Published on Sep 01, 2009,
ABU DHABI — As expected, Seraphin Du Paon, owned by The President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, won the fourth and final race of the Festival of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan for Arabiban flat horse racing, held in Dax, France.
Another strong contender Rahef, owned by Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, finished a creditable second.
The Sunday’s Prix Zayed Le Premier – Cheri-Bibi, was the concluding event in the series, after Duindigt in Amsterdam, La Taste de Butch in France and Frankfurt in Germany.
The four-race-series was staged by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage in association with the Breeding Stables of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Meanwhile a special website, featuring all these races has been launched to allow all fans and lovers of Arabian horses to watch it on the website:www.sheikhmansoorfestival.com. It was Seraphin Du Paon’s maiden win, having finished third in Toulose in France in June, this year.
Nicolas de Watrigant, racing manager (in France) for His Highness Shaikh Khalifa, received the winner’s trophy from Abdullah Butti Al Qubaisi, director of Communications Department at the ADACH in the presence of Lara Sawaya, Director of the Festival, Jean Louis Gayan Sourgen, President of the Dax Racecourse and others. Several dignitaries and Arabian horse lovers attended the race.
“Though the Festival was in its inaugural year it was a great success as it boosted the status of Purebred Arabain horses in Europe. It was great joy for us to see the Arabian horse race being held in French soil for a second time since the campaign started in July,” said Al Qubaisi. We are delighted to see the campaign ending in style after Seraphin Du Paon and Rahef captured the top two places in the fourth and final races in the series,” said Al Qubaisi.
”Shaikh Mansour’s support and encouragement have gone a long way in successfully hosting the series. The equestrian sports are integral part of the country’s rich heritage and culture and these races have been instrumental in achieving many objects of the Festival, being held in the centenary year of Zayed the First,” said Al Qubaisi.
“The four races have been big successes and especially today’s results were excellent after the creditable 1-2 finish by Seraphin Du Paon and Rahef in a competitive race,” said Sawaya.
“This is the first year of the festival. The level of participation by the some of the fastest Arabian horses has made the festival a great success,” added Sawaya. “It provided the horse-lovers, in this part of the world, to know more about the Purebred Arabians and witness races exclusively featuring Purebred Arabian horses,” concluded Sawaya. Reserved for Purebred Arabian horses, 2,100 metres Group II race, resulted, in a length and a half victory for the Seraphin Du Paon. He was trained by Robert Litt and brilliantly ridden by Philip Sogorb. The colt was trailing the leader Al Barada until the final bend and accelerated well in the final stretch to secure his maiden win.
“He is a fast improving colt and he has proved he could stand the pace of over 2,100 metres,” said Watrigant.
[B]“Now we are preparing him for the Saint Cloud Breeder’s Cup to be held in October in France,” he said [/B]
Rahef, on the other hand, was slow to start. Trailing the field until getting into top gear inside the last 100 meters to finish behind Seraphion Du Paon. He was trained by JP Totain and ridden by C. Noro. It was the second time Rahef is settling for a second place in the series after the second spot in the Prix Tidjani Zayed.
Al Barada, who did the initial running, finished three-quarter of a length away in third.
“He is a great colt and he gave us super work in the week and won for the first time in two starts,” said Litt.
Sorouh Real Estate, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, IAL Art Logistics and Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian also supported the festival.