THE PRESIDENT OF THE UAE CUP - COUPE D’EUROPE DES CHEVAUX ARABES (Gr. I PA) - MURAAQIB TAKES THE FIRST GROUP I OF THE FRENCH SEASON
DEAUVILLE (FRA), 14TH MAY 2017
The first Group I PA of the French season runs on Sunday the 14th May at Deauville, during the weekend of the Poules d'Essai. The Coupe d'Europe des Chevaux Arabes is now part of the The President of the UAE Cup, a series of international races designed to promote the Purebred Arabian. This association came about through the new partnership that was set up last March between France Galop, Arqana, the Afac and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council. The previous champion winners of this race course include Al Dahma, Al Mamun Monlau and most recently, Al Mourtajez. This year, all eyes will be on the 'Rohaut' Muraaqib.
A long-awaited return
Winner of four of his five public appearances, Muraaqib (Munjiz) is a “champion”. So says his trainer, François Rohaut. He was indeed an almost casual winner of the Shadwell Dubai International Stakes (Gr. I PA) at Newbury last summer. However he has not been seen in competition since. « To this day, Muraaqib has never had to fight », says his mentor.
The two 'Fourcy' hopefuls
Thomas Fourcy has two strong representatives in the race. Khataab (Amer) is an improving horse. He is coming off an authoritative win in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup - Prix Carthage-Hannibal (Gr. II PA) and he had never before won by such a distance. Thomas Fourcy elaborates: “I had some difficulty getting him to the races in top form. At the moment, he seems to be very well.” Al Mouwaffak (Azadi) did not run all of last season. Champion French colt in 2014, he did not demerit two years ago in the Qatar Arabian World Cup (Gr. I PA). This is a big ask for his comeback, but he is a horse that Thomas Fourcy has always held in high regard.
An improving Mehdaaf Athbah
The great hope of Philippe Sogorb, Mehdaaf Athbah (Amer), bowed out to Khataab on his seasonal debut at Toulouse. His trainer will undoubtedly take his time with him, and aim to bring him along progressively, with the Group I PA on Arc day in mind.
The English Derby winner
Lightning Bolt (Munjiz), winner of The President of the UAE Cup - UK Arabian Derby (Gr. I PA) last year, will be lining up. Despite the fact that he had benefitted from Tayf's antics to win this race, he is nonetheless highly esteemed by his trainer, Karin van den Bos. This latter spoke after the race: “I am sure that he is a very good horse, even though he is still very immature. I have had plenty of offers for him, but I turned them down. I will take him to the World Cup on Arc day”. His objective set, it will be interesting to follow him on his seasonal debut.
Prada T, two years after his victory
Winner of this race in 2015, Prada T (Djendel) has not been able to repeat that result since. Twice second in the Qatar International Stakes (Gr. I PA) at Goodwood, she was beaten in this race last year by the crack Al Mourtajez. For her comeback this year, the filly trained by Gérard Zoetelief took fourth place in the Prix Carthage-Hannibal (Gr. III PA) which was won by Khataab.
WINNERS SINCE 2009
Year Winner (S/A) Time Trainer Owner
2016 Al Mourtajez (M6) 2’12’51 T. Fourcy Al Shaqab
2015 Prada T (F4) 2’15’’27 G. Zoetelief G. Zoetelief
2014 Djet Taouy (M5) 2’22’76 J.-F. Bernard The Royal Stables of Oman
2013 Al Mamun Monlau (M5) 2’21’’62 J.-F. Bernard H.E sheikh Joan bin Hamad Al Thani
2012 Damis (M7) 2’17’’60 A. de Mieulle H.H. sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani
2011 Raqiyah (F5) 2’13’’30 A. de Mieulle H.H. sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani
2010 Raqiyah (F4) 2'13''90 A. de Mieulle H.H. sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani
2009 Al Dahma (F7) 2’19’’60 A. de Mieulle H.H. sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani
A new partner
The new partnership with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council has allowed the Coupe d’Europe des Chevaux Arabes to become part of the prestigious series of international races that makes up The President of the UAE Cup, and has seen it’s prize money go from € 30,000 to € 100,000. It has therefore become the richest race for 4 year old Arabians in Europe.
Faisal Al Rahmani, representative of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “Abu Dhabi possesses a long history of partnership with French racing as it was in France that the first leg of the The President of the UAE Cup, in 1994, which is now 23 years ago. Since then, the program has developed throughout Europe and across to the USA, with races taking place during the Breeders’ Cup, on the day of the King George, Prix du Jockey Club, the Irish Guineas, the Russian Derby, etc. These races have the highest prize money of all Arabian races and contribute to the support of the breeders, owners, and trainers of these horses. We are very happy to now count a race at a meeting as prestigious as that of the Poules d’Essai as a leg of the series, and to be in partnership with Arqana, with whom we have a long-standing relationship thanks to the Arabian sales.”
Yves Plantin, President of Afac, commented: “I would like to sincerely thank the Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their support which once again allows a prestigious race meeting to host a top class Arabian race. I am a fervent defender of these types of synergies, which in my opinion has largely contributed to helping bring new owners and breeders into our industry, and vice-versa. »
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