Sheikh Mansoor Festival races set to boost Arabian racing in Italy

ROME, 28th May 2016 (WAM) - The HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is all set to trigger a huge boost to the Purebred Arabian racing scene in Italy when three of its major race series will be worked off on ‘Emirates Race Day’ at the Capanelle race course in Rome on Sunday, May 29, 2016.

The Festival which has staged Endurance rides here in Italy, will be making its debut with Arabian horse flat racing through the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Listed) race, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race and the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship race.

"This will be the biggest day for Purebred Arabian racing in Italy and with over 500 delegates from all over the world, who are here for the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference, in attendance on Sunday, it is a great opportunity for the Italians," said Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of Int'l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR).

The Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan race is a Listed event with ten runners contesting over 2400 meters and Al Janoob under Anna Pilroth is the top weight. The added importance of this race is the fact that it is one of the three legs of the Festival’s European Triple Crown and this has attracted four international runners.

But the one to watch is Ziyadd under Pierantonio Convertino, a 4-year-old trained by Antoine Watrigant for owner HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

The biggest danger for Ziyadd could come from Tornado Byzucchele under Antonio Fadda and Nasco under Domenico Migheli while Al Janoob, Fedayn, Nil Ashaal and Lares De Pine are all capable of finishing in the frame.

In the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race, 2015 world champion Astrid Wullschleger partners Mirko, the veteran runner starting as favourite despite being the top weight. Irish lady jockey Lisa O’Neil on Sibillina should also fancy her chances as will Moroccan Bouchra Marmoul on Sole Di Chia, Poland’s Anna Gil on Tintudi Gallura and Australian Cecily Eaton on Tabasco.

The other jockeys and the horses Denmark’s Rikke Bay Torp on Tiffany, German Silvia Pattinson on Tersilia, Omani Fatma Al Manji on Quadrieoglio, South Korea’s Lee Keumjoo on Turriga and Jessica Marcialis representing hosts Italy on Monnalisa.

In the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship race, South Korean Jeonghee Jeong on the unbeaten Urge De Gallura will be the favourite. Australian Jordan Childs on Ultzana, Italian Gabriele Cannarella on Triade, Great Britain’s Gemma Tutty on Usini and Argentina’s Lucas Berticelli on Usuym are all expected to be in the running for a place in the top.

The others in the fray are Belgian Zoe Vande Velde on Makbar Du Piboul, Brandon Duchaine of Canada on Unika Dorado, French jockey Adrien Moreau on Urlo Di Chia, Moroccan Omar Lakjal on Urugano Di Chia, Oman’s Saif Al Balushi on Unu Di Gallura.

The HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, IPIC as Strategic Partner, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Al Aweer Stables, Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE's General Women's Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.