The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was thrilled when the 16 horses invited to contest the AED 5 million Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown, included Thakeera Al Shahania, trained in Newmarket by Phil Collington. Collington has recently been crowned ARO leading trainer for a third time, whilst Thakeera Al Shahania is owned by Athbah Racing, who have also retained the ARO leading owner title this season.
Collington and Athbah Racing will be hoping to repeat their success of 2019, when they won the Abu Dhabi contest with Mashhur Al Khalediah, who then went on to be third in the Obaiya Arabian Classic at the inaugural Saudi Cup meeting.
Speaking of her chances Collington said, “We’re delighted to receive an invitation for Thakeera Al Shahania. I think the distance and the track will suit her, and I still think she’s very good on the top of the ground, which she’ll definitely get there. She’s flown a lot already, she’s quite a cool customer travelling, so that’s an added plus, and I think looking at her runs and the nature of the race, she’ll stay the 2200m well. I’d be quite optimistic for her, she’s in great form though she’s been in training for quite a while, as she still feels very, very well.”
Abdul Moniem Ahmed Ali, Athbah Racing manager commented, “On behalf of Athbah Racing, and as a lover of Arabian horses, I thank Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his highness’s support of Arabian racing worldwide, and also his team in expertly managing this global event, which is one of the most valuable for Arabian horses on Turf.
“We are delighted to have received two invitations, one for Thakeera Al Shahania, trained in the UK, and one for Mutbahy Athbah, trained in France. With regards our lovely mare Thakeera, I am so excited that she will have the chance to show her best and that she will also be representing the UK, the country in which she won her first race, as well as Saudi Arabia’s Athbah Racing. Since that win she has stepped up to Group1PA level and was a strong third in the UAE President Cup – UK Arabian Derby and then a close fourth in the Qatar Arabian Trophy des Juments (Gr1PA) at ParisLongchamp on Arc weekend.”
Concluding he said, “These results show that she is capable of performing well at this level and as she is only a four-year-old, I’m sure there will be more to come from her. We have yet to decide a jockey, however I wish all the best to our English trainer and friend Philip Collington.”
Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer said, “The Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Racing Festival has been a great supporter of our sport for many years in the UK and we’re delighted to have the UK trained Thakeera Al Shahania invited to the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown.
“We also have two British bred invitees – the Jewel Crown prep race first and second, Barakka and Ajrad Athbah, whose dams coincidentally Phil Collington now owns. Our domestic form is also boosted by the inclusion of our 2021 Derby winner, Abbes, and last year’s Jewel Crown winner First Classs, who finished second in our most valuable race the Qatar International Stakes at Goodwood this year. This year’s UK Derby form continues to yield results internationally with Bahwan, who was fifth, winning in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
“The Jewel Crown always attracts a good field, and this is the strongest renewal for several seasons. We look forward to being present in Abu Dhabi for the 13th World Arabian Horse Racing Forum which starts on the 27th November and concludes with racing at Abu Dhabi with the Jewel Crown it’s highlight on December 3rd.”