed horse, Al Kaaser, as he is a member of the James Owen Racing Club for whom the horse runs this season. Trainer James Owen completed the one-two-three with Jaahez, in the colours of his wife, Jenny.

Speaking from Dubai, about his recent successes Allsopp said: “I’m really happy to have my second winner in a short space of time in Arabian racing with Wanaasa. A big thank you to Shadwell for giving me the opportunity to buy such a nice horse. It was also good to see the Racing Club horse Al Kaaser run a nice race for James and all the partners.”

He continued: “It’s been an amazing day for the team at Green Ridge Stables having pre-trained the Derby winner Desert Crown, I’m really happy for James and his team.”

Genny Haynes, ARO CEO commented: “ARO warmly congratulates Gary Allsopp whose experience of Arabian racing is getting the best possible start with two winners from three runners so far. Both were Shadwell bred horses and it is great to see the legacy of the Late Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum continuing in UK Arabian racing.

“We were delighted to return to Doncaster today and we thank the Emirates Breeders Series and also the British Horseracing Authority for their support of our racing in 2022.”

Auctav Arabian Summer Sale Entries open until June 21

 

 

Auctav is organizing, in partnership with AFAC, an online sale of Purebred Arabian on July 20, 2022. Building on its success with the sales of Shadwell broodmares, yearlings and 2-year-olds, Auctav invites you to take advantage of this agency which has already found its place in Purebred Arabians’ market.

A new era for the Purebred Arabians

The Purebred Arabian racing market is moving with the times. This international market, with a superb racing circuit around the world, has embraced the advantages of the digitalization of exchanges, including for horse sales. While field inspections still have their role to play, today sales can easily be done remotely thanks to Auctav, which has organized secure online auction sessions since its creation.

The sales agency provides a full media package so that potential buyers can learn about the lots presented: photos, videos and of course a repository, accessible to veterinarians, adapted to the specificities of each breed.

For sellers, it is peace of mind with the horses remaining at the place of their choice until the sale, without transport, with on-site reception of potential buyers.

This know-how, Auctav places it at the service of Purebred Arabians for a sale open to all, to present their lots to the international market. Registrations are open until June 21, 2022, one month before the sale itself.

The Purebred Arabian market sensitive to online sales Auctav

The Auctav agency had the honor of being chosen by Shadwell to become the platform for two sales of its Purebred Arabian workforce, the broodmares in December 2021 and the yearlings and 2 year olds at the very beginning of 2022. The market response was extremely dynamic. Auctav thus sold the super mare Tashreefat for €310,000, the agency’s highest bid. Jamaheer, broodmare of recent winner Madrassa, was also sold by the platform for €210,000, as was his half-brother.

During the Shadwell yearling and 2-year-old sales, Jean-Pierre de Gasté, from Haras de Gouffern, was enthusiastic about the very concept of the online sale. “We would like to emphasize how much we appreciated this sale. It was convenient to bid online by being able to follow the auctions remotely at the same time as our customers who were with us by telephone. They were really enthusiastic on social networks, on the application, and we experienced more emulation by this system than during physical sales”.

A partnership with AFAC

The Association française du Cheval Arabe de Course (AFAC), the backbone of the sector in France, is a partner in the sale.

“The Shadwell sales organized by Auctav had generated a lot of dynamism, both in the speed of organization and the positive reaction of the international market, explains AFAC President Axelle Nègre de Watrigant. It’s great to see that the sector still arouses so much interest.

Online sales are in tune with our very international clientele who are fond of these modern and fun means of transaction which allow them to buy anywhere and at any time. This can encourage the emergence of new buyers and be a step forward for international customers. Sales are like races, they must come at the right time for each horse and this is what these new dates on the calendar allow”.

Arnaud Angeliaume, Managing Director Auctav

“We are really excited to organize the Auctav Arabian Summer Sale. The Purebred Arabian market has been of great interest to us since the creation of Auctav and Shadwell sales have been a catalyst to build up a clientele. The dynamism that appeared during these sales was noticed by all the investors in this sector and we are delighted that they are joining us for this first sale open to all. Registrations are in progress and we are delighted with the catalogue that is coming up and which we hope to expand further in the coming weeks”.

ENTRIES

Entries open until June 21 via auctav.com and by contacting Auctav’s team directly on 09 51 56 57 95 or contact@auctav.com.

The sale will take place on Wednesday July 20 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on auctav.com.

ALLSOPP SEEKING TO CONTINUE WINNING FORM AT DONCASTER

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) makes its first visit to Doncaster racecourse this year for the Emirates Breeders (0-95) Handicap over a mile this Saturday in which recent new convert to Arabian racing, Gary Allsopp has two runners. His silks will be carried by Balqees who got his season off to the perfect start when winning at Wolverhampton two weeks ago, however despite her success, Allsopp’s first colours will be carried by Wanaasa, one of the highest rated mares in the UK.

Like Balqees, Wanaasa had previously run for her owner-breeders Shadwell Estates, however as part of their dispersal she has joined Allsopp’s growing band of Arabians in training with James Owen in Newmarket. Allsopp is also involved in Owen’s Racing Club, who fields the top weight Al Kaaser, who was third in a Group 2PA over six furlongs at Newbury last year. Completing the Owen contingent are former Club horses, Tijaary and Jaahez, now running in his wife Jenny’s colours for 2022.

Hoping to break up the Owen dominance will be Abiyah Athbah, who was Group 3PA placed over this trip last September. Trained by Leicestershire based Peter Hammersley for Dilmun Racing, they will be hoping that the rain stays away as she needs quick ground to be seen at her best on Turf.

 Genny Haynes, ARO CEO commented: “ARO is looking forward to returning to Doncaster for this competitive handicap featuring some of our best horses. We thank the Emirates Breeders Series for their support of our racing and also the British Horseracing Authority and all the team at Doncaster who always make us feel welcome.”

ONE TWO FOR BLACKWELL IN THE WATHBASTALLIONS.COM STAKES AT BRIGHTON

Owner-trainer-breeder Steve Blackwell got the new Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) Season off to the best possible start with his homebred mare Aloof winning from his other runner Aljawaaher, at Brighton in the wathbastallions.com (0-55) Handicap Stakes. The pair were his first two runners of 2022, with Aloof and Charlie Price finishing a length ahead of Aljawaaher and amateur jockey, Lewis Saunders, with Bin Al Reeh a further two and a half lengths away in third.

A delighted Blackwell who rode his first ever winner at the track when he was an apprentice and hadn’t been back for 43 years said: “Aloof is still very green and doesn’t know how to race. Charlie did a good job of pushing her forward and hopefully the penny should have dropped today, she’s been much better this year at home. She’s fit enough, we just need to get her head straight.”

Price commented: “We’ve jumped out and got quite a good position, I’ve had to put her in a pocket as they went quite quick in the first couple of furlongs, as soon as things settled down mid-way through the race, she started to travel and pick up the bridle, which suited me down to the ground. I’ve come upsides two horses up the run in and she put her ears back and galloped all the way to the line. She’s still green, but she’s improved an awful lot from last year.”

Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival, said: “The Festival is delighted make its’ first ever visit to Brighton racecourse and we congratulate the winners today. The Wathba Stallions Cup series aims to support our grassroots participants and Steve Blackwell’s win is a great example of what can be achieved with this sort of support.”

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer commented: “ARO warmly congratulates Steve Blackwell for his win with his homebred mare, Aloof and for gaining second place as well. Aloof was the product of a free cover won by his mare, Spirited Game, back in 2014, so we’re really delighted for him and the patience he showed with Aloof in her first season last year.

“ARO is most grateful for the continued sponsorship by the Sheikh Mansoor Festival and we also thank the British Horseracing Authority and Brighton racecourse for their assistance with our racing, as well as The Arabian Racehorse magazine, who provided a travel concession to the seventh placed horse.”

HH SHEIKH MANSOOR FESTIVAL HEADS TO BRIGHTON

The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival’s UK racing commitment now heads to Brighton on Tuesday May 31st for the Wathba Stallions Cup (0-55) Handicap Stakes over an extended six furlongs. It is one of eleven races that the Festival is sponsoring with the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) in 2022.

Leicestershire based trainer Peter Hammersley takes two runners, Bin Al Reeh and Belle Angelique. Bin Al Reeh has shown a liking for quick turf, winning a Wathba Stallions sponsored race at Bath last year and comes here in good form having been placed in the opening race of the season. Of his runners’ chances, Hammersley says: “Bin Al Reeh has come out of the Windsor race well and he should be there or thereabouts on Tuesday. Belle Angelique had a few problems last year and probably wasn’t 100 percent in her two runs. She’s a lot fitter now and we’re hoping for a better show at Brighton. Paddy Barlow rode her in both her runs last season and rides her at home, so fingers crossed for them.”

Also with two runners is Steve Blackwell from South Wales, who sends veteran campaigner Aljawaaher, partnered by amateur Lewis Saunders, along with his homebred mare Aloof, ridden by conditional jockey, Charlie Price. Both horses are making their seasonal reappearances. Blackwell commented: “I like to support the young riders and Aljawaaher is perfect for that. Aloof looks the part now and she seems to have grown up mentally, but we won’t know until she gets on the racecourse. Brighton is more her level at this stage, but we can’t be sure how well she’ll cope with the undulations there.”

One horse with experience of the track is James Owen’s Conquer, who was fourth there on his seasonal reappearance in 2019 over further. The ten-year-old has also won twice at Chepstow on quick ground, including over seven furlongs off an identical rating, so has plenty going for him on Tuesday. However, he is returning from a two-year absence and may just need the run. Also making his seasonal debut is the Plumb’s Gerko De Tenelle, he was fourth on his first start of last season behind Bin Al Reeh and he may fare better this year, sporting blinkers for the first time. Top weight is the Connally’s Labwah, an unexposed well-bred mare who faces quick turf for the first time, having finished sixth on her reappearance last week at Wolverhampton.

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer commented: “We thank the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival for generously increasing their support of our racing for this season, with the Wathba Stallions Cup series being particularly important to our grassroots competitors, at which Tuesday’s contest is aimed.

“We’re looking forward to a competitive race and delighted to see two young amateurs taking rides, both who rode under ARO rules last season, including Paddy Barlow who rode a winner last week in Italy. It’s also good to see Charlie Price keeping in touch with his Arabian roots as he was ARO leading novice jockey in 2016 and leading professional in 2019.”

Concluding she said: “We thank the British Horseracing Authority and Brighton racecourse for their assistance and support of our racing, as well as The Arabian Racehorse magazine, who is providing a travel concession to the seventh placed horse.”

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