Abu Dhabi and UAE take centre stage at Sandown Park’s Sheikh Mansour Festival
Abu Dhabi will be a permanent fixture at Sandown Park over the next two days as the Sheikh Mansour Festival touches down outside of London.
The Purebred Arabian roadshow stages two races at the racecourse, with the Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race being held on Friday.
The Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup is set to take centre stage on Saturday.
Under the banner of Emirates day, all of the races hold the name of Abu Dhabi or of a UAE-based sponsor and following on from last year’s inaugural fixture it was considered worthwhile increasing it to a two-day event.
“We are the biggest supporter of Purebred Arabian racing in the UK,” Lara Sawaya, the executive director of the Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, said by telephone from Belgium yesterday, where she was orchestrating the first Endurance race to be held through the street of Brussels.
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“The two days allows us the chance to stage two Purebred Arabian races. It is important to do this as we want to increase the number of breeders in Britain.
“The Sheikh Zayed Cup at £80,000 (Dh386,200) holds the biggest purse out of any race on the card, more than the Group 3 TCA Abu Dhabi Solario Stakes for thoroughbreds, and with two days of Arabian races it gives us a chance to showcase Abu Dhabi and give our sponsors exposure.”
The event has attracted luminaries such as Sir Bani Yas, the leading Purebred Arabian of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE, will travel from Elizabeth Bernard’s yard in a bid to improve on his run behind world champion Al Mourtajez in the Qatar International Stakes at Goodwood last month.
Meanwhile, at York yesterday, Jaber Abdullah, the UAE businessman, scored a significant victory when Queen Kindly carried his blue-and-white colours to victory in the Group 2 Lowther Stakes.
Queen Kindly, who was one of two daughters of the retired legendary racehorse Frankel to run in the 1,200-metre contest, showed a willing attitude to hold off Aidan O’Brien’s Roly Poly and Queen Kindly’s relative Fair Eva.
Queen Kindly is out of Lady of The Desert, who also won the Lowther Stakes in 2009, as did her dam, Queen’s Logic in 2001.
All carried Abdullah’s distinctive white and blue silks.
Both Queen’s Logic and Lady Of The Desert went on to run in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket, where Queen’s Logic won and Lady Of The Desert was third, and it is a race that trainer Richard Fahey is now eyeing up.
Abdullah was on the Knavesmire and stated beforehand that he wished jockey Jamie Spencer to be at the very least up with the pace.
“She was running away in behind,” Spencer said. “I was worried what I was going to say to Jaber two furlongs out when I couldn’t get a run, because he told me not to get boxed in.
“Anyway, we got out and she was gutsy and tenacious.
“She’s very professional and at this stage of her career, she’s probably ahead of the rest of them.”
Later in the day, Seventh Heaven beat Ballydoyle stablemate Found in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks, sponsored by Darley.
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Published: August 18, 2016 04:00 AM