All eyes on Muqatil Al Khalidiah

DUBAI — Stage is set for the fifth round of the Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup with top 15 Arabian horses lining up for honours at the Sluzewiec racetrack in Warsaw, Poland on Sunday.

The race is held as part of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival.

The Group 3 event is being organised bythe Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Authority(ADACH), Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Wathba Stud Farm and sponsored bythe Invest AD, Bonyan International Investment Group (Holding) LLC and Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2010.

The race will be contested over 2600 meterswith a total prize fund of Euro 20,000.

Leading the strong field is Muqatil Al Khalidiah, a five-year-oldhorse from Saudi Arabia.Trained by Jean Francois Bernard and owned by the Khalidiah stables, Muqatil Al Khalidiah won the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival’s Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Race in Diundigt, Holland, under jockey David Badel, on July 11.

The same jockey will ride him on Sunday also.

But Muqatil Al Khalidiah is expected to face challenges from Periander from the Netherlands, owned by Margaret DeRuiter and Celtics from Poland who won the Polish Derby this year. Marwin El Samai is also a horse to be reckoned with, having won numerous races since 2006.

The others in the list include Bachi Bouzouk, Theoretically, Kentaur Kossack, El Weiron, Vasylikossack, Velentino,Ermis, Aakebe, Farah Basel and Djelana.

Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Director of communication at ADACH,on the eve of the race said: “The 2010 series of theShaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival has already visited four great racing venues and with Warsaw here in Poland being the fifth we are hoping for another great addition to the series”.

“I welcome all the racing officials, trainers, owners, jockeys and fans to Sunday’s race and hope it will leave a lasting impression.

“The fact that this race carries the name of the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan makes it a memorable debut for the Shaikh Mansour Festival in Sunday’s race in Warsaw,” he said.

“With a prize purse of Euros 20,000 this is the richest ever race staged in Poland for Purebred Arabians.

This Warsaw racewill also determine who wins a Euros 20,000 cash award – given to the horse with the highest total number of points from the three previous races - held in Toulouse, France, Amsterdam in The Netherlands and here in Warsaw, Poland,” said Lara Sawaya, Director ofShaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival.

Muqatil Al Khalidiah leads the competition with five points, one point more than Periander.Scoubidou de Carrere also has five points after winning the opening race in Toulouse, France, ahead Periander.But the colt is not figuring in Sunday’s entry list.

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