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Stage set for Purebred Arabian final

Trainer Wickham looks for fourth win in last race of Breeders Society Challenge on Friday

Image Credit: Leslie Wilson/Gulf News
From left: Dr Ameen Al Amiri, Dr Hussain Habib Al Reda, Sharif Al Halawani, Mirza AlSayegh and Maher Al Marzouqi announce the Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum UAE Breeders Society Challenge’s last leg at the Jebel Ali Racecourse on Tuesday.
Gulf News

Dubai: The Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum UAE Breeders Society Challenge reaches its finale on Friday, when the fifth and final race in the series for Purebred Arabians bred in the UAE is staged at the Jebel Ali Racecourse.

The popular event continues to enjoy the support of its long-standing patron Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, through the Emirates Horse Breeders Society (EHBS).

Dr Hussain Habib Al Reda, Chairman of the EHBS, thanked Shaikh Hamdan for supporting the series, which is aimed at encouraging interest in, and the breeding of, Purebred Arabian horses.

"This year the UAE Breeders Society Challenge has produced some very exciting and high quality races," Al Reda told a press conference at the Jebel Ali Racecourse yesterday.

Encouraging breeders

"All the races have attracted full fields, which speaks well for the strength of the UAE breeding industry and is encouraging news for those interested in becoming new breeders.

"Hopefully this series will get bigger and better with the patronage and support of Shaikh Hamdan."

Jaci Wickham, who trains out of the W'Rsan Stable in Dubai, is looking for a fourth win in the five-race series. Wickham won the opening round with Kareem W'Rsan and the third and fourth legs with Maymoun W'Rsan.

Anthony Manuel, who is based at the Etihad Stables in Al Ain, won the second race with the well-campaigned Knife.

All winners are among a cracking 16-horse field that will contest Friday's race, which is run over 1900m. Another hightlight of Friday's meeting is the prep race for the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint, the third and final "pattern" race that is held at the Jebel Ali Racecourse each season.

Fifteen runners, including five-time Jebel Ali scorer Kilt Rock, will bid to lay down their credentials for the March 9 showpiece.

Shadwell return as sponsors of the race, which is the third event on an attractive looking six-race card.

Mirza Al Sayegh, investment director of Shadwell, said: "We look forward to continuing out sponsorship of the main event at Jebel Ali Racecourse.