Road to the festival finale 2016
As the start of the UAE flat racing season rapidly approaches, the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan 2016 Global Arabian Racing 'One World, 6 Continents' Festival is coming to an end, Lara Sawaya, Executive Director and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), announces what we have in store for November regarding the closing stages and final races of this years festival.
With the arrival of over 1800 international racing and endurance guests, the Festival is pulling out all the stops starting from the 7th of November, providing us with knowledgeable conferences at the Abu Dhabi National Archives including panelists from all around the world answering questions as well as spectacular gala dinners, award ceremonies and of course the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown Group 1 worth 1.2 million Euro (13th Nov Abu Dhabi Racecourse). Paddys Day, Thess Is Awesome (winner of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Grade 1 Darley Award Stakes worth US $ 100,000 in Santa Anita) and Sand Victor are only some of the superstars entered to race in the final, as no horse rated lower than 106 will be allowed to run and only one horse per owner allowed, it is suspected the race will be highly competitive as it has been in previous years. It is still being discussed whether there will be a trial race on the week before at Abu Dhabi Racecourse during the first meeting of the season (6th Nov), more news should be released before the horses arrive. A full field of 16 horses representing over 12 nations will be guaranteed for both the apprentice and ladies race with two reserves in case of non-runners.
During the third and final press conference this week it was officially released that Marrakech, a small and cultured city in western Morocco will host the next World Arabian Conference on the first week of May. "We will always host the World Arabian Conference somewhere in between the six continents and the Darley Awards will always be in Los Angeles" announces Sawaya during media questioning. "We will have the privilege of hosting the first race meeting in the first racecourse in Marrakesh, on which day there will be a huge attendance and entertainment in keeping with the tradition of Moroccan hospitality".
The last panel of speakers included Cathy Smoke, president of the American Arabian Jockey Club and Michelle Morgan, Chief Steward of the Arabian Racing Cup, as details of the Darley Awards were announced for 2017. The well-known international racing awards giving will take place in the Dolby Theatre on 31st of March, after the Dubai World Cup for another consecutive year. In addition to the awards, a Grade 1 Arabian race supported by HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak will be held at the picturesque Santa Anita Racecourse. HH Sheikh Mansoor will also give a US $100,000 donation to the American Injured Jockeys and Retired Race Horses fund on the day.