Abu Dhabi’s triple treat

The St Cloud Racecourse in France will play host to the President of the UAE Cup (Group 1) for Pure-bred Arabians today.

By Kt Report

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Published: Sun 24 Jun 2012, 9:21 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:57 PM

The UAE-sponsored race is being run on a day which features the historical Grand Prix de Saint Cloud which is expected to attract huge race enthusiasts from all over Europe, a media release said on Saturday.

Seven Pure-bred Arabian horses ,four-year-old and above, are in the fray for this Coupe D’Eurpe Des Chevaux Arabes (Group 1 PA) which will be run over a distance of 2,000 metres for a prize money of €50,000.

It will be a great day featuring nine races and three of them are being hosted by Abu Dhabi, the other two being Abu Dhabi Prix De Mallet, which will see six horses contesting run over a distance of 2,4000 meters and the Prix Etihad Airways which has attracted a good field of 16 horses.

The latter is the Prix Etihad Airways Prix de Bearn- St Cloud Handicap.

The races are organised by the Emirates Equestrian Federation with the support of the French Arabian Racing Organisation and is generously sponsored by Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Etihad Airways.

The day is considered very significant for the EEF as the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud is one of the highlights of the racing season in France. Saint-Cloud racecourse, which covers an area of 75 hectares right in the heart of the city, is the only Parisian racecourse to have the rail on the left.

The horses in contention for the UAE President Cup include four horses owned by Qatar’s Shaikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thaani’s Damis which will be ridden by Olivier Peslier, Divamer which will have David Bouland on board, Rathan with Thierry Thullez as the jockey and Areej which will be ridden by Darren-Mark Williams.

Also in the fray are Asraa owned by Al Shahania Stud and will be ridden by Saleem Golam, Cambrydge, owned by Gerard Augustin-Normand and ridden by Thierry Jarnet and Sartejano, owned by Diana Dorenberg and ridden by Andrasch Starke.

All eyes will be on Areej trained by Julian Smart. Areej was just touched off in last year’s Emirates NBD Hatta International Stakes (Group 1 PA) at Newbury on Dubai International Arabian Raceday but she more than made up for this defeat by winning the Qatar Arabian World Cup (Group 1 PA) at Longchamp in October.

Among those contesting the Abu Dhabi Prix de Mallet include Madistana (Jockey Christo Patrice Lemaine), Darayya (Freddy Di Fede), Makana (Gerard Mosse), Yellow and Green (Thierry Thulliez), Bassamba (Franscois-Xavier Bertras) and Nibili (Maxime Gryon). Three horses in this race are owned by The Aga Khan.

Taleb Dhaher Al Muhairi, secretary general of the Emirates Equestrian Federation said: “This is the second year in succession that we are running our races at St Cloud. We find our race featured on a very important racing day in the French calendar which we consider as an honour.”

“This only goes to prove that French Arabian Organisation too is keen to boost Pure-bred Arabians and is supporting us all the way through. We thank them and also the sponsors who have understood the importance of this unique breed of horses,” Al Muhairi said. “I also take this opportunity to thank all those who have made this series a success including the UAE.”

He further added that this is the third race of the series after a historical debut in Baltimore, Maryland, US, which attracted over 120,000 people with an even bigger audience on the television. An equally successful racing day was worked off at the Curragh Racecourse, Ireland.

The top class racing day will have a distinctly Arabic flavour with many elements of Emirati life.

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