The Baileys Horse Feeds Conditions Stakes to be run in association with Emirates Breeders over seven furlongs at Chelmsford City on Thursday 19 November, looks a competitive affair. Four of the five runners have met over a range of distances and surfaces throughout the summer and autumn under Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) rules and also in Belgium.
At the top of the card is Okbar Aashour’s Storm Troupour, a course and distance winner who is also the only horse with a pattern success in the line-up. He has proven most effective at sprint trips on All Weather surfaces and has plenty of Group placed form to his name as well. He finished behind Abiyah Athbah (fifth) and Tijaary (sixth) when they made their seasonal reappearances in the Qatar International Stakes (Gr1PA) over a mile in August. However, the conditions at Chelmsford City will be ideal for him and though the oldest horse in the field, he won a similar contest over half a furlong further in Belgium in September.
The Peter Hammersley trained Abiyah Athbah was the leading mare last season and certainly put up a career best against race-fit top-level horses at Goodwood. She will be stepping down to this distance for the first time. Tijaary is one of three runners trained by James Owen and races in the colours of Owen’s Racing Club. A three-time winner last term he was second to stablemate Al Azeeza over a mile in Belgium and will be tried in blinkers for the first time.
Al Azeeza is a two-time winner in Belgium this year, though this will be her first UK outing in 2020. She won a very competitive handicap over a mile on Turf last term when Abiyah Athbah was fourth and is the highest rated horse in the race. She is owned and bred by ARO patron HH Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, as is the fifth and final runner Toofan who impressed with a decisive win on his debut over a mile at Wolverhampton in September. Two winners have already come out of that race including the second, Wanaasa who went one better at the Essex track with a six length win two weeks ago in the Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Stakes.
That contest was the first of two races that Baileys Horse Feeds are sponsoring with ARO in 2020. Mark Buchan, export manager for the company commented: “We are delighted to be renewing our association with UK Arabian racing again this season. We feel it is important to be putting something back and it makes sense to support racing at our local track, Chelmsford City.”
Genny Haynes, Arabian Racing Organisation Commercial and Finance Director said: “We are pleased to renew our association with Baileys Horse Feeds whose support of UK Arabian racing began in 2017 with a variety of Best Turned Out awards and we now welcome them back as lead sponsor of two races.
“ARO is very grateful for this increased support, which has enabled us to maintain our presence as part of UK racing, as have all our valued sponsors in 2020. In addition, we also thank the British Horseracing Authority and Chelmsford City Racecourse for their continued assistance this season.”