All eyes on Man of Dreams

All eyes on Man of Dreams

Irish lady jockey Aine O’Conner eyes sixth win from 26 starts

By Hisham Al Gizouli

Published: Sat 31 May 2014, 1:26 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:48 PM

Action from last year’s race. — Supplied photo

A full field of 12 runners has been declared to make the line up of the 8th round of the Shaikha Fatima bint MubarakLadies World Championship (IFAHR) while Premier Handicap for Purebred Arabians while a similar number of top runners will battle it to the wire in the Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Listed PA) at the Newbury Racecourse on Saturday.

Both events are staged under the umbrella of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Flat Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and will be run over seven and ten furlongs and carry total purse of £500,00 and £700,00 respectively. The races will form part of the fifth World Arabian Horseracing Conference being held in London on the preceding days.

Altesse Kossak, ridden by the Japanese lady jockey Chiaki Iwanaga, looks good to maintain the domination of the Dutch-bred horses over the festival’s races and to give Japan its first success in the competition. The Marwan daughter is a useful handicapper who has won three of her first four starts last season including this race when it was run over a mile. But, the only worry is the shortened distance though soft going put an emphasis on stamina and could help her chance.

Top weight Syrah Gris, Larissa Biess up, poses the immediate threat as the gelded son of Khoutoubia has won twice last season and was placed six times from 11 starts including two (premier handicap) at the same venue.

But, all eyes would be on Man of Dreams who will probably start hot favourite to win under the strong drive of the top Irish lady jockey Aine O’Conner who is looking forward to land her sixth win from 26 starts.

The consistent performer by Nizam did very well last season winning three times a seven furlong Handicap under top weight at Hereford and completed the hat-trick when defeating Sophia by a length in a Premier Handicap.

Racing Manager Amanda Smith commented: “I am very pleased that the UK has attracted strong International entries for the inaugural UK running of the Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayhan Cup, this valuable race is a very welcome addition to the UK’s International Calendar. The Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) has always been one of the most well supported races of the ARO calendar and this is true once again, with 17 horses entered in the highest value Purebred Arabian handicap of the year.

“We are hugely grateful to the Shaikh Mansour Festival for the opportunity to run these races in the UK. They are the first of 22 UK races to be run in 2014 under the banner of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival,” she added.

Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Chairman of Ladies Racing at the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), said, “While the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference has kept the nearly 350 delegates busy, the races are all set to provide excitement to the fans here in the UK. We are delighted with the participation of lady jockeys from more new countries and this augurs well for the sport.”

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