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H.H. Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival

Official Website / CALENDAR 2012 / Photos by Morhaf

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Successful debut for Shaikha Fatima Championship in Morocco
arabian flat racing in morocco

Sawaya unveils new surprises.

Casablanca-Morocco (KT Report): Chaoui, ridden by Nadine Gratz, made virtually all to lead from the wire to the wire in the fourth round of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) at the Hippodrome De Casablanca-Anfa here on Friday (May 4) afternoon.

Ould Marhoum finished second under Linzi Dowdle and behind these came hot favourite Soufia in the hands of the Qatari young jockey Khadija Al Bastaki.

rider rider rider


The race is organised under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan within the Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Racing Festival in collaboration with the Moroccan Royal Company for the Encouragement of the Horse, the Kingdom’s horse racing governing body.

“She’s a great mare,” said a delighted German amateur jockey Nadine Gratz who has also won the World Championship two years ago.

“Trainer Bencheikh Nabil told me to hold my mount not far away from the leading group in the early stages of the 2000m trip and Chadoui will do all the work in the home stretch,” she said.

 “The mare picked up nicely. She has answered all my questions and held on impressively when attacked by the fast finishing Ould Marhoum close home. The Irish jockey Linzi Dowdall gave her mount a great ride and gave me a tough time in the concluding stages. I think it was a very tough race. It’s good news to book a line up in the final round scheduled later in November in Abu Dhabi,” she said.

prize giving prize giving

Meanwhile, the International Day of Purebred Arabian Horse kicked off early in the afternoon with the Prix Du Jockey Club of Turkey Handicap which was easily won by Tidiani Al Boraq, in the hands and heels of El Jaouhary Mhamed. Yakhlef, ridden by Zergane Thami, maintained her unbeaten run to land the Grand Prix De SAR Le Prince Moulay Rachid Handicap in great style.

Top French jockey Roberto Perez partnered Saudi mare Aawaj Al Khalidiah to win the Grand Prix De SAR Le Prince Moulay El Hassan Group-3 before he claimed a quick double to land the feature race of the afternoon, Grand Prix De SA Majestic Le Ropi Mohammed VI Group-3 with Shaghmoom Al Khalidiyah. Both winners are trained by Mutlaq bin Mashref on behalf of Al Khalidiah Stables.

The UAE ambassador to Rabat Alasri Saeed Al Dhahri said: “There’s no better way to enhance and develop the bilateral relationship than what sport could do. It was a beautiful family day out in this beautiful place and fascinating surroundings. It’s a brilliant move that would help to strengthen the ties between UAE and Morocco in the light of the strong foundations which were laid down by late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and King Al Hassan II, and reached new heights under His Highness the President Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and King Mohammed VI. Sport brings together all family members and combines culture with history, Geography and more importantly economy.”

The same opinion was echoed by Nora Al Suwaidi, director general of the UAE General Women’s Association who said: “I would like to thank HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation, Chairperson of the UAE General Women's Federation, Mother of the UAE, for her generous patronage of the series. The support of Sheikha Fatima for the UAE women has enhanced their status and established a strong base for the women Arabian horse races worldwide.”

Lara Sawaya, director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival and head of women races at IFAHR unveiled new surprises for the lady riders in the final round of the competition in Abu Dhabi.

“All the 108 lady jockeys who take part in the nine rounds of the championship will be invited to attend the final round in Abu Dhabi later in November. A second brand new Mercedes Benz will be drawn and a lucky jockey will drive home a luxurious automobile,” she confirmed.

According to Sawaya, HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs is giving all his support to the women’s sport and its positive impact on the whole society.

Adnan Sultan, director of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club thanked HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his great support to the Arabian horse and women sport.

The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Arabian Horse Society and IFAHR, supported by General Authority for Youth and Sports and Fegentri with Emirates airlines as the official carrier and sponsored by Invest AD, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, Mauzan, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, the UAE's General Women's Union, the Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2012, Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

Saada Saab Antypas
press coordinator

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