Shadwell sponsor Gr.1 Arabian Derby

Posted on: 25th Aug 2015

For the first time in its history; the Gr.1 PA UK Arabian Derby (IFAHR) will be sponsored by Shadwell Stud when it is run as part of a Shadwell sponsored card of Thoroughbred Racing on Friday 25th September 2015 at Newmarket's Rowley Mile Racecourse.

Re-branded, the Shadwell Arabian Derby (Gr.1 PA) will be the first race on the 8 race card which also includes 2 Gr.2 races and 3 Listed contests for Thoroughbreds.

Shadwell Stud Director, Richard Lancaster explained the reasoning behind the addition of this feature Arabian race to the well established Shadwell Day format: 

"Shadwell has supported racing at Newmarket through sponsorship for many years. In the past our fixtures have showcased the very top level of Thoroughbred racing with feature races such as the Middle Park Stakes (Gr.1) and until recently the Fillies Mile (Gr.1).

As many in the Arabian racing community will know, Sheikh Hamdan offered his support to the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) at the start of 2015 when the sport was in considerable need of a major investment in order to operate the current fixture list.

One of the races needing investment was the UK Arabian Derby; it seemed appropriate that Sheikh Hamdan, as patron of ARO and the most successful owner ever of Arabian racehorses in the UK should add the race to his feature Thoroughbred fixture of the year.

We hope that the addition of the Shadwell Arabian Derby to a prestigious Thoroughbred card will help showcase the sport and its participants to a wider audience, a major focal point of Sheikh Hamdan’s involvement in the sport."

The first round of entries presented some interesting contenders. ARO Patron HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum is well represented by Champion trainer Gill Duffield.  She has entered six horses, but the two real eye catchers are BON BAISER DE FAUST and AGHSAAN.  The former is a smart French bred colt who was second on his most recent start, in the Emirates NBD International Stakes at the Dubai International Arabian Races at Newbury last month, finishing only a couple of lengths behind the top class VULCAIN DU CLOS.  The other Duffield selection was a winner that day; AGHSAAN looks to be a very promising filly. She won the opening Premier Handicap at Newbury but is clearly capable of a step up to Group level.  

Qatari owned horses have a good record in this race and both the Al Shaqab and Al Shahania stables are represented here.  AL MOUWAFFAK is trained by up and coming French trainer Thomas Fourcy for Al Shaqab.  The stable is having incredible success with purebred Arabians both home and abroad this year. This horse was unbeaten as a three year old and, as such, was classified to be the best of his generation by the International Pattern Race and Handicappers committee at the end of 2014.  His unbeaten run was halted when running against older horses this year but he was second on his most recent start, in the Gr.1 Prix Manganate in Deaville, finishing close behind stablemate Al Mourtajez; arguably one of the best horses in the world.

Julian Smart enjoyed a successful day at Newbury at the Dubai International Arabian Races, including a win in the feature race of the day, the Shadwell Dubai International (Gr.1 PA) with GAZWAN who is among the Shadwell Arabian Derby entries.  Stablemate BA’SIL (also entered) tasted Group success when taking the Gr.2 Royal Cavalry of Oman Clarendon International over 5f at Newbury a couple of weeks ago.  This race is double the distance but it proves the versatility of the Arabian breed that a horse can compete at the highest level over such a variety of distances.
Although trained in France by Thomas Fourcy, MAHESS DU SOLEIL was bred in the UK by ARO Owners Mr and Mrs J Kippen.  The horse runs in their daughter, Lisa Deymonaz’s colours.  She finished third on her last start, a Gr.3 at La Teste, behind SYLVINE AL MAURY and stablemate AL MOUWAFFAK.  She is entitled to improve for that effort so could well go closer here. 

New purebred Arabian trainer Stephane Leveque is based in Newmarket so, like Gill Duffield, will have a home advantage in this race.  He is represented by the lightly raced STORM TROUPOUR, an American bred colt owned by the head of the Arabian Jockey Club of America, Mrs Kathy Smoke. He finished strongly behind fellow US horse KATONAHOTINROOF MHF on his racecourse debut over a mile so these extra two furlongs should be in his favour.

ARO Racing Manager, Amanda Smith commented:  “I am delighted with the strength of these early entries.  With the £300 travel concession for overseas runners, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see more foreign horses enter at the supplementary stage (16th September) but the quality of the first round of entries is excellent.  It is certainly a testament to HH Sheikh Hamdan’s sponsorship that this race has attracted such top level Purebred Arabian Horses.”

For more information about the Supplementary Entry stage or the Travel Concession for this race, please contact Amanda Smith, the Arabian Racing Organisation Racing Manager: amanda@aroracing.co.uk

Tags: shadwell; racing; arabian derby,