Twelve runners will contest the Racing To School Inspiring Young Minds (0-60) Handicap Stakes to be run at Wolverhampton on Monday 16 November. The nine-and-a-half furlong contest has attracted an interesting mix of seasoned handicappers and unexposed contenders.
The field is headed by Whitley Meadows Arabians Popsstar, winner of one of last seasons’ most competitive handicaps. She is joined by Serafim Forta, owned and bred by regular race sponsor Forta Stud. The youngest horse in the race, though still a maiden, he has improved in each of his three starts and looks an exciting prospect for the future.
Midlands trainer Peter Hammersley hit form at the track last time and has five runners declared. Representing Paul Simmons Zayin Arabians are the half-brother Zayin Zachilles and Zayin Zyperion. The 11-year-old Zayin Zachilles is already a winner of nine races, but it could be that the younger Zayin Zyperion has improved past him. They will face strong competition from stablemate Jomah Athbah, who was only a short head behind Zayin Zyperion when they last met. He also runs Samawaat who has recently joined him from the Connallys who are long-term supporters of Arabian racing.
Another seasoned ARO owner is HH Sheikha Maryam bin Maktoum Al Maktoum who has three runners, Bin Al Reeh from the Hammerlsey yard, his half-sister Deena Bint Krayaan, and Ma’ase Bin Krayaan who are trained by Nikki Malcolm. The least exposed is Ma’ase Bin Krayaan who is making his handicap debut for the Dorset trainer.
French import Gerko De Tenelle is having his third UK run for new owners Darren and Jayme Plumb and should be suited by the drop in class. Jen Harris and Evermore Racing also have two homebreds – Kayack who could make a bold show based on his recent second at the course and Kaymeleon who is making her seasonal debut.
Ollie McPhail, who is the Programme Manager for the Racing to School charity said: “We have been working with the Arabian Racing Organisation for a number of years now. Like everyone in the industry we have had to adapt our working methods and though we can’t attend live race days, the fact that we are outside and with a low number of people on site, means that the children can still have a meaningful educational experience.
“We are looking forward to getting back on track when the restrictions are lifted and to working with ARO to increase awareness of the career opportunities within the sport.”
Genny Haynes, Arabian Racing Organisation Commercial and Finance Director said: “We are pleased to be able to continue our association with Racing To School, as lead sponsor of this race with the Emirates Breeders.
“Even though we are not able to invite pupils on course this season, we supported Racing to School earlier in the year when we provided a colouring-in sheet of the winning horse from the last event we hosted for them at Lingfield Park. This was well received by the younger age groups and we look forward to continuing our association with this excellent charity in 2021.”
“ARO is very grateful for the support of all our valued sponsors this year, which has enabled us to maintain our presence as part of UK racing. In addition, we also thank the British Horseracing Authority and Wolverhampton Racecourse for their continued assistance this season.”