Eleven horses have been declared to battle it out to the wire in the Shaikh Zayed race while 12 lady jockeys are looking forward to secure a berth in the final leg of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak World Ladies Championship series. The top finishers in the nine rounds of the competition will earn a dream line up in the final leg scheduled at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on November 4.
The two events are held under the umbrella of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Arabian Flat Racing Festival and carry a purse of Euro25.000 and Euro20.000 respectively.
The UAE hope Shathra Al Hajjaj partners the German horse Terach El Samawi, a well-bred six-year-old son of Tidjani who have won seven of his 13 starts over varying distances, and the mile trip was reportedly said to suit him better.
“There’s always hope to land my first win in the series and let’s believe that the time has come to cross the finish line ahead of all,” the leading UAE lady jockey said on Saturday.
“I have been perfectly drawn from stall two and there’s every chance to deliver this time out. But, the competition is going to be very tough considering the presence of experienced riders including the
Australian professional girl Kate O’Hara, a truly professional jockey with 600 wins under her built,” she said. However, O’Hara rides the German mare Zeta which has won only one of
her 16 starts, finished in the money eight times and well beaten otherwise.
Meanwhile, Emily Jones has every chance to make it a winning start in Germany aboard the well-bred Dutch horse Phraseur Kossack. Owned and trained by Huub Otermans, the five-year-old son of Prince d’Orient ex Pengalia Kossack (Bengali d’Albret) has won twice and finished in the money in the other six starts.
Swiss jockey Sara Leuthwiler will launch her claim from stall one aboard the French mare Badily as the Turkish debutant Duygu Fatura jumps from stall four astride the Dutch colt Gazel.
Trained by Gerd T. Zoetelief in Holland, the four-year-old son of Prince D´Orient ex Gracja looks good to land his fifth win in nine starts.
“He’s in good form and has settled well in Berlin. I don’t see any reason why he didn’t win,” he said.
The main danger would be Ussam de Carrere, ridden by the German jockey Nadina Gratz who is hoping to partner the French-bred Njewman colt to victory at home.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Emirates Racing 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 HH Sheaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2012, Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club