x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Sheikh Mansour series continues

The busy season for Arabian racing continues in France with the second stop on the Festival of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed for Arabian flat horse racing.

Simmbad won the opening race of the Festival on July 12.
Simmbad won the opening race of the Festival on July 12.

The busy season for Arabian racing continues today in France with the second stop on the Festival of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed for Arabian flat horse racing. Eight runners will take to the Hippodrome du Bequet at La Teste de Buch, in the South of France in the latest of the four-race series. The first instalment was held in Duindigt, Holland on July 12 and was won by Simmbad, ridden by French jockey, Jean-Baptiste Hamel and owned by Prince Khaled bin Sultan Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

Today's Group 3 is held on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), in association with the Breeding Stables of Sheikh Mansour. Star Yac, unbeaten in two starts, is the local challenger, who will face strong opposition from Sheikh Mansour's three-year-old Rahef, who was a smart third in his only start this season. Sabbat Al Khalidiah, a filly who finished second in a Group 3 race, also poses a serious challenge.

"The UAE is celebrating the centenary of Zayed the Great and horses played a major part when he began to build a state of the size of the UAE and lead it to unity and loyalty. The Arabian horse has a symbolic presence in our Arab culture and heritage," said Mohammad Khalaf al Mazrouei, ADACH director-general. Sorouh Real Estate, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, IAL Art Logistics and Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition are also supporting the race series. stregoning@thenational.ae