Recent Group 2PA sprint winner, Bayan Athbah seeks further Group success in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup (Gr3PA) to be run at Haydock Park racecourse, on Saturday September 4. The five-year-old mare heads a field of nine for the £14,000 race, held over a mile as part of the track’s most important fixture of their Flat racing calendar, Betfair Sprint Cup Day. The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) welcomes the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival as the new sponsor of the race, which was previously known as the ARO Cup International Stakes, previously run at both Newbury and Royal Windsor racecourses.
Those two races had been won by mares trained by Phil Collington, who will no doubt be hoping that Bayan Athbah, can continue his fine run of form in the contest. However, he is also responsible for two ex-French recruits in Alghanny, making his UK debut and Alajab, who scored on his first outing for his new trainer last month. All his runners are lightly raced and are open to further improvement.
Current leading ARO trainer James Owen, has four runners, Al Kaaser, Toofaan and Mazyoonah, all finished behind Bayan Athbah when they last met and like that one, all should appreciate stepping back up to a mile, as should his other runner Farhaa. The Peter Hammersley trained Abiyah Athbah is another who is likely to be better suited by conditions at Haydock, whilst Alameen is making his debut for John Morris, who makes a welcome return to Arabian racing after an absence of ten years.
Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival, said: “We are excited to be bringing Arabian racing to Haydock Park on such an important day in their racing calendar and delighted to support the Arabian Racing Organisation through the sponsorship of this race.
“We thank His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood for all their support and guidance throughout the Festival’s activities this year.”
The Festival has continued to play a significant role in the global promotion of Arabian racing and breeding since its inception. It aims to continue the efforts made by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to preserve heritage sports and equestrianism in particular, promoting Arabian horses and the UAE’s heritage around the world. Sponsoring hundreds of races since 2009, the Festival supports a wide variety of contests from the grassroots to the highest level. These events culminate in the worlds’ richest Arabian horse race on Turf, the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown, a Group 1 PA run in Abu Dhabi in December.
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 and we are delighted to gain a new and prestigious sponsor for this race. We also thank the British Horseracing Authority for their support and assistance and all the team at Haydock Park who will be hosting Arabian racing for the first time.”