A total of 153 horses
A total of 153 horses will be competing for top prizes in the eight races in the Dubai International Arabian Races to be staged at Newbury on Saturday. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The dream that the organisers of the Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR) have pursed is set to be realised when the 2019 edition of world’s most prestigious Purebred Arabian race meeting is staged at Newbury Racecourse in England this weekend.

Among the 153 horses entered for the eight races that will be staged on Saturday (July 28), as many as 19 are individual Group or Listed winners.

Heading the crème de la crème of Arabian racing is Gazwan, the joint top-rated colt of 2019 at the international classifications.

Gazwan is not stranger to racing fans in the UK, having won the Group 1 Shadwell Dubai International Stakes at Newbury in 2015. He is also joined by Hayyan and Kanaan, who were first and third in the Group 1 French Purebred Arabian Derby last season as well as the French and English Derby winner, Rodess Du Loup.

Possible runners include the eight prep race winners and 15 top Arabian horses who were placed in the prep race programme that featured 16 races across Europe.

Richard Lancaster, Director of Shadwell Stud, the breeding arm of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance and founder of DIAR, said: “The quality and number of horses entered are testament to the strength of the day and we are very grateful to all the owners and trainers from the UK, Europe, and beyond, who are supporting our races.

“The Arabian racing authorities have played a pivotal role in building this European race programme and have done a fantastic job. We would like to thank everyone involved for their continued support and we’re looking forward to a competitive day of Arabian racing at Newbury.”

Genny Haynes, CEO of the Arabian Racing Organisation, the governing body of Purebred Arabian racing in Europe, said: “The success of DIAR and the prep race series is evident in the number of entries received and in particular, the increase in international contenders. It confirms that the appetite for international Arabian racing at the highest level continues to grow and we welcome the new overseas trainers who may well make their first appearance at DIAR, should they declare.

Mirza Al Sayegh

Meanwhile, Mirza Al Sayegh, Chairman of the series, has praised the organising committee for their efforts in helping raise the standard of the 2019 edition of the DIAR.

He noted that the prep race programme, which featured 16 races spread across four countries and takes place in Italy, Sweden, France, the Netherlands and the UK, played a big role in uncovering the highest quality Arabian racehorse which would travel to Newbury to compete in at the DIAR finale on Saturday.

“This success of the prep race programme can only be achieved through hard work and commitment and I extend our thanks to our team and partners, including the racing authorities from Italy, Sweden, France, the Netherlands and the UK for making it successful,” he said.

“We are very grateful for their support and help in promoting our race programme and our showpiece at Newbury, which is now established as one of the best and most prestigious days of Arabian racing anywhere in the world,” Al Sayegh added.