Bayan Athbah was again victorious in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup (Gr 3PA) run over a mile at Haydock Park this afternoon. Ridden this year by ten times UAE champion jockey Tadgh O’Shea, the six-year-old mare travelled smoothly throughout the early stages to challenge early leader Abiyah Athbah from two furlongs out. However, Ben Curtis’s mount put up a real fight all the way to the line, going down by only a length, with her stablemate Zayin Angkor Centurion, a further five lengths behind in third.
Phil Collington has an enviable record in the race, as he not only trained Bayan Athbah to win last year, but also trained the winners of the two previous running of the race, formerly known as the ARO Cup, Shomoos Athbah (Royal Windsor 2018) and Aghsaan (Newbury 2016). Bayan Athbah had been his pick of four possible entries and has provided Collington with his thirteenth PA Group winner to date.
A delighted Collington said: “It’s fantastic for Bayan and Athbah Racing, and also for Mia who won the Best Turned Out Award with her too, it’s been great all round. The mare has done so well today because the ground would really have been against her. Abiyah Athbah fought hard and gave us a really good race to watch.”
Of Bayan Athbah’s win O’Shea commented: “She wasn’t in love with the ground, it was pretty firm out there, I went to go and win quite easily from the second to last furlong, but fair dues to the filly on her inside, she put up a good fight. My filly’s class go her through, but with a bit more ease in the ground you’d see her to better effect, but thankfully we got the job done.”
The £14,000 race was held as part of Haydock’s biggest flat meeting of the year, their Sprint Cup Celebration which ran for three days and concluded with the Betfair Sprint Cup Day on Saturday 3rd September. The HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup is the highlight of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival’s UK Arabian racing sponsorship package for 2022. The Festival has played a significant role in the promotion of Arabian racing and breeding around the world since it began in 2009, aiming to continue the efforts made by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to preserve heritage sports and equestrian sport in particular. Sponsoring more than 150 races in 2022, the Festival supports a wide variety of contests from the grassroots to the highest level, which culminate in the world’s strongest Arabian horse race on Turf, the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown, a Group 1 PA run in Abu Dhabi in December.
Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival, said: “We have really enjoyed the welcome that everyone at Haydock Park has given us for the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup and we congratulate Tadhg O’Shea, Athbah Racing, Phil Collington and Mia Hurrion for winning today with Bayan Athbah.”
Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer said: “For over ten years the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival has generously supported our racing for which ARO is extremely grateful. We are delighted for Athbah, Phil and his team for producing Bayan Athbah in such good form to record back-to-back wins in this race.”
“We are also grateful for the support and assistance of the British Horseracing Authority, Haydock Park racecourse and Brendan Waterworth from Racing Welfare who presented the Best Turned Out Award to Mia Hurrion.”