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UK Arabian Racing

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) is thrilled to have plans to stage a new race for Purebred Arabians at Ascot racecourse approved by the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) Pattern Committee. The £15,000 Listed PA race will be run over a mile at the historic Berkshire track on 8 th May 2020 and will be sponsored by Shadwell Stud.

It has been almost ten years since Arabians made an appearance at Ascot, when the French filly Kiss De Ghazal won the 2011 President of the UAE Cup (UK Arabian Derby) Group 1 PA, in impressive fashion by seven lengths.

Shadwell Stud Director Richard Lancaster said: “We’re delighted to be staging an Arabian race at Ascot and congratulate the team at Ascot for facilitating the race on one of their Thoroughbred cards.

“This is an important time for Arabian racing and to stage a race at Ascot is a great way of raising the profile of the sport, a sport that is incredibly important to Sheikh Hamdan.”
Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director commented. “Naturally we are very excited to be returning to Ascot, with a race that will be open to international competitors. We are still in consultation with Ascot, Shadwell and the British Horseracing Authority to finalise the details, after which the full conditions of the race will be published.

“HH Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum is our most generous patron and was recently awarded with his eighteenth ARO Owners Championship after another successful season. His continued support of our programme, not only through race sponsorship, but his horses, trainers and stallions, is integral to our success, from the grassroots to the highest level. 

“That he has chosen to increase his sponsorship with this race at one of the UK’s most prestigious racing venues further enhances the status and reputation of UK Arabian racing. Last season saw a significant increase in runners from overseas in our pattern races, which shows that the appetite for top class Arabian racing around the world continues to grow. We look forward to building upon this achievement in 2020.”

The Arabian Racing Organisation’s (ARO) 2019 racing season ended on September 24th at Lingfield Park having hosted 46 races, of which eight were PA Group contests. ARO patron HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum gained his 18th Owners Championship, with many of those winners trained by James Owen, who recorded his third ARO Trainers title. The ARO Jockeys Championship was won by Alex Chadwick, a remarkable achievement in his first season riding under ARO rules. 

Shadwell Stud Director Richard Lancaster, who received the trophy on behalf of His Highness commented: “We are very happy to celebrate another ARO Owners Championship title on behalf of HH Sheikh Hamdan. His dedication and passion for Arabian racing is second to none and our Arabian racing teams have done a wonderful job again this year. The UK racing season highlight for us was the successful DIAR raceday at Newbury at the end of July. We have been very pleased to see some of our young horses showing a lot of promise, as well as experienced horses performing at the highest level. We were also delighted to watch Awzaan win a Group race at Newbury this summer, a first Group winner for his sire Al Saoudi, who stands under the Shadwell Arabians banner in Newmarket.”

Awzaan was also a first PA Group winner for Owen, who regained the trainers title he first won in 2016. Owen also took the leading Arabian racehorse (races won) title with Tijaary, another Al Saoudi sired performer, who has been the flag bearer for his Racing Club, in only their second season of racing. 

Owen said: “The Arabians have all performed well and held their form throughout the season. It was great to get our first DIAR and Group winners, in Al Azeeza and Awzaan, particularly as they were both for HH Sheikh Hamdan and I thank all my owners and staff for their support. I am now looking forward to attending the Arqana sale where I will be trying to strengthen my team for next year.”

An integral part of the Owen team has been 24-year-old Alex Chadwick who joined Owen’s Newmarket based stable earlier this year. After a brief spell as a conditional jockey in Scotland, he returned to the amateur ranks, initially riding point-to-pointers for Owen before commencing his first season on Arabians. 

After receiving his trophy from 16-time ARO Champion Simon Walker, he said: “It’s a big achievement really, I never thought at the start of the year I would end up as Champion Jockey. James has been a tremendous help, coaching me, reviewing my races and giving me rides. Tijaary would be my highlight, we both lost our maiden tags together, I ride him every day at home and he’s been my favourite throughout the season. The aim over the winter will be to ride in point-to-points and under rules when I can and hopefully getting more winners.”
The Arabian Raceh o rse 
features photographs from 2017 HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak (International) Best Photographer Award winner & Arabian Racing Organisation Official Photographer
Debbie Burt

Rossdales vets Jack Day and Katy Groome, with James Owen, Alex Chadwick, Richard Lancaster and Simon Walker at Lingfield Park

The current Summer 2019 edition of The Arabian Raceh o rse features a full review of all the DIAR prep races and DIAR 2019 itself.

Plus coverage of all the other UK Group 1 PA races from Goodwood, Windsor and Doncaster.

Stable Focus visits the yard of Olivier Trigodet at La Teste, whilst Stud Focus features Malek Stud of Tunisia.

Find out about the new innovation in record keeping - Equine MediRecord and our regular feeding column brought to you by Baileys Horse Feeds.