Sweden’s Landgren wins HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Championship opener
2015 HH Sheikh Mansoor Racing Festival off to a flying start in Muscat
Muscat - Swedish lady jockey Josefin Landgren showed a lot of riding skills as she cruised home to become the first winner in 2015 of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship.
On Friday, January 16, at the Al Rahba Farms Racecourse in Muscat, Oman, Landgren outclassed nine other lady jockeys to win the 1600-metre race on Chriss Swa and become the first to book her berth in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship finale to be held in Abu Dhabi on November 8, 2015.
Held under the directives of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs as part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Friday’s race set the 2015 calendar of events for the Festival rolling, with the events in the series to cross over 100 races.
In fact, Landgren had finished last in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship races in 2013 in Stockholm (10th to LL Donner) and in Toulouse (16th to Artex) and Friday’s win was that much sweeter.
Landgren, who said she followed the instructions of local Omani trainer Khalid bin Saif Al Maliki, was delighted after her victory. The Swede finished ahead of Briton Jodie Hughes on Kaovino while German rider Silke Bruggemann on Last American Man BVA took third place in the 10-horse field. The winning time for the 1600-metre distance in the Euros 30,000 race was 01.50.42.
It was the Hungarian Gabriella Vonczem on Secret Treasure who led in the early stages after a fine start and Austrian lady Carolin Stummer and American jockey Natalie Turner were second and third midway through the race.
Landgren then made her move and with about three furlongs left got Chriss Swa to forge ahead and the horse showed pace to hit the front. From then on there was only on winner as Landgren cruised home to win by more than two lengths.
“I’m truly delighted to see my horse winning this prestigious trophy,” said the jubilant trainer Khalid bin Saif Al Maliki later. “It’s one of the greatest moments in my life to be part of this international event which is held on the same day as the Omani Derby,” he added.
The Swede was equally elated to book the first spot in the dream final of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship in Abu Dhabi on November 8.
“I like it. It’s marvelous. I have listened carefully to the trainer before the race when he asked me to remain focused and shake the reigns in the straight and I would like to say thank you to my horse who took carried me to the winner’s circle,” she said.
HE Ali Saeed Al Saiedi, Charge d’Affaires of the UAE embassy in Muscat and Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of the Int'l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committee in the Int'l Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), presented the prizes and trophies to the winning connections.
The crowning ceremony was also attended by HE Murshid Al Romaithi, Officer in-charge of the Consular Affairs at the UAE embassy, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Mansour Al Mansouri from Emirates Falconers Club, Bahrain Shura Council member Ms Lulwa Al Awadhi, NAET Specialist Jamal Al Hout, Mai Daghir and IFHRA Vice Chairman Susanna Santesson.
HE Al Saiedi congratulated the winners pointing out that the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship is unique and they are proud to see this race staged in the Sultanate of Oman.
Ms Sawaya commented: “We are grateful to HH 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 , and would like to mention that the huge success of the opening round indicates that there are more exciting races to come.”
Friday’s HH Sheikha Fatima race was held along with the 1600m Oman Derby for Purebred Arabians, the richest and most popular Purebred Arabians event in the Sultanate of Oman which was attended by His Excellency Abbas bin Abdullah Al-Bahrani, Head of Financial Affairs at the Royal Court Affairs who crowned the winners and connections.
The race was streamlined live on air and on line via the web TV www.sheikhmansoorfestival.com.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE's General Women's Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2015, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Racing Post.
Source: HH SH Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival / Satya Narayan
Photo: Morhaf Al Assaf