Shathra to carry UAE hopes

Shathra to carry UAE hopes

UAE hope Shathra Hajjaj partners top weight Siniman Maamora as the fourth round of the HH Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Championship gets under way at the Casablanca Anfa Hippodrome here on Friday evening.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

Published: Thu 3 May 2012, 6:35 PM

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

Action from Casablanca Racecourse

The race is being organised under the directives of Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, within the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Racing Festival in collaboration with the Moroccan Royal Company for the Encouragement of the Horse, the governing body of horse racing in the Kingdom.

Thirteen runners have been declared to go under the starter’s orders and battle it to the wire in the Euro 20,000 rich race over ten furlongs on dirt.

“I have finished close second and third in the first and second legs of the competition in Muscat and US and I think the time has come to go one better,” said the UAE lady jockey Shathra Hajjaj.

Qatari rider Khadija Al Bastaki said she didn’t travel that long distance from the Gulf to the Atlantic for nothing.

“They have told me that my mount has every chance to cross the finish line ahead of the others. That’s great news and hopefully I can reserve a dream line up in the final round from Casablanca,” she said.

Oman’s Azhar Al Wardi riding Raf II, is set to launch her claim from stall 12 while the only professional jockey Nina Wagner starts hot favourite astride Kawtar Mus.

Meanwhile, the International Day of Purebred Arabian Horse features six races and the highlight of the day will be the Grand Prix De Sa Ma Jeste Le Roi Mohammed VI (Group-3) — the King’s Cup which carries a total purse of 1.2m Moroccan Dirhams. The race is restricted to Purebred Arabians, entire males and mares, four years and older and it will be contested over 2100m. A small, but quality field of seven runners has been declared for the prestigious event.

International lady riders pose for a picture

The Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Arabian Horse Society and IFAHR. It’s also 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 Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2012, Wathba Stud Farm and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

UAE jockey Shathra Hajjaj

The Casablanca-Anfa Racecourse was built in 1912, two years before the promulgation of the first law regulating public activities related to horse racing in Morocco in 1914. It’s therefore, the oldest racecourse in Morocco.

Built over 20 hectares within the proximity of a 9-hole golf course, the venue is located in the mythical Anfa Hill which hosted the 1943 Casablanca Conference during World War II.

Equipped with modern facilities, the racecourse has a covered stand to seat 700 spectators and a 1700m long dirt track. Each year, the course hosts 39 meetings which attracts a big crowd of enthusiastic fans.

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