Melbourne, Australia: Emirati amateur rider Anoud Al Suwaidi narrowly missed scoring a historic win in the second round of the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak World Ladies Championship at the Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.
Making only her second racecourse appearance, Al Suwaidi rode a confident race aboard Coolinda Park Dance With Me but she was unable to peg back English rider Alyson Deniel aboard the winner Conderosa Millenium Silver.
French rider Blanche De Granvilliers came with a late run astride Aqaba Pride De Erin to take third place.
Conderosa Millenium Silver clocked 1:39:04 seconds for the 1200m event.
Al Suwaidi was delighted to come so close to achieve her debut victory and said: “The strong run gave me more confidence and hopefully I can build on this success in my future attempts.”
“I didn’t expect myself to improve so fast. Coolinda Park Kazh was running green and this was his first start. He was a little bit hesitant at the gates and left the machines sluggishly, but after a while he settled well and picked up very nicely.
“At that stage, I had to come from the back of the field to launch my claim and surprisingly, the response was impressive when I have put him in the clear. He covered a lot of ground, but it was too late to match the winner,” she said.
Former champion jockey Anna Sofia from Sweden, who is Al Suwaidi’s coach was delighted with the improvement her protégé showed and said: “Anoud is a smart young lady who’s learning very quickly. I didn’t expect her to make all this progress in such a short period of time.
“She has impressed me with her strong brain and determination to do something. The course is very difficult and her amount was a debutant.
“All these factors have contributed to the delay of the victory, but it will come during the current series” she said.
Hopes were high for Al Suwaidi to succeed, a view that was reflected by her coach who has been working hard to prepare the young rider for the demands and challenges of race riding. She has always been highly regarded, however, and this faith was justified by the strong performance Al Suwaidi delivered at the historic Caulfied Racecourse on Saturday.
Al Suwaidi made her riding debut at Muscat earlier this month where she rode in the opening race of the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak World Ladies Championship at the Flaij Racecourse in Muscat.
Last year, Coolinda Park Kazh won the Shadwell Plate at the Gold Coast beating the best Arabian Racehorses that Australia has currently.
Earlier in the afternoon, Aqaba Brown Dirt Cowboy got up under the Australian jockey Kati Spalding to edge Alchima, the mount of Daniele Walker, in the opening round of the Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup.
Commenting on the Caulfied race day Mubarak Al Nuaimi, of the Abu Dhabi Tourist & Culture Authority said: “It’s a day to remember. We have been working very closely with the festival to promote Abu Dhabi as a tourist and commerce hub and our efforts are paying off thanks to the directives of the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan [Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs].”
Lara Sawaya, director of the HH Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Flat Arabian Horse Racing Festival and chairman of the Ladies Racing Committee in the IFAHR added: “We are truly delighted to see this great start for the sixth edition of the festival and I’m confident that our impressive Anoud Al Suwaidi can go one better in the next challenge.
“The ladies race was absolutely superb. This championship is very important and valuable for us because it carries the name of the Mother of the UAE HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak.”
“The first leg in Oman was won by Irish rider and here we have an English winner. The competition is unique and the prize-money is rising to €35,000 for the Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup and €30,000 for the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak World Ladies Championship.
“This is over and above the €40,000 and €30,000 bonuses for the jockey clubs of the top five professional and amateur lady jockeys respectively.
The HH Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society. It is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and Fegentri with Arabtec Holding PJSC as the Official Partner and Emirates airline as the official carrier. The event is also sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Al Rashid Investment, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2014, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Centre, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and the Racing Post.