Exciting races on the cards as top riders chase DIAR glory - GulfToday

Exciting races on the cards as top riders chase DIAR glory

DIAR

The highlight of the DIAR’s eight-race card is the Group 1 Shadwell Dubai International Stakes over 2,000 metres, which has attracted a high-quality field of seven runners.

The Dubai International Arabian Races returns to Newbury Racecourse on Sunday, with purebred Arabian stars to compete in the 38th edition of the flagship event.

Staged under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and one of Arabian Racing’s most successful owner breeders, it is the highlight of the European Arabian Racing calendar, with a card that includes three Group 1 races attracting runners from across Europe and the Middle East.

Sheikh Hamdan will also attend the event. The DIAR is being organised in partnership with the Newbury-based Arabian Racing Organisation, ARO, the sole Arabian racing authority in the UK.

It is also considered as the ‘Champions Day’ of Arabian racing. The card will feature an eight-race programme guaranteed to attract some of the best Arabian horses.

As many as 73 purebred Arabian stars from around the UK and Europe, including winners of the nine prep races, will compete for the prize money totalling £193,000 (AED877,608), the richest purse for the breed.

The highlight of the card is the Group 1 Shadwell Dubai International Stakes over 2,000 metres, which has attracted a high-quality field of seven runners, including his own representative, the French-trained No And No Al Maury, who will be ridden by his retained jockey Jim Crowley.

Sheikh Hamdan is seeking an unprecedented 11 success in the race and his first since Muraaqib in 2016.

The feature race is supported by two other Group 1 contests, the Jebel Ali Racecourse Za’abeel International Stakes over six furlongs and the Shadwell Arabian Stallions Hatta International Stakes over 2,000m.

Other races on the card include the UAE Embassy in London International Stakes, Dubai Developments Premier Handicap Stakes, Emirates NBD Handicap Stakes, Emirates Premier Handicap Stakes and Roda Hotels & Resorts Premier Handicap Stakes.

Shadwell Stud Director, Richard Lancaster, commented: “We are very happy to see the level of runners that will be racing on Sunday. Owners and trainers from the UK, Europe and further, will bring some of their best racehorses to compete at Newbury. We are very grateful for their support towards our programme and Arabian racing in the UK.

“We are expecting very competitive racing and we are very much looking forward to Sunday,” he added.

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director, said: “The success of DIAR and the prep race series was evident in the number of entries received and in particular, the significant increase in international horses declared. It confirms that the appetite for international Arabian racing at the highest level continues to expand and which we at ARO are pleased to encourage as it is part of Sheikh Hamdan’s vision for the day.

“We are also delighted to welcome some of horse racing’s best jockeys and proud that our own homegrown talent will be riding alongside them. Apprentice Ellie Mackenzie has already ridden the juvenile Group winner at DIAR, when still an amateur and rides the favourite in that race this year.

“Charlie Price is currently third in the UK conditional championships and gets the opportunity to ride in his first Group 1 PA race on Sunday.

“Dubai International Arabian Races is the highlight of our season and we are fortunate that we have a grade one facility in the recently redeveloped Newbury racecourse to showcase our sport,” he added.

Mirza Al Sayegh, Director of Sheikh Hamdan’s office and heads of the organising committee for the Dubai International Arabian Races, stressed the importance of Dubai Race Day.

“This year it will be a new chapter of Purebred Arabian racing and the DIAR.

“Sheikh Hamdan is a keen and passionate supporter of horse racing and is fully committed to sponsoring events like Dubai Race Day.

“Through his vision, and backing, Arabian racing has enjoyed a steady growth in the UK and across Europe. Arab races are now held alongside Thoroughbred races, which is a major accomplishment as it gives the breed more exposure to the racing public.

“We are very grateful to the racing authorities from Italy, Sweden, France, the Netherlands and the UK for their support and help in promoting our race programme and our showpiece at Newbury, which is now established as one of the best and most prestigious days of Arabian racing anywhere in the world,” Sayegh added.