The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) welcomed a competitive field for the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup Group 3PA to be run over a mile at Haydock Park on Saturday 9 September. Thaydah Athbah and Upstart Crow, who are both unbeaten this season, will put their spotless records on the line in the £20,000 race, both are trained in Newmarket by trainers with several ARO titles under their belts.

Thaydah Athbah, was the pick of three entries from current leading ARO owner, Athbah Racing and is trained by two-time ARO leading trainer and former five-time ARO leading jockey, Phil Collington. Collington has won all four of the previous running’s of this race, three of which were for Athbah Racing, and three were ridden by Tadhg O’Shea, who takes the ride on Saturday. He also runs Lujain for John Elliott and Teresa Kinsey, who will be ridden by David Allan.

Collington commented, “I’m looking forward to seeing both fillies out again. Thaydah is unbeaten, winning twice in Belgium and here at Windsor. It will be good to see her against a horse like Abiyah Athbah who is a seasoned black type performer, and let’s hope Thaydah has progressed as much as she seems to have done.

“We really hope Lujain can put her last run behind her, nothing came to light and the quicker ground will be more to her liking on Saturday. She seems in good form at home, and she’s proven over a mile, so we’re hoping for a big run from her as well.”

Just down the Hamilton Road is James Owen’s Green Ridge Stables from which he will send out Upstart Crow and Mayfair. Upstart Crow had a year off to strengthen up and, having been sold by his breeder the aforementioned Elliott, he now runs for Linda Reeves for whom he has won four races. He’s been partnered each time by one of Owen’s stable amateurs, Teagan Padgett, who is in her first year of Arabian racing and who takes her first ride at Group level on Saturday.

Owen, who is currently leading the ARO trainer tables, and is a previous five-time title winner commented, “Upstart Crow has done really well for us, as has Teagan who has improved with every ride. Obviously the horse has gone up in the handicap, but he’s handled it well. This is a massive step up in grade, but we’re not afraid to have a go. Lissie [Reeves] has done all the hard work with him at home, and she and her parents have really enjoyed the ride with this horse and are looking forward to the race on Saturday.

“It was nice to get a win for Mayfair, our first homebred, on Sunday, but she’ll most likely be outclassed here. She accompanies Upstart Crow, but if she could get a bit of prize money that would be great, and a fairy tale if she could get a bit of black type.”

Runner-up last year, and third in 2021 was Abiyah Athbah, trained by Peter Hammersley for Dilmun Racing. She will be ridden by Mohammed Tabti who gained his first win on an Arabian at Bath recently on another Hammersley trained horse, Al-Hatab. Abiyah Athbah has always been seen to best effect on quick ground and Hammersley was delighted with the UK’s recent dry spell which will undoubtedly help her chances to go one better at the third attempt.

“Abiyah Athbah’s so consistent. She’s been placed a few times in this and other Group races and she so deserves to get her first black type win. Mohammed has been riding for me this season. He’s a great young jockey who has really impressed me and he gave Abiyah a lovely ride to be second at Lingfield last time.”

Completing the field is the Delyth Thomas owned and trained Paramer Angel. A dual winner at this trip on good ground, beating Abiyah Athbah on both occasions in 2018, he has been lightly raced in recent seasons and will be ridden by Cam Hardie.

Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival commented, “The Festival sponsors 153 races globally this year, as well as the World Arabian Horse Racing Forum and the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown which is held in Abu Dhabi in December. The Festival is delighted to support ARO through race sponsorship and we are looking forward to a competitive race for the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup, which is our most prestigious event in the UK.”

Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer said, “We thank the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival for their continued and generous support of our racing, of which this is the highlight, along with the ever-popular Wathba Stallions Series that supports the grassroots of the sport around the world. This will be the third running of the contest under their sponsorship and we also thank them for increasing the prize fund to £20,000.

“We are also grateful to Racing Welfare for their continued support of our hardworking stable staff and will welcome Brendan Waterworth to present the Best Turned Out award on their behalf.”