All posts by ARO

ARO CHAMPIONS OLD AND NEW CROWNED AT LINGFIELD PARK

The Arabian Racing Organisation’s (ARO) 2019 racing season ended on September 24th at Lingfield Park having hosted 46 races, of which eight were PA Group contests. ARO patron HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum gained his 18th Owners Championship, with many of those winners trained by James Owen, who recorded his third ARO Trainers title. The ARO Jockeys Championship was won by Alex Chadwick, a remarkable achievement in his first season riding under ARO rules.

Shadwell Stud Director Richard Lancaster, who received the trophy on behalf of His Highness commented: “We are very happy to celebrate another ARO Owners Championship title on behalf of HH Sheikh Hamdan. His dedication and passion for Arabian racing is second to none and our Arabian racing teams have done a wonderful job again this year. The UK racing season highlight for us was the successful DIAR raceday at Newbury at the end of July. We have been very pleased to see some of our young horses showing a lot of promise, as well as experienced horses performing at the highest level. We were also delighted to watch Awzaan win a Group race at Newbury this summer, a first Group winner for his sire Al Saoudi, who stands under the Shadwell Arabians banner in Newmarket.”

Awzaan was also a first PA Group winner for Owen, who regained the trainers title he first won in 2016. Owen also took the leading Arabian racehorse (races won) title with Tijaary, another Al Saoudi sired performer, who has been the flag bearer for his Racing Club, in only their second season of racing.

Owen said: “The Arabians have all performed well and held their form throughout the season. It was great to get our first DIAR and Group winners, in Al Azeeza and Awzaan, particularly as they were both for HH Sheikh Hamdan and I thank all my owners and staff for their support. I am now looking forward to attending the Arqana sale where I will be trying to strengthen my team for next year.”

An integral part of the Owen team has been 24-year-old Alex Chadwick who joined Owen’s Newmarket based stable earlier this year. After a brief spell as a conditional jockey in Scotland, he returned to the amateur ranks, initially riding point-to-pointers for Owen before commencing his first season on Arabians.

After receiving his trophy from 16-time ARO Champion Simon Walker, he said: “It’s a big achievement really, I never thought at the start of the year I would end up as Champion Jockey. James has been a tremendous help, coaching me, reviewing my races and giving me rides. Tijaary would be my highlight, we both lost our maiden tags together, I ride him every day at home and he’s been my favourite throughout the season. The aim over the winter will be to ride in point-to-points and under rules when I can and hopefully getting more winners.”

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L to R: Jack Day (Rossdales) James Owen (ARO Champion Trainer), Alex Chadwick (ARO Champion Jockey), Richard Lancaster (receiving on behalf of ARO Champion Owner HH Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum), Simon Walker, Katy Groome (Rossdales)

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director commented: “We congratulate HH Sheikh Hamdan on another successful season. His continued support of our programme, not only through race sponsorship, but his horses, trainers and stallions, is integral to our success, from the grass-roots to the highest level.

“We also congratulate James Owen on his third trainer championship and are delighted for the success of the James Owen’s Racing Club which has over thirty members. Syndicates are an excellent way to attract new people to the sport, which is something we would like to encourage in the UK.”

“Thank you also to Rossdales Veterinary Surgeons who are in their second year of sponsoring with us here at Lingfield Park and also kindly presented our Champion Owner and Trainer trophies.”

Reviewing the year she said: “This season has been a turning point for UK Arabian racing. Though we reduced the number of races to reflect the decline in horse population, it still provided opportunities for all levels with exceptionally good prize money for the lower grade horses, as well as those at the top end. The increase of single races against a reduction of stand-alone fixtures had the benefit of widening our audience, which can only be a positive. For example, The Clarendon Stakes, the most valuable of all the Royal Cavalry of Oman’s race sponsorship with us, took place in front of a near sell-out crowd at Newbury.”

“This season we have been able to open up many more of our races to professional riders. It was a significant milestone in our history to welcome jockeys of the calibre of seven-time UAE champion Tadhg O’Shea and Derby winner Martin Dwyer to our domestic races. It is also pleasing to see our former champion novices Charlie Price and Ellie Mackenzie continue to ride with us since taking out their professional licences. We are delighted for the success of Alex Chadwick in his first season with us and we hope that we will be able to continue to foster the careers of more young jockeys in the future.”

She continued: “The increase in international runners is also significant, and the support from their owners, trainers and jockeys cannot be underestimated. We acknowledge the role that DIAR and its’ supporting series has played in encouraging overseas participation, and also of our other major sponsors, the President of the UAE Cup, Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, the Royal Cavalry of Oman and the HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival.”

Haynes was positive about the future saying: “We thank all our participants, officials and supporters for their commitment to Arabian racing in 2019. ARO will now evaluate the season to establish the programme for 2020, which we expect to be in a similar format, a model that is well established in other countries.

“The future will be challenging, but with strong support and encouragement from our sponsors this is nothing that ARO and our participants have not encountered previously. The relationship between ARO and the British Horseracing Authority is deepening as we work together on a variety of projects to ensure the sport of Arabian racing is sustainable and integrated into the UK horseracing industry, which has always been our patron, HH Sheikh Hamdan’s vision.”

BHA update: Equine Influenza

BHA update: Equine Influenza

1. Introduction

Following a decrease in the number of reported outbreaks of Equine Influenza in the United Kingdom and Europe, the BHA Veterinary Committee have agreed to further relax the requirements for all horses on Racecourse Property. This includes runners from non-Licensed yards (ARO, Hunter Chasers and PRA), non-GB runners (including France and Ireland) and other horses on racecourses (for example RoR).

The BHA Veterinary Committee will continue to monitor any future reports of outbreaks of Equine Influenza, and our position may change at any time should there be an increase in the number of outbreaks reported.

The BHA would like to once again convey huge thanks to all participants who have worked so hard to ensure that the recent requirements have been met. Your efforts have been appreciated by the entire industry.

2. Summary of Requirements from 17 September 2019

All horses on racecourse property

• Compliant EI vaccination within NINE calendar months* (eight months plus a one-month grace period) of the day of the race.

*Calendar months (e.g. 1 January – 1 October)

• There is NO requirement to submit information in advance – where necessary, passports will be checked by BHA staff upon entry to the Racecourse

• There is NO requirement to submit a Health Declaration Form or for a nasopharyngeal swab (PCR) to be completed

The BHA is continuing to consult with European racing jurisdictions, including France and Ireland, in an effort to harmonise the intervals for Equine Influenza vaccinations, and will be meeting in early October in order to make a final decision. Please be aware that further changes to vaccination intervals may be announced as a result of this consultation.

Equine Events

All equine events will continue to be dealt with on a case by case basis – please note all passports will still require checking in advance by the Racecourse. Applications should be made to Racecourse Operations: racecourseops@britishhorseracing.com.

DERBY DOUBLE FOR HAYYAN IN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UAE CUP (UK ARABIAN DERBY) ON DONCASTER ST LEGER DAY

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was delighted to see Hayyan complete the French – UK Derby double when the Frédéric Sanchez trained colt won the President of the UAE Cup (UK Arabian Derby) Group 1 PA at Doncaster this afternoon. Bred by HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan and running in the colours of his YAS Horse Racing Management, the four-year-old son of Munjiz thrilled the Doncaster crowds winning by a neck under Ioritz Mendizabal from Melabi and Julien Augé.

This was the final top-level contest of the UK Arabian racing season and was the last chance for the four-year-old classic generation of Arabian colts, fillies and geldings to compete at Group 1 PA level in Europe.

Speaking alongside YAS Horse Racing’s Manager, Theirry Delegue, after the race Sanchez confirmed: “It is possible he may have one more race this season, but we will need to discuss what happens next, once we see how the horse comes out of the race. I am delighted to win both the French and UK Derby’s with him.”

Medizabal described Hayyan as “A very talented colt, however he is not an easy horse to ride. Sometimes he is much too keen in the early stages of the race, but today he settled really well.”

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The President of the UAE Cup is the oldest Purebred Arabian race series and it is fitting that it is to be held on the same card as the UK’s oldest thoroughbred classic, the William Hill St.Leger. Run over a mile and a quarter, The President of the UAE Cup resumed its’ association with the UK Arabian Derby in 2016 and is exclusively for four-year-old Purebred Arabians with a prize fund of £80,000. For the last two seasons it has been won by the winner of the French equivalent, in Nafees and Rodess Du Loup.

Faisal Al Rahmani, General Secretary for the President of the UAE Cup series and Chairman of the International Federation of Arabian Horseracing Authorities (IFAHR) said: “The President of the UAE Cup Series sponsoring at the legendary St Leger meeting is indeed an honour.  We believe that the series is encouraging Arabian racing to re-establish a following in countries where it had been lost, such as Germany where we held a race earlier this year.

He continued: “The support of this series and that of IFAHR has also been of great benefit to other countries such as Italy who have embraced the sport and encouraging the breeding programs which will help to secure the future of Arabian racing worldwide.”

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Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director was pleased commenting. “This is the fourth running of the President of the UAE Cup (UK Arabian Derby) at Doncaster and it is significant that for the third consecutive year, the winner of the French equivalent has secured their place as the leading four-year-old of the European season. That these horses are then capable of going on to secure further Group 1 PA success as their careers develop as both Lightning Bolt and Nafees have done is also extremely important to ARO.”

“We are very grateful to the President of the UAE Cup Series for their continued generous support. Holding the race on St Leger Day further enhances the status of the contest and the reputation of UK Arabian racing, with it being run as part of Doncaster’s most prestigious meeting of the year.”

HAYYAN BIDS FOR DERBY DOUBLE IN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UAE CUP (UK ARABIAN DERBY) ON DONCASTER ST LEGER DAY

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) looks forward to the final top-level contest of the UK Arabian racing season, the 2019 President of the UAE Cup (UK Arabian Derby) Group 1 PA, which includes this year’s French Derby winner, Hayyan. The President of the UAE Cup is the oldest Purebred Arabian race series and it is fitting that it is to be held on the same card as the UK’s oldest thoroughbred classic, the William Hill St.Leger, on Saturday 14 September at Doncaster Racecourse.

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Rodess Du Loup (Christophe Soumillon) winning The President of the UAE Cup in 2018.

Run over a mile and a quarter, The President of the UAE Cup resumed its’ association with the UK Arabian Derby in 2016 and is exclusively for four-year-old Purebred Arabians with a prize fund of £80,000. For the last two seasons it has been won by the winner of the French equivalent, in Nafees and Rodess Du Loup, so expectations will be high for this year’s winner, Hayyan, trained by Frédéric Sanchez for YAS Horse Management. He faces a further four winners, including his stablemate Ibn Gadir, who finished ahead of him when third in the Prix Dormane (Gr3PA) in April. They will face a strong challenge from Al Shaqab’s Melabi who lost nothing in defeat at Newbury last month against older horses when second to six-time Group 1PA winner Gazwan at this level.

Completing the line-up are Probat T and Farhaa. Probat T is a half-brother to the 2017 fourth Pronto T and races for their owner-breeder-trainer Gerard Zoetelief, whilst Farhaa is also well-related, being a sister to 2014 UK Arabian Derby narrow-margin second Najlaa. The only filly in the race, she runs in the colours of her owner-breeder, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and is a second runner in the contest for leading UK Arabian trainer James Owen, who scored his first Group victory with Awzaan last month, also for His Highness.

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Faisal Al Rahmani, General Secretary for the President of the UAE Cup series and Chairman of the International Federation of Arabian Horseracing Authorities (IFAHR) said: “The President of the UAE Cup Series sponsoring at the legendary St Leger meeting is indeed an honour.  This being the fourth year of our association with Doncaster Racecourse, we are confident that the President’s Cup, a Group 1 race for purebred Arabian horses, will prove to be an outstanding contest on a major date for British racing”.

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director was pleased commenting. “We were excited to welcome back the President of the UAE Cup in 2016 and are proud that the race has always attracted international competition.

“We are extremely grateful to the President of the UAE Cup Series for their generous support of our feature race for four-year-olds. Holding the race on St Leger Day further enhances the status of the contest and the reputation of UK Arabian racing, with it being run as part of Doncaster’s most prestigious meeting of the year.”

2019 President of the UAE Cup UK Derby Media Pack:

A WEEKEND OF FIRSTS WITH THE ROYAL CAVALRY OF OMAN AT NEWBURY AND WOLVERHAMPTON

The Royal Cavalry of Oman’s busiest weekend of sponsorship with Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) saw many of the participants record notable firsts in the sport of Arabian racing. The win of Awzaan in Royal Cavalry of Oman Clarendon Stakes (Gr 3 PA) run at Newbury racecourse on Saturday 17th August was a first PA Group win for trainer James Owen, for his jockey Martin Dwyer and for the sire Al Saoudi. The Sultanate of Oman Raceday followed at Wolverhampton and was significant as the first UK full Arabian fixture outside of Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR) to be open to professional jockeys. The opening race was won by Izenterisky, which was a first homebred winner for Sheila Collington, wife of trainer Phil. Later in the card amateur Hayley Lewis rode her first ever winner on Jaahez, for Owen and in the concluding race, professional Dylan Hogan gave the Collington trained Halib Des Forges a very positive ride to record his first win on an Arabian, both were in the colours of ARO Patron HH Sheikh Hamdan.

The Royal Cavalry of Oman Clarendon Stakes (Gr 3 PA) has been held at Newbury racecourse since 2015 and after ten declarations, two of the past three winners in Macallan and Kao Kat MHF lined up, along with Shomoos Athbah, who had been runner-up for the past two seasons. Also present was Conchita DA and El Zarka DA, the first and third in the UK’s premier sprint, the Jebel Ali Racecourse Za’abeel International (Gr1PA) held over a furlong further as part of DIAR at Newbury last month. However, on rain softened ground it was Awzaan on his first attempt at the minimum trip who was a comfortable winner by three lengths from Conchita DA and El Zarka DA.

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Owen commented: “That was that was a bit of a shock actually, though we’ve always known Awzaan had ability, as he’s been Group 1 placed at a mile, we’ve always run him over staying trips. He’s grown up a lot this year though, I’ve always wanted to try him in blinkers, and I have at home, but he’s just not seemed tough enough to try it on the racecourse. He’s handled his races so much better this season, so we thought we’d give it a go over this trip and it’s worked the oracle. Even though he was slowly away here, he’s travelled really well in his race and all the way to the line. I hope we get to keep him in training next season as I think there are more options for him now.”

He continued: “It’s my first ever Group winner, hopefully the first of many. I’m delighted for Martin as well, he’s enjoying riding the Arabians and his feedback is fantastic.”

The following day the action transferred to Wolverhampton racecourse for the annual Sultanate of Oman Family Raceday, which in the past has been held at Chelmsford City, Chepstow, Huntingdon, Salisbury and Royal Windsor. Fifty-five runners were declared for the six-race card, with the first race starting at 1.00pm. Attending to present the trophies on both days was the Royal Cavalry’s Director General Sarhan Alzedi, assisted by Mohamed Al Hashmi, Racing Manager of the Royal Horse Racing Club in Oman and Salim Al Hakmani, Director of Activities and Racing Department.

Whilst it was emotional day of first winners with the successes of Izenterisky for the Collington’s and Jaahez for Hayley Lewis, it was also a final appearance for Syrah Gris in the Taqah Beach (0-50) Handicap. Trained by Adam Newey for the Almost All Partnership, after 73 starts he made his last outing a winning one, adding to his five previous victories when getting up to deny My Boy Sam in the final strides and will now be retired. Whilst trainer Owen had considered My Boy Sam to be his best chance of his Racing Club’s runners, it was their Tijaary under Alex Chadwick who came out on top after a steward’s enquiry demoted first-past-the-post Abiyah Athbah, following interference to the third Daleel.

Tijaary’s form had been franked in the opener, the Al Seefah Beach Maiden, when Izenterisky, who had been half a length behind him when breaking his maiden at this track in June, was a ready five-length winner under Barry Adams, whose wife Hannah co-owns the horse.

Acknowledging the pressure of training for his wife, Collington smiled saying: “The only worry today was if he would settle to get the extra furlong, stepping up to a mile. Barry gave him a lovely ride and he’s quickened up and gone away from them well. He’s always been very professional at home. We both wanted to breed a horse by No Risk Al Maury as he’s been such a big part of our lives and of course having won on him and his dam makes Izenterisky’s win all the more special. We’ll have a look and see if there’s anything for him abroad, but he’ll probably be put away for next season.”

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In the second race former ARO novice champion turned conditional jockey Charlie Price was grinning following his recommendation to owner-trainer Delyth Thomas to fit Callymay with visors. Having raced up with the pace in the Sohar Beach (0-70) handicap, he drove the daughter of Dahess into the lead and finished over two lengths clear of Falcon Du Roch, who was much better back at this track, following a disappointing run at Chelmsford City.

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Hayley Lewis had been smiling from half a furlong out when recording her first ever win on the maiden Jaahez in the Ras Al Hat Novice Stakes, she commented: “James told me to just let him go and enjoy himself, I’ve been riding Jaahez at home for a while and we get on really well. I knew I was clear and though I could hear the others behind me, he was travelling so well I left him a bit longer before I pushed him on as I didn’t want him to go backwards. I’ve been with James for two years and this is my first season race riding, I’m really grateful to James for the opportunity, he’s great to work for.”

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The Kasab Beach (0-100) Handicap was a competitive conclusion to the day’s racing with Halib Des Forges holding off the challenge of Al Kaaser to win by a neck. This was a first win on an Arabian for apprentice Dylan Hogan, though not his first win in His Highness’s colours having won a premier handicap on Aared and a rated race on Moktamel for Keven Prendergast in Ireland last year.

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director commented: “It has been a wonderful weekend of racing for the Royal Cavalry of Oman, who have been a loyal and generous supporter of UK Arabian racing for over ten years. The Clarendon Stakes is the most valuable of all the Royal Cavalry’s race sponsorship with us and took place in front of a near sell-out crowd at Newbury. We were pleased to welcome runners from Belgium and Sweden who have been successful at Newbury before, proving that Arabian racing in the UK can support international competition and this comes on the back of recent overseas wins by our domestic trainers, James Owen and Phil Collington.

“We were delighted with Awzaan’s win for James Owen, giving him a well-deserved first PA Group success as he is on course for a third ARO trainer championship. Though the majority of his winners are for HH Sheikh Hamdan, his James Owen Racing Club has over thirty members for the three-horse syndicate of Tijaary, My Boy Sam and Arwen Forta. Syndicates are an excellent way to attract more new people to the sport and we would like to see this increase in the future.”

She continued: “The annual Sultanate of Oman Family Raceday at Wolverhampton marked a significant milestone in ARO’s history as it was the first time outside of the DIAR meeting that we have had professional jockeys riding alongside amateurs at an ARO full fixture. We are proud to see jockeys of the calibre of seven-time UAE champion Tadhg O’Shea and Derby winner Martin Dwyer riding under ARO rules and we also welcome the success of apprentice Dylan Hogan on his first ride on an Arabian. It is also pleasing to see our former champion novices Charlie Price and Ellie Mackenzie continue to ride with us since taking out their professional licences and we thank their employers Tim Vaughan and Mark Usher for their support.

“This has been a marvellous way to conclude the Royal Cavalry’s very generous race sponsorship with ARO during the 2019 season and we look forward to welcoming them back in 2020.”

Racing Welfare continued their support of the ARO stable staff, with Felicity Marshall awarding Collington Racing and James Owen Racing the Best Turned Out Award in the first two races on the Sultanate of Oman Family Raceday with a cash prize of £20 and a Racing Welfare gilet to the winning grooms’ of Izenterisky and My Boy Sam.

BUSY WEEKEND FOR ROYAL CAVALRY OF OMAN AT NEWBURY AND WOLVERHAMPTON

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was thrilled with the declarations for the Royal Cavalry of Oman Clarendon Stakes (Gr 3 PA) to be run at Newbury racecourse on Saturday 17th August. The opening race of the Madness Live After Racing card at Newbury features two of the last three winners in Macallan and Kao Kat MHF, as well as Shomoos Athbah who has been runner-up for the last two seasons. Also in the line-up is Conchita DA, an impressive winner of the Group 1PA Jebel Ali Za’abeel International Stakes over a furlong further, also held at Newbury as part of Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR) last month. The following day the action transfers to Wolverhampton racecourse for the annual Sultanate of Oman Family Raceday. Fifty-five runners have been declared for the six-race card, with the first race starting at 1.00pm.

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Conchita DA (Anna Van Den Troost) winning the Jebel Ali Racecourse Za’abeel International Stakes Gr 1PA return to Newbury on Saturday.

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director commented: “We are delighted that the opening contest of what will be a very popular day at Newbury has attracted 10 horses, three of which are international runners from Belgium and Sweden. As with thoroughbreds, the Arabian sprinters turn up year after year and always produce a great race for the crowd. The declaration of Belgium’s Conchita DA, who appears to be a very progressive young filly, adds further excitement to the race and helps confirm ARO’s commitment to hosting competitive international racing.”

She continued: “The Clarendon Stakes, the most valuable of all the Royal Cavalry’s race sponsorship with us, leads us into the annual Sultanate of Oman Family Raceday at Wolverhampton the following day. This marks a significant milestone in ARO’s history as it will be first time outside of the DIAR meeting that we have had professional jockeys riding alongside amateurs at an ARO full fixture. We are proud that our three most recent champions, Simon Walker, David Turner and Will Pettis will be riding against multiple Champion UAE jockey Tadhg O’Shea, who has a vast experience of riding the top Arabian racehorses in the Gulf states. It also offers the opportunity for our younger jockeys, such as Antonia Peck and Alex Chadwick to progress their experience and establish themselves on the amateur circuit.”

Highlighting Sunday’s feature race she said: “The last race in particular, the Khasab Beach (0-100) Handicap, has a attracted a really strong field of 10 horses who are just below PA Group level and it looks very competitive. This will be a marvellous way to conclude the Royal Cavalry’s very generous race sponsorship with ARO during the 2019 season and we look forward to welcoming them back in 2020.”

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Continuing their support for the stable staff, Racing Welfare will be sponsoring the Best Turned Out Award for the first two races on the Sultanate of Oman Family Raceday with a cash prize of £20 and a Racing Welfare gilet to the winning groom.

HAYYAN HEADS ENTRIES FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UAE CUP (UK ARABIAN DERBY) ON DONCASTER ST LEGER DAY

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was thrilled to announce today that the entries for the 2019 President of the UAE Cup (UK Arabian Derby) include this year’s French Derby winner, Hayyan. The final Group 1 of the UK Arabian racing season, The President of the UAE Cup is the oldest Purebred Arabian race series and it is fitting that it is to be held on the same card as the UK’s oldest thoroughbred classic, the St.Leger, on Saturday 14 September at Doncaster.

Run over a mile and a quarter, The President of the UAE Cup resumed its’ association with the UK Arabian Derby in 2016 and is exclusively for four-year-old Purebred Arabians. For the last two seasons it has been won by the winner of the French equivalent, in Nafees and Rodess Du Loup, so expectations will be high for Hayyan, trained by Frederdic Sanchez for YAS Horse Management. He could face a further nine winners, including his stable mate Ibn Gadir, who finished ahead of him when third in the Prix Dormane (Gr3PA) in April. Other potential challengers include recent Group 1 PA runners-up, Melabi and R’ezala who were facing older horses in the Shadwell Dubai International Stakes and the Shadwell Arabian Stallions Hatta International Stakes respectively at Newbury last month.

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Rodess Du Loup (Christophe Soumillon) wins 2018 President of the UAE Cup at Doncaster.

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director was pleased commenting. “We were excited to welcome back the President of the UAE Cup in 2016 and we are proud that the race has always produced a top-quality winner. With six international entries as well as four domestic contenders we look forward to another competitive race and we are extremely grateful to the President of the UAE Cup Series for their generous support of our feature race for four-year-olds. Holding the race on St Leger Day further enhances the prestige of the contest and the status of Arabian racing in the UK, with it being run as part of Doncaster’s most prestigious meeting of the year.”

HAJRES’S WIN – THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE HH SHEIKH MANSOOR FESTIVAL AT ROYAL WINDSOR

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) enjoyed a busy two days hosting the HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival at Royal Windsor racecourse on Sunday 11th and Monday 12th August. The culmination of the Festival’s races in the UK, the highlight was a win for Hajres in the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Gr1PA), becoming the first Tunisian-bred winner of a Group 1 PA race in the UK. The following day Helen Böhler riding Kamikaze won the UK stage of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR).  The two-day mixed meeting had begun with UK stage of HH Sheikha Lateefa bint Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan International Pony Championship race, run as part of the Charles Owen Series, which was won by Megan Bevan.

The prestigious HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Gr1PA) had attracted eight runners including the 2017 winner Mith’haf Athbah and four other Group winners from the UK, Sweden and France. The mile contest was the first Group 1 race ever to be held at Royal Windsor racecourse, who have previously hosted the ARO Cup (Gr3PA) and whose top race for thoroughbreds is the Winter Hill Stakes (Group 3). The steady early pace was set by stable companions Storm Troupour and Kao Kat MHF, though entering the final furlong Storm Troupour’s run was fading and the Phil Collington trained pair of Mith’Haf Athbah and Mehdaaf Athbah were in a line with Macallan, with a fast finishing Hajres coming down the centre of the course. It was Hajres and Jean-Bernard Eyquem who proved the dominant force, pulling clear of Mehdaaf Athbah and Swedish challenger Macallan, to win by three quarters of a length, with 2017 winner Mith’haf Athbah in fourth.

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Hajres (Jean-Bernard Eyquem) wins H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Group 1PA)

After the race Eyquem said: “We started well, but I did not want to be going too quickly too early. When the pace picked up, I felt I was getting there too soon, so I waited behind horses, until we got to the last furlong and then we go. I love this horse, he is good.”

Elizabeth Bernard who trains Hajres for Emadadein Althoushi from her base at La Teste in France commented: “I am so happy, this is the only horse I have for his owner, who is from Libya. Hajres was born and bred in Tunisia and he has won a Group 3PA in France, a Group 3 PA in Morocco and now a Group 1PA in England. It is a wonderful achievement.”

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The ten-runner HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) race featured jockeys from Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the UK. The race produced a clear-cut win for Böhler and Kamikaze who finished nearly three lengths ahead of Zayin Zachilles, with Vindetta, trained like the winner by Adam Newey for the Almost All Partnership, in third.

This was 21-year-old Böhler’s first experience of riding Arabians, she is currently based in Cologne with former German champion jockey turned trainer Peter Schiergen. Talking of her experience she said: “I have no background in racing, though my parents took me racing as a child and then I started to help out with a local trainer, grooming and so on. Since then I have taken out my amateur jockey’s licence and this is my fourth winner today. We have a lot of amateur races in Germany and amateurs can ride in every race so there are a lot of opportunities there. I look forward to the experience of riding in the finals in November.”

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Kamikaze wins the H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) under German rider Helen Böehler.

The HH Sheikha Lateefa bint Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan International Pony Championship race, drew seven runners and also produced a ready winner in Motor Edd ridden by 15-year-old Megan Bevan. Bevan has been competing in UK pony races for six years and is currently lying in third place in the Charles Owen Series. She was clearly thrilled with her win saying: “Before the race I was hoping to come in the top four so we could get some points for the Charles Owen Series. I think it’s amazing to be able to go to Abu Dhabi in November to ride in the Sheikha Lateefa Pony Racing Finals, it’s a great opportunity. I never dreamed it would happen.”

Clarissa Daly, Chief Executive of the Pony Racing Authority in the UK commented: “We were delighted to be invited to run a pony race at the Sheikh Mansoor Festival at Windsor and for Megan to ride her first Series winner. Thank you to everyone involved for their support of pony racing and for giving the kids such an amazing opportunity.”

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Motor Edd and Megan Bevan win the H.H. Sheikha Lateefa Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan International Pony Race.

The HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Gr1PA) is the highlight of HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival events in the UK. These began with a stage of the Wathba Stallions Cup, run at Chelmsford City in June won by Mawarid, trained by James Owen and was a first winner for novice jockey Isaac Buncle. A second Wathba Stallions Cup was run at Lingfield Park the previous Saturday and produced a notable one-two for Delyth Thomas who owns and trains the winner, Callymay and the second, Kork MHF.

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director said: “We are delighted to welcome back the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup to the UK and are proud that this is also the first Group 1 event that Royal Windsor racecourse has hosted. The win of the French-trained, Libyan-owned and Tunisian-bred Hajres continues to underline our commitment to international racing in the UK, which of course the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival also does so much to support around the world.

“We congratulate Helen Böhler achieving a win on her first ride on an Arabian in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) race. The series is a wonderful opportunity for lady riders from around the world to compete against each other and share their knowledge.

“ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and Lara Sawaya and we thank all the team at Royal Windsor racecourse for their efforts over the two days. We also thank Clarissa Daly of the UK Pony Racing Authority for enabling us to host the first pony race in association with ARO.”

Continuing their commitment to the ARO stable staff, Racing Welfare sponsored the Best Turned Out Award for both Arabian races with a cash prize £20 and a Racing Welfare gilet presented to the winning grooms, Tina Collins (Mith’haf Athbah) and Becca Thomas (Kayclaire) by Lizzie Harris.

ARO WELCOMES THE HH SHEIKH MANSOOR FESTIVAL TO ROYAL WINDSOR

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) looks forward to welcoming the HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival to Royal Windsor racecourse, following declarations for the two feature races ARO hosts in the UK this season. The HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Gr1PA) and the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) will be run on Sunday 11th August and Monday 12th August, respectively. Sunday’s Group 1 PA race will also be preceded by the UK stage of HH Sheikha Lateefa bint Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan International Pony Championship race, run as part of the Charles Owen Series.

A field of eight will line up for the prestigious HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Gr1PA), which includes the 2017 winner Mith’haf Athbah and four other Group winners from the UK, Sweden and France. The mile contest will be the first Group 1 race ever to be held at Royal Windsor racecourse, who have previously hosted the ARO Cup (Gr3PA) and whose top race for thoroughbreds is the Winter Hill Stakes (Group 3).

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The ten-runner HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) race features jockeys from Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the UK. Nineteen-year-old amateur jockey Antonia Peck is the UK representative. Based in Newmarket with leading Arabian trainer James Owen, she is currently heading the ARO Lady Jockeys Championship.

The HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Gr1PA) is the highlight of HH Sheikh Mansoor Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival events in the UK. These began with a stage of the Wathba Stallions Cup, run at Chelmsford City in June won by Mawarid, trained by James Owen and was a first winner for novice jockey Isaac Buncle. A second Wathba Stallions Cup was run at Lingfield Park on Saturday and produced a notable one-two for Delyth Thomas who owns and trains the winner, Callymay and the second, Kork MHF.

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director said: “We are delighted to welcome back the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup to the UK and are proud that this is also the first Group 1 event that Royal Windsor racecourse has hosted. The HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) race is a wonderful opportunity for lady riders from around the world to compete against each other and share their experiences.

“ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and Lara Sawaya. Our meetings have always been very well received by the local racegoers at Royal Windsor and we are looking forward to watching some competitive Arabian racing on Sunday and Monday. We also thank Clarissa Daly of the UK Pony Racing Authority for enabling us to host the first pony race in association with ARO.”

Continuing their support for the stable staff, Racing Welfare will be sponsoring the Best Turned Out Award for both Arabian races with a cash prize £20 and a Racing Welfare gilet to the winning groom.

THIRD TIME LUCKY FOR EBRAZ IN THE QATAR INTERNATIONAL STAKES

It was third time lucky for HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani’s Ebraz in the Qatar International Stakes, Group 1 PA run at Goodwood yesterday. This was the six-year-olds third appearance in the race and, having been runner-up for the past two years, he made amends with a thrilling two-and-three-quarter length win from the 2017 winner Tayf. Lightning Bolt, third last year, filled the same spot again.

The Qatar International Stakes is run as part of the Qatar Goodwood Festival and is now in its’ fifth year. The prize fund for the race is £400,000, with £200,000 to the winner, making it the most valuable race in the UK Arabian racing calendar, attracting 23 horses at the first entry stage. Of the eight horses to declare, seven were PA Group winners and five were multiple Group 1 PA winners, including the first four home in 2018.

Trainer Julian Smart was delighted with his horses’ performance saying: “We came back to win this race with Ebraz again this year, but halfway through I did not think he would win as he was off the bridle and struggling. That was not like him at all as he usually travels very strongly in his races and pulls himself up. Once he got into a pocket that he really shouldn’t have been in, I had a feeling he was going to win.”

He continued: “This particular race is huge and we have won it now. The Qatar Goodwood Festival is a very prestigious meeting and to have an Arabian race here is very important as it gives us a wider audience.”

Winning jockey Maxime Guyon commented: “We have had a good race finally. The horse loves to battle so I preferred to come between horses. He can stop in front, but he showed a good turn of foot today.”

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Ebraz (Maxime Guyon) make it third time luck in the Qatar International Stakes Group 1PA at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director said: “Thanks to the high quality of the entries, this race always produces a spectacle that is the equal of any of the top thoroughbred races run at the Qatar Goodwood Festival. We were delighted with the runners this year, to have the so many of the world’s leading Arabians re-opposing in this race underlines the importance of its’ presence in our calendar. It also showcases our sport during an international week of racing which is a huge boost to its’ profile.”

She continued. “It is an honour for ARO to stage international Arabian racing at this level for the fifth consecutive year. We thank Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, the Duke of Richmond and all the team at Goodwood and Fontwell racecourses for continuing to make this race a success.”