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REGAL PERFORMANCE BY LADY PRINCESS TO WIN THE QATAR INTERNATIONAL STAKES

There was a new name on the role of honour of the Group 1PA Qatar International Stakes at Goodwood this afternoon, when Lady Princess and Oisin Murphy showed the field a clean pair of heels to win by three lengths. Previous winners Ebraz and Tayf were second and third respectively, with the favourite Deryan finishing fourth. Partnered for the first time by Oisin Murphy, Lady Princess used her trademark turn of foot to accelerate away from her rivals, to gain her fourth Group 1PA win and a first for her jockey on an Arabian.

Murphy was thrilled by the experience saying: “It was a super ride and a big thank you to her connections for letting me ride her. What a little star. She was a bit anxious in the stalls, but she relaxed during the race and the way she picked up was really, really, good, I got a huge buzz out of that! Christophe Soumillon sent me a text saying ‘forget she’s an Arabian’ and my god she was good!”

Speaking from France, trainer Thomas Fourcy, who was also responsible for the third placed Tayf said: “Lady Princess is maturing and not as energetic as she used to be, although she still got a little edgy in the stalls. She has her character, but that’s what makes her strong. She will be prepared for the Qatar Arabian World Cup and then Saudi Arabia and then Qatar for the Amir Sword, she may have another race before the World Cup, or she may not.”

He continued: “Tayf got stopped in his run, but I think he would have struggled with Ebraz for second place, he is not a horse made for sprinting. He will go straight to the Qatar Arabian World Cup like last year.”

Lady Princess with Marie Tallon, winner of the Qatar International Stakes Group 1PA at Goodwood ©equinecreativemedia.com

Owner Khalifa bin Shaeil Al Kuwari could also not be present however he commented by text: “It is a pleasure to run in the UK and we are now looking forward to going to Paris for the Qatar Arabian World Cup. I had confidence in her before the race, I trusted her and I trusted Oisin, who I chose to ride her. I would like to thank all the connections and share my win with Qatar’s King and all of Qatar.”

Adam Waterworth, managing director of Goodwood racecourse said: “I know the colours of Khalifa bin Shaeil Al Kuwari well from my visits to Qatar for the Amir Sword Festival. He’s so enthusiastic and passionate about his racing, it’s such a shame he’s not here, but it was great to see those colours win this race for the first time.

“It is always a great race, and this year we had four of the best Arabians in the world competing in it” Waterworth continued. “I think it is really important that we support it, the race was filled with jockeys who are household names and I just think we have to get these races as accepted on the racecard alongside thoroughbred races, as part of the racing experience. We have around 15,000 people here today and you can see how much our crowd enjoys watching the race, they always do. It was a really good performance by the winner and the race absolutely belongs as part of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.”

Presentation Qatar International Stakes_Oisin Murphy_Charles Gregson_Lousie Brassey_Marie Tallon ©equinecreativemedia.com

His Excellency Issa Bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, QREC Chairman said: “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 Commercial and Finance Director commented: “The Qatar International Stakes never disappoints in terms of the quality of horses that compete and the quality of race for the substantial prize money of £400,000. We are honoured in the UK to host a race of this value and to witness such exceptional performances year after year.

“We congratulate the connections of Lady Princess, and we are delighted that ARO was able to facilitate her safe arrival and preparation in the UK and those of the other French trained runners, due to the restrictions imposed by the challenges of Covid. We hope that they will be back next year under more relaxed conditions.

“We’re also pleased to see our two highest rated domestic Arabians fill the fifth and sixth places and hope that the success of this race, and the wider attention the winner and placed horses have generated today, will go towards encouraging more people in the UK to the sport.”

Haynes concluded: “ARO is extremely grateful for the ongoing support of UK Arabian racing by Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, for whom this is their seventh year sponsoring this race at the Qatar Goodwood Festival. We would also like to thank the British Horseracing Authority and everyone at Goodwood and Fontwell racecourses for their assistance in ensuring that our overseas runners in particular, have every chance to participate on Wednesday, whilst we continue to face the challenge of Covid.”

EXCITING FIELD SET FOR A VINTAGE RENEWAL OF THE QATAR INTERNATIONAL STAKES

 

 

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was delighted to see some of the world’s very best Arabians among the 21 horses entered in the Qatar International Stakes (Gr1PA), as part of the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Following the close of declarations today, they are excited to find that the race promises to be another vintage renewal. The 11 runner field includes two of the world’s leading older horses in Ebraz and Tayf, who will take on two of the leading younger horses in Deryan and Lady Princess. It is no surprise that despite the international challenges presented by Covid, they have been attracted to the £400,000 mile contest sponsored by Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC), run as the opening race on Wednesday 28 July. Since it’s inauguration in 2015, the race is the most valuable in UK Arabian racing and the most valuable over that distance for Arabians in Europe.

Four of the first five home in the 2020 edition all re-oppose and whilst the Sussex course’s mile is famous for its’ thoroughbred ‘Duel on the Downs’, Arabian racing has its’ own, with Ebraz facing Tayf for a fifth consecutive time. Tayf won the first round in 2017 by a nose, and since then Ebraz has had the upper hand, finishing second to Muraaqib in 2018, winning the last two and now bids for a record-breaking hat-trick in the race. However since last August, Tayf has bested Ebaz in Paris’s Qatar Arabian World Cup and in the Qatar Gold Sword, both top level contests over 1m2f.

To add further intrigue, the small, but mighty three-time Group 1PA winner Lady Princess is making her UK debut. She has recent form with both horses from Qatar’s premier race the 1m4f HH The Amir’s Sword. That contest produced a one-two for stablemates Mon’nia and Ebraz, but Lady Princess was less than a length behind in third, with Tayf over six lengths away in fourth. She will again benefit from her mares’ allowance, which coupled with her electric turn of foot, could prove decisive over this shorter trip.

Also making the journey from France is Deryan. The world’s top-rated Arabian on Dirt, he now has to prove he is worthy of that rating on Turf, as split ratings don’t apply in the international classifications. Deryan came into this race last year on the back of his first Group 1PA win at Deauville and though he travelled well throughout, he had to concede the win to Ebraz by just under two lengths, with Tayf only a nose behind him in third. Since then, he caught the eye when fifth in the Obaiya Classic at the Saudi Cup, before cementing his position at the top of the international rankings with a superb win in the Dubai Kahayla Classic on World Cup night at Meydan.

An additional dimension to the race will be that the majority of the international runners will have new partners. HH Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani’s Tayf has always been the mount of Olivier Peslier at Goodwood, though Ronan Thomas, who has ridden him to win in Qatar, including in the Gold Sword, flew in for quarantine to secure the ride. Ebraz has been successful for a number of partners, though his two wins here have been for Maxime Guyon. This year HE Sheikha Reem bint Mohammed Al Thani’s imposing grey will have nine times UAE Champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea aboard. O’Shea who is no stranger to Arabians, is excited to be offered the ride and last rode in the blue and white stars in the race in 2015.  Khalifa bin Sheail Al Kuwari’s Lady Princess has almost exclusively been ridden by either Julien Augé or Christophe Soumillon, but will have Oisin Murphy in the saddle on Wednesday. Murphy has had several Arabian rides in the UK this season, but has also ridden them in the Gulf, finishing second in the 2018 Kahayla Classic on Chaddad.

Of course for those outside of Arabian racing, the most eye-catching booking will be that for Deryan. YAS Racing’s young star is usually partnered by Ioritz Mendizabal, but he will have the benefit of Frankie Dettori at the helm, currently on a roll of three consecutive Longines world’s best jockey titles, among his numerous accolades. Dettori is an infrequent partner of the original racehorse, but has ridden the likes of Al Mamun Monlau in the Kahayla Classic and is definitely no stranger to success at Goodwood.

Whilst The UK challenge might not be of quite the same lofty standard, it is headed by its’ highest rated horse Al Kaaser, who will be flying the flag for syndicates in UK Arabian racing and making his debut for new leaseholders Emirates Entertainment Racing Club and Green Ridge Racing. The EERC is well known in the UAE and have even had ex-UK Arabians running for them in the Emirates, though this is their first foray into the sport in the UK. Al Kaaser will be partnered by Rossa Ryan who boasts a 100 percent strike rate in UK Arabian races from two rides this term.

The highest placed UK owned and trained finisher of 2020 was Abiyah Athbah.  Dilmun Racing’s mare was fifth here by a short head on her seasonal return and this term with two runs under her belt, she may have more to offer. She has struck up a winning partnership with Joey Haynes, who though absent last year, is back on board here.

Farhaa is the leading UK older mare who has won twice at this distance. Though she did disappoint when last tried at Listed PA level, she comes into the race in great form and will be joined by two other Shadwell Estates runners in Toofan and Loolwa. Toofan is a distance winner stepping up to pattern company for the first time, whilst Loolwa was third in this grade on her debut in the UK Arabian Derby last year. This season she was runner-up in a Belgian Listed PA race on her latest start over much further and could easily improve, dropped down to this trip for the first time.

Group3 PA sprint winner Storm Troupour will be making his fourth appearance in the race, whilst Paramer Angel will start as the outsider, making his first racecourse appearance in two years. On previous form he was quite closely matched with Abiyah Athbah, but the mare has improved past him since they last met in 2019.

Between the four individual Group 1 PA winners and the further seven horses declared, they have collectively won 60 races between them. The overall prize fund for the Qatar International Stakes is £400,000, with £226,840 to the winner. There will also be a prize of £250 awarded to the groom of the Best Turned Out horse.

His Excellency Issa Bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, QREC Chairman said: “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 Commercial and Finance Director commented: “The Qatar International Stakes always attracts quality horses, as you would expect with the very generous prize money on offer. It is very pleasing to see Ebraz and Tayf return, as their rivalry across three continents over the last five years has really caught the wider racing public’s imagination. It is also exciting to see the up-and-coming horses, Lady Princess and Deryan join in with what promises to be race for the history books.

“We’re also pleased to see some of our best of domestic Arabians stand their ground. The opportunities to try our horses at the highest level both here and internationally have been limited because of Covid and we hope that some of them prove that they can progress further.

She continued: “It is also encouraging to see some well-known jockeys getting a chance to ride in our most valuable race which hopefully may encourage new followers to our sport.”

Haynes concluded: “ARO is extremely grateful for the ongoing support of UK Arabian racing by Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, for whom this will be their seventh year sponsoring this race at the Qatar Goodwood Festival. We would also like to thank the British Horseracing Authority and everyone at Goodwood and Fontwell racecourses for their assistance in ensuring that our overseas runners in particular, have every chance to participate on Wednesday, whilst we continue to face the challenge of Covid.”

ABQARRY WINS THE AL SEEFAH BEACH HANDICAP BY A NOSE AT DONCASTER

Abqarry ridden by Rossa Ryan, stepped up from his maiden to win the Al Seefah Beach (0-75) Handicap sponsored by the Royal Cavalry of Oman at Doncaster this evening. Trained by James Owen for Shadwell Estates, the five-year-old was making his handicap debut in the mile and a quarter event at the historic Town Moor track. It was a hard-fought win, with the Pete Hammersley trained Al-Tabari putting up another brave performance to go down by a nose on the line. Balqees in the Shadwell first colours, trained by Phil Collington, was five lengths away in third.

After the race Ryan commented: “James said he might still be a bit green, but just get him in a rhythm. I got to the front a bit soon, but luckily Al-Tabari came by me. It just gave him something to aim at when facing the crowd and he stuck his head down when it was needed.”

Owen, who was recording his eighth win of the season for his principal patron, Shadwell Estates said: “I think they ended up going a bit quick in front. Abqarry was green in his maiden, we put the cheekpieces on today and I thought Rossa gave him an outstanding ride. What a great race, to win on the nod. I think Abqarry will mature further and stay well. He’s got more scope than the others I’ve had out of the mare.”

He continued: “I’m a bit disappointed with Sahis, I thought he was my best chance coming into the race, I don’t know what happened there, the Derby was the plan for him, so hopefully something will come to light.”

 

 

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director said: “We congratulate Shadwell Estates and the James Owen team for their continued success this season. It’s great for our sport to have another close finish, particularly now the crowds are back on course. We also congratulate Pete Hammersley who came so close to winning with Al-Tabari, and to his groom Sue Wileman, who received the Best Turned Out award.

“Our sincere thanks go to the Royal Cavalry of Oman for supporting our racing this season and for their continued sponsorship of our races at all levels. We also thank the team at Doncaster and we look forward to coming back here in September for the UK Arabian Derby sponsored by the UAE President Cup.”

ZAYIN ZYPERION WINS WATHBA STALLIONS CUP HANDICAP IN A PHOTO FINISH

Sean Levey and Zayin Zyperion broke a three-year absence from the winners’ enclosure for owner-breeder Paul Simmons when they secured the Wathba Stallions Cup at Lingfield Park by a short head in a photo finish. One of five runners in the race for trainer Pete Hammersley, the six-year-old son of No Risk Al Maury headed Evermore Racing’s Kayack, with Steve Blackwell’s Aljawaaher two lengths away in third.

Levey commented: “That was very good, the horse travelled brilliantly throughout. He’s obviously an experienced type who knew exactly what he was doing. He didn’t pick up when I first asked him, he put his head up and thought about it for a stride or two, but he responded in the end, put his head down and ran to the line well. I’m delighted.”

Simmons was all smiles saying: “My last winner was three years ago with his half-brother Zayin Zachilles who I did so well with. Zyperion really deserved this win, he’s been placed in all his starts since he progressed to handicaps, he’s done nothing wrong. Kayack gave him a good race right to the line. Sean gave him a brilliant ride and brilliantly trained by Pete of course!”

Hammersley agreed saying: “Brilliant wasn’t it? Well deserved, we’re very pleased with him. It’s nice to get another winner on the board, we’ll have a look and see where we can go next with him.”

The mile and a quarter (0-55) handicap was the fourth Wathba Stallions Cup sponsored races run as part of The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) season. The race is held as part of the global HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival programme of races, with the Wathba Stallions Cup series aiming to promote the breeders of Arabian racehorses. It is supported by Wathba Stallions, the breeding arm in the UAE and France, of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs, who is also Chairman of the Emirates Arabian Horse Association.

 

 

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director said: “ARO warmly congratulates Paul and Pete for their success today with Zayin Zyperion. It is very fitting that a race aiming to support the grassroots and the smaller-owner breeders was won with a homebred horse, with another in second.

“We are also extremely grateful for the continued support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival, who have supported five Wathba Stallions Cups with us this season. Our thanks also go to the team at Lingfield Park and we look forward to our next race here on August 25th.”

THOMAS DUO BID FOR REPEAT SUCCESS IN WATHBA STALLIONS CUP HANDICAP AT LINGFIELD

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) welcomes the fourth of their five Wathba Stallions Cup sponsored races, to Lingfield Park racecourse on Wednesday July 14th. The mile and a quarter (0-55) handicap was run over the same course and distance in 2019 and has attracted several previous runners, including the Delyth Thomas duo of Callymay and Kork MHF, who were the first two home that year. She also fields Kayclaire in a bold bid to fill the third slot.

In what is a full field of fourteen for the race, there is an interesting mix of proven horses such as the Thomas trio, complemented by some younger unexposed types. Sue Herrod’s Run The Risk improved considerably on his handicap debut at Royal Windsor and could give the older horses plenty to think about, whilst Steve Blackwell’s Aloof is trying this company for the first time. However, there are a number of useful types for whom the handicapper has given a chance including Zayin Zyperion, one of five starters for trainer Pete Hammersley in the race. The Connally’s Samawaat is another Hammersley runner who may benefit from the handicappers generosity, she is reunited with stable amateur Stephen Harrison for whom she has run well in the past.

Former ARO champion novice jockey, turned apprentice Ellie Mackenzie is also reunited with Gerko De Tennelle. Mackenzie lost the ride on the Plumb’s French import through injury, but has now made a successful return to the saddle, winning on her last two rides. Another jockey in red hot form is Mollie Phillips, she takes the ride on Zayin Arabians other runner, Aymee, who like Run The Risk, showed improved form at Royal Windsor.

The race is held as part of the global HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival programme of races, with the Wathba Stallions Cup series aiming to promote the breeders of Arabian racehorses. It is supported by Wathba Stallions, the breeding arm in the UAE and France, of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs, who is also Chairman of the Emirates Arabian Horse Association.

 

 

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director said: “ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival. We are also delighted to be back at Lingfield Park for a very competitive race which is supporting the sports grassroots.”

 

THE WORLD’S BEST ARABIANS ENTERED FOR THE QATAR INTERNATIONAL STAKES

The Arabian Racing Organisation was delighted to see some of the world’s best Arabians among the 21 horses entered in the Qatar International Stakes (Gr1PA), following the first entry stage which closed at 12 noon today. The £400,000 mile contest sponsored by Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club is the most valuable race in UK Arabian racing and the most valuable over that distance for Arabians in Europe. The first six home from 2020 could all re-oppose on July 28th in what promises to be another exciting renewal as part of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Ebraz, who has won the last two runnings, could face Tayf, who beat him in 2017, but added into the mix and new to Goodwood, are the progressive young mares Mon’nia and Lady Princess. All four are closely matched on Qatar form when Mon’nia led home her stablemate Ebraz in this year’s HH The Amir Sword (Gr1PA), with Lady Princess and Tayf filling the places. They could be joined by Deryan, winner of the 2021 Dubai Kahayla Classic (Gr1PA), who was second in this last year’s fourth was Bel’Izam, who had beaten Ebraz in their prep run in France.

Horses returning after a break include the leading juvenile colt of 2019 Amyr Du Soleil, and Durat Al Zaman, whilst completing the overseas challenge is the lightly raced filly Ryme Al Cham. A Group 3PA winner, her family is well known to the UK as she is a three-parts sister to Group 1PA winners Al Mouhannad and Al Chammy.

Julian Smart, trainer of Ebraz, Mon’nia and Amyr Du Soleil commented: “We’re just waiting with bated breath to see if we can come over or not. It would be great if we can as it’s a very important race and for Ebraz to run in it for a fifth time would be very special.”

The domestic challengers include eight from the UK’s top ten horses, headed by Al Kaaser and Loolwa. They could  be joined by Abiyah Athbah who raced prominently last year, when beaten a nose for fourth place and Tijaary who finished sixth. Both were having their first outings due to a Covid-delayed start to the UK season, which will not be a factor this time around. Group3 PA winner Storm Troupour will be making his fourth appearance in the race, whilst the sole four-year-old Wanaasa, steps up to this level, but looks an exciting prospect.

 

 

Genny Haynes, Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) Commercial and Finance Director said: “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. It is very pleasing to see Ebraz and Tayf amongst the entries, as their rivalry over the last five years has really caught the wider racing public’s imagination. We’re also pleased to see plenty of domestic entries, the opportunities to try our horses at the highest level both here and internationally have been limited because of Covid and we hope that some of them prove that they can progress further.

Haynes concluded: “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. We would also like to thank the BHA and everyone at Goodwood and Fontwell racecourses for their assistance in ensuring that our overseas runners in particular, have every chance to participate on July 28th whilst we continue to face the challenge of Covid.”

MUNEER AND DOYLE IMPRESS IN THE EMIRATES BREEDERS INTERNATIONAL SPRINT STAKES

It was a case of youth over experience with a pair of three-year-old fillies from Shadwell Estates being the first two home in the Emirates Breeders International Sprint Stakes  over six furlongs at Newbury this evening. Muneer, who had won on her debut in a Lingfield maiden, confirmed that form with Al Khaleey, who this time finished a length behind, with Dilmun Racing’s seven-year-old mare Abiyah Athbah a further length and a half adrift in third. Despite greenness when hitting the front, it was a professional performance from a juvenile filly taking on older horses. Winning in a time of 1.19.82, which, compared to past running of the Za’abeel International (Gr1PA) over course and distance, is the fastest time since Nashwan Al Khalediah in 2010.

This was also a second win on an Arabian for Doyle in the blue and white colours at the Berkshire track, as she had partnered Farhaa home the previous week for leading trainer James Owen.

Owen was really pleased with Muneer’s performance saying: “She’s come on massively from her first run and she’ll improve again for this one. She’s got lots of talent. We’ve a few nice ones at home which we’ve yet to unleash, they’ll be coming out in those maidens in August, but Muneer’s been the most precocious of them throughout.”

He continued: “We’ll see how she comes out of this and discuss the next steps with Richard Hills and the team at Shadwell. I hope we might go to France with her, I think she’s entitled to take her chance out there. She’s so professional to deal with and it was great to get on a Grade One turf track with her. She’s an exciting horse for the future.”

Doyle was similarly enthusiastic commenting: “I got to the front sooner than we planned, but she was travelling so well and really enjoyed the ground.  Though she was still a bit green, she will have learnt a lot today. It’s great to have another winner on the Arabians for Shadwell Estates and Sheikha Hissa.”

 

 

Genny Haynes, Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) Commercial and Finance Director said: “That was a great performance from Muneer in an eye-catching time and gives us plenty to look forward to with our young horses for the future. We congratulate James, his team, and all at Shadwell Estates. It’s also really pleasing for ARO to see Hollie clicking so well with the Arabians from comparatively few race rides, hopefully she’ll get more from now on.”

She continued: “ARO is very grateful to the Emirates Breeders for sponsoring this race. It is part of a series that supports UK Arabian racing through maidens, conditions races and a variety of handicaps that cater for all levels.

We also congratulate Sue Wileman, groom of Abiyah Athbah, on winning the Best Turned Out Award presented by Chloe Martin of Racing Welfare, which is part of their ongoing recognition of the hard-working staff in UK Arabian racing.”

Haynes concluded: “We would also like to thank the BHA and all the team at Newbury racecourse for their continued assistance this season and we are delighted that our race was the first on the card of the Vaccination Volunteers Racenight, which is celebrating the work of the Newbury Vaccination Centre.”

KAO KAT MHF DEFENDS TITLE IN EMIRATES BREEDERS INTERNATIONAL SPRINT STAKES AT NEWBURY

The veteran 2019 winner Kao Kat MHF returns to Newbury on Thursday 1st July to defend his excellent record in sprints at Newbury. One of 12 declared horses for the six-furlong Emirates Breeders International Sprint Stakes, stablemate Storm Troupour, who was second on that occasion, has also been declared by trainer Beverley Deutrom for Pharitz Arabians. The pair are both PA Group winning sprinters making their seasonal returns, but this has not been a barrier to them making the frame before.

They are part of a fascinating mix of older horses with course form, combined with much younger individuals who are at the beginnings of their careers, plus some established horses who are dropping back in trip, some for the first time. Dilmun Racing’s Abiyah Athbah was just pipped for fourth in the hottest UK Group 1PA race of 2020, the Qatar International Stakes at Goodwood over a mile. She later won impressively over a furlong less, prompting her trainer Pete Hammersley to suggest that a crack at the newly sponsored Royal Cavalry of Oman International Stakes, a Group 2PA in August, for which this is now the prep, could be on the cards. Should things not go to plan, the Goodwood option remains on the table.

The same could well apply to the James Owen Racing Club’s Tijaary who was sixth behind Abiyah Athbah in that Group 1PA contest. His sole run over course and distance was disappointing, but that was on much faster ground, so he may improve, but this should also set him up for bigger targets next month. Owen also fields three runners for Shadwell Estates, Nadelshiba, who won in Belgium last year and was a close second to Mazyoonah on their reappearance over further. Mazyoonah is better off in the weights in this conditions event, but she’s already proven over this trip, and boasts the eye-catching booking of champion jockey Oisin Murphy.

Owen’s other runner is Muneer, one of three juveniles entered in the race. She looked to have plenty of potential despite her greenness when winning on her debut over a mile a Lingfield in May. She drifted across the second, the Phil Collington trained Al Khaleejy, who reopposes here, but Muneer showed a significant turn of foot to make up lost ground and regain the lead, suggesting this drop to six furlongs will be in her favour. Hollie Doyle will be in the saddle, fresh from her first Arabian win, also for Owen and Shadwell, at this track last week.

As well as Shadwell Estates’s Al Khaleejy, Collington has two newcomers in the field, Upstart Crow and Mlatem Athbah. John Elliot and Teresa Kinsey’s Upstart Crow is a homebred four-year-old half-brother to two winners, including one at Group level. Athbah Stud’s Mlatem Athbah is also well-related to several winners, but both horses are likely to benefit from the outing. After the withdrawal of his other runner, Jamaraat, the field is completed by Evermore Racing’s lightly raced mare, Kaymeleon. Her patient connections have allowed her to mature slowly and are hoping that a drop in distance will help her realise her potential.

 

 

Genny Haynes, Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) Commercial and Finance Director said: “ARO would like to thank the Emirates Breeders for sponsoring this race. It is part of a series that supports UK Arabian racing through maidens, conditions races and a variety of handicaps that cater for all levels. There will also be a Best Turned Out Award presented by Racing Welfare, as part of their ongoing recognition of the hard working staff in UK Arabian racing.”

She continued: “We would also like to thank the BHA and all the team at Newbury racecourse for their assistance this season and we are delighted that our race will be part of Vaccination Volunteers Racenight, celebrating the work of the Newbury Vaccination Centre.”

 

FALCON DU ROC’H WINS WATHBA STALLIONS CUP HANDICAP AT ROYAL WINDSOR

It was a triple celebration at Royal Windsor racecourse on Monday June 28th as Falcon Du Roc’h broke his maiden, giving jockey Cameron Iles his first win, as well as a first win for new owners Stride Ahead Racing in the Wathba Stallions Cup. The six-year-old gelding won by half a length from the James Owen Racing Club’s Serafim Forta, with his other runner, Sue Herrod’s Run The Risk just under three lengths away in third.

The mile and a quarter (0-65) handicap was the most valuable race of its grade held by the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) this season. The third of five Wathba Stallions Cup sponsored races to be run in the UK, it is part of the global HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival programme of races. 

After the race a delighted Iles commented: “It’s great to get my first ever winner. I was apprenticed to David Elsworth, but I struggled with my weight and took out my amateur licence. Ideally, I wanted to be handier in the race, but he jumped and settled straight away, so I left him alone until we came off the bend, he was travelling nicely and he kept on well to the line.”

Winning trainer Malcolm was also pleased with her new charge who she purchased from his breeder Nicki Thorne, saying: “He made it look quite easy, which it really isn’t! We got him in early March, and we sidestepped two races he was eligible for as we felt he needed more time. We gave him every chance, giving him lots of strengthening and conditioning work, before we stepped up the pace with him at home. We were really confident he would be fit today and he’s proven that.”

The Wathba Stallions Cup series aims to promote the breeders of Arabian racehorses, and is supported by Wathba Stallions, the breeding arm in the UAE and France, of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs, who is also Chairman of the Emirates Arabian Horse Association. 

 

 

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director said: “ARO congratulates Cameron, Nikki and her partner Nathan Sweeney and also Nicki Thorne who bred Falcon Du Roc’h and still has his sire Tidarbret. Though Nicki has trained for other owners, it’s great to see new colours gain success at the first attempt and we wish Stride Ahead Racing every success for the rest of the season.”

“We also thank the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival for their continued support of our racing. It was a pleasure to return to Royal Windsor and we also thank them for their assistance in hosting this race.”

COMPETITIVE FIELD FOR WATHBASTALLIONS.COM HANDICAP AT ROYAL WINDSOR

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) welcomes the third of their five Wathba Stallions Cup sponsored races, to Royal Windsor racecourse on Monday June 28th. The mile and a quarter (0-65) handicap has a competitive look having attracted 11 runners and is the most valuable race of its grade this season. It is held as part of the global HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival programme of races.

Likely favourite is Serafim Forta for leading trainer James Owen and his Racing Club. The four-year-old colt looked progressive last season when winning on his final start for the trainer over half a furlong less at Wolverhampton. Carrying top weight that day, as he will on Monday, he reopposes many of those he had behind him on that occasion and though he has been a little disappointing this term, he’s tried in a hood for the first time. Also running for Owen, is Sue Herrod’s homebred Run The Risk. Though he was green and outpaced on his first outing in a very competitive maiden, first-time blinkers should sharpen him up for his handicap debut.

Another opening her account in handicaps is Paul Simmons’s Aymee, one of three runners for trainer Peter Hammersley. Though well-bred she is taking her time to come to hand and is likely to need more experience. Unlike

HH Sheikha Maryam bint Mohammed Al Maktoum’s Bin Al Reeh who was a runaway success in the previous Wathba Stallions Cup race at Bath ridden by Sophie Ralston, who had previously taken part in the Festival’s HH Sheikh Fatima bint Mubarak series. The pair reunite at Windsor, though it is Hammersley’s other runner, Samawaat, owned by the Connally’s catches the eye. A likeable mare by Munjiz, she was far too keen on her reappearance, where she and Serafim Forta set the race up for the subsequent winner at Chelmsford. That outing will have put her straight for this and she was only two and a half lengths behind Serafim Forta when he won last season, who she meets on better terms here.

Jayme Plumb’s Gerko De Tenelle showed signs of improvement when fourth to Bin Al Reeh at Bath, but his latest outing at Chelmsford behind Samawaat and Serafim Forta was not so encouraging. Whilst Steve Blackwell’s Aljawaaher looked in need of the race at Bath, he has been a grand campaigner for connections and the booking of young amateur Daniel Ellis takes the eye. Ellis has already recorded 25 wins in pony races, won his category’s final at Newmarket in 2017 and was championship runner-up that year. He also has ties to the Festival having finished third in the HH Sheikha Lateefa pony race at Royal Windsor in 2019. Since progressing to point-to-points he’s ridden several winners and been placed in a hunter chase at Cheltenham.

Along with Blackwell, the Welsh training ranks will also be represented by Delyth Thomas who runs Kayclaire and Kork MHF. They will be her first runners of 2021, however she is no stranger to first-time-out winners, or success in the Wathba Stallions Cup series. Others making their seasonal returns are Craig Kester’s veteran Norseman, and the lightly raced Falcon Du Roc’h, who debuts for new connections Stride Ahead Racing.

The Wathba Stallions Cup series aims to promote the breeders of Arabian racehorses, and is supported by Wathba Stallions, the breeding arm in the UAE and France, of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs, who is also Chairman of the Emirates Arabian Horse Association.

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director said: “ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival. We are also delighted to be returning to Royal Windsor, where their Monday evening fixtures are an ever-popular feature of summer racing in the UK.”