CONNECTIONS of UAE President Cup – HYDRA Properties favourite Nashwan Al Khalidiah have given an upbeat bulletin ahead of tomorrow’s Group 1 Purebred Arabian race on The July Course at Newmarket.
His trainer Jean-Francois Bernard landed the prestigious 1m 2f race with Miesque De L’Ardus last year and his three-pronged assault on the latest renewal is headed by Nashwan Al Khalidiah.
Jean-Pierre De Gasté, racing manager for the owning Al Khalidiah Stables, said: “Nashwan Al Khalidiah finished third in the Group 1 Coupe D’Europe at Saint Cloud on his first start - against older horses - and he has improved a lot for that race.”
He added: “It is very important to us to come to the UK to take part in this race as it is the only Group 1 Race for four-year-olds in Europe so it is an important stage of their career.”
De Gaste pinpointed the filly Magadir as the chief threat on the strength of her Qatar Derby victory last December.
She is trained by Georgina Ward, who commented: “Magadir is very well going into the race. If she is back to the form she showed in Qatar, she could run a good race.”
There will be a 12-strong field for the £30,000 event and the initial entry attracted representatives from far reaching parts of the globe including Oman, Qatar, UAE, Iraq, USA, France, the Netherlands and Belgium.
The race has attracted a whole host of illustrious Arabian horses in the past and its former winners include the phenomenal Al Sakbe, who followed on to glory in the Group 1 Dubai Stakes, and Al Dahma who won it in 2006 before notching up a series of Group 1 victories in France, including the Breeders’ Cup and in the UAE.
Local trainer Dennis Batteate will be aiming to loosen the grip that the continental horses have on this race with the very smart colt Prince Dormant (owned and bred by US based Lisa Deymonaz) who won last season as a juvenile. He was placed in Group 2 company and stormed home on an impressive seasonal debut at Wolverhampton over a mile last month.
Dutch trainer, Karen Van Den Bos saddled the 2004 winner Makfoul De Brieul and this time sends out Soumaoro who was placed third in the Group 2 Jumeirah International Stakes on his last trip to the UK.