Dubai: The rapidly growing appeal of Purebred Arabian racing has received a significant boost with Bryony Frost, a champion jumps jockey, bowing to its charms as she gets set to make her debut at the sport’s flagship race day at Newbury Racecourse on July 28.
Frost, who was crowned champion conditional jockey in April, is expected to partner Arabians owned by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, who is the founder and patron of the Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR), which will be held at Newbury.
“Riding Arabian horses competitively for the first time will be a challenge but I’ve had lots of help and advice from trainers James Owen and Richard Hills and I can’t wait,” Frost told Horse & Hound.
Owen trains a string of Arabians for Shaikh Hamdan while, Hills, a former principal jockey to Shaikh Hamdan for over 15 years, is currently his racing adviser.
Frost gained some invaluable experience aboard an Arabian racehorse when she partnered the Shaikh Hamdan-owned Jaahez to secure third place in a handicap at Bath earlier this month.
“Arabians are real characters, they’re very intelligent and really switched on,” she said. “You have to take them through their gears slowly but once you get them there, they really start to roll.”
Owen commented “It has been great to have the opportunity to welcome Bryony to the yard and to introduce her to some of Shaikh Hamdan’s purebred Arabians.
“Having ridden both jump horses and Arabians I hope I’ve been able to give Bryony some good advice. Arabians and thoroughbreds are very different in character but I am sure as an accomplished horsewoman Bryony will be able to make the most of her ride.”
Meanwhile, the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO), the sport’s governing body, said they were delighted with the number and quality of entries received for the eight DIAR races on July 28.
The possible runners also include eight prep race winners and 15 horses who were placed in the prep races across Europe.
Shadwell Stud Director, Richard Lancaster, said earlier: “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.”
Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial and Finance Director, commented: “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.
“We are proud that the global elite of Arabian racing are considering competing on what is the highlight of our racing year and we are fortunate that we have a grade one facility in the recently redeveloped Newbury racecourse to host this unique event.”