Newmarket opens its door on Friday, July 13, 2012, for six elite Purebred Arabian horses from Europe and the Middle East in The President of the UAE Cup (UK Arabian Derby, Group 1 PA). The race will be a feature on the card of Abu Dhabi Day, the middle day of the famous Summer July Festival.
The UK Arabian Derby has been run for the last three years at Ascot Racecourse, but this year has been transferred to Newmarket, the home of British Flat Racing.
The race, sponsored by the Emirates Equestrian Federation together with its partners, Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Sports Council, will provide a greatly anticipated match between Al Mamun Monlau, (ridden by Michael Forest, trained by Julian Bernard and owned by Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani) and Mkeefa, ridden by Neil Callan, trained by Julian Smart and owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani. Julian Smart has also declared Mkeefa’s stable mates Theeba and Rathowan to run in this one-mile-two-furlong race for prize money of 50000 British Pounds. To other horses are Al Hibaan, owned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum which will be ridden by Paul Hanagan and Pentagon which will be ridden by Carlos Lopez.
At Ascot last year, Kiss De Ghazal extended her unbeaten run with a tremendous performance. This year the dangers look to be coming from a lot of different directions with strong challengers from the UK, Qatar, France and Poland.
Favourite Al Mamun Monlau, top class French colt, has won the Qatar Arabian Trophy des Poulains (Group 1) at St Cloud and the French Arabian Breeders Challenge (Listed) at Toulouse towards the end of the last season.
Al Hibaab is extremely unlucky to still be a maiden having been second on his three starts to date behind two of the day’s rivals.
Three of these met at Chantilly in June over this trip and on that occasion Al Mamum Monlau finished three and a half lengths clear of the Julian Smart pair Rathowen and Mkeefa.
Pentagon has been highly tried and looks useful but this is a step up in grade. If there is to be an upset it could come from Theeba who created a favourable impression on her debut at Fakenham. This is a huge step up in grade but she may get the run of the race upfront and prove difficult to peg back.
While thanking the Emirates Equestrian Federation for their ongoing support of Arabian Racing in the United Kingdom, ARO said in a statement: “We look forward to another competitive renewal of this, the most valuable race in the British calendar.”
The President of the UAE Cup will be run at 4.45 p.m. (local time) as race seven on an eight race card.
Taleb Dhaher Al Muhairi, Secretary General, Emirates Equestrian Federation expressed great satisfaction to see Purebred Arabians appearing in July Summer Festival and was fully optimistic of the huge impression to be generated by the event among race goers as well as the racing media.
Abu Dhabi Day also features the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes, run over a mile and one of the season’s top races for three-year-old fillies and their elders. Thirteen horses are in contention for this race sponsored by Etihad Airways, the national airlines of the UAE.
They include Alanza (Jockey: Johnny Murtagh), Barefoot Lady (Paul Hanagan), Chachamaidee ( Tom Queally), Giofra (Soumillon), Golden Lilac ( Maxime Guyon), Joviality ( Willim Buick), Lay Time (Jimmy Fortune), Siyouma (Gerald Mosse), Elusive Kate (Frankie Dettorie), Irish History (Micael Barzalona) and Maybe (Ryan Moore).
The top class racing day will have a distinctly Arabic flavour with many elements of Emirati life and culture being showcased in an Arabian Village, which will feature a variety of activities to promote the attractions of Abu Dhabi, while Etihad Airways will feature a spectacular display to showcase their association with their Formula One motor racing. An all-paid trip ticket for two to Abu Dhabi will be given away by the Etihad Airways.
Fashion at the Festival, in association with Grand Arcade, brings another dimension to Abu Dhabi Day. The winner will receive an abundance of prizes and a visit to the Parade Ring for a chance to show off their glamorous piece! This exceptional day also features the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cherry Hinton Stakes, a key race for two-year-old fillies, and the Abu Dhabi Harwood International Arabian Racing Stakes, one of the most important races for Purebred Arabian horses run in this country.