Meanwhile Bahrain, where the racing season extends from early November to the beginning of May, continued their season which has 26 meetings with seven to eight races, including one Arabian race.
The meetings take place every Friday at The Rashid Equestrian and Horseracing Club’s turf track.
There are roughly 368 horses in training in Bahrain and interestingly most are thoroughbreds, with only about 70 Arabians in training. Imported thoroughbreds make up two thirds of the thoroughbred population and hence racing is divided between races for local breds and races for imported horses.
Al Nasseriyeh is currently the leading owner with 23 victories, while Allan Smith tops the training ranks with 48 victories. Topping the jockey’s log is resident British jockey, Brett Doyle with 36 wins so far.
A highlight of the Bahraini racing calendar is the Kings Cup Day, held on March 20th this year. The day consists of two Grade 1’s, a Grade 2, a Grade 3 and an Arabian race.
The Grade 3 High Committee Cup over 1200m for Bahraini apprentice riders and imported thoroughbreds went to Taffe (Byron), ridden by Ahmed Maki, while victory in the Grade 2 Al Methaq Cup (1600m) went to Bartak, a five-year-old Acclamation gelding ridden by Alberto Sanna.
Visiting jockeys often come to compete in Bahrain and Richard Hughes displayed his skills in no uncertain terms when he partnered Rabdan 1566 to victory for Fawzi Nass, in the His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Cup Kingdom Of Bahrain Cup for Arabians.
Alberto Sanna was soon back in the winners’ enclosure, after steering Methary to victory in the Grade 1 His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Cup Kingdom Of Bahrain Cup over 2400m for local breds, while Rainbow Rock and Pierantonio Convertino accounted for the Grade 1 His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Cup Kingdom Of Bahrain Cup (2400m) for imports.