International raiders ready to line up in first Bahrain Turf Series races

December 9, 2021

The fields are confirmed ahead of the start of the Bahrain Turf Series on Friday 10 December. 16 horses will go to post for the first Bahrain Turf Series race on the card, the Al Manama Cup, run over seven furlongs at 11.15pm UK time. The Al Muharraq Cup over 1m2f follows at 11.45pm with a field of 15 horses. Both international and locally trained horses make up the competitive fields. 

Trainer Michael Bell sends out his first runners in the Kingdom of Bahrain with his two horses Natural Path and Ace Rothstein. Bell’s son Nick, is overseeing the pair for the duration of the Bahrain Turf Series and updated that both horses have settled in well. Five-time winner Natural Path will run in the seven-furlong Al Manama Cup. Discussing the four-year-old Nick Bell said: “He had a productive summer over six furlongs and showed all the right credentials to be a horse who might be suited to Bahrain in the sense that he has good gate speed and travels strongly. Kieran Shoemark is going to take the ride and we’re hopeful of a big run from him.”

Ace Rothstein will be ridden by local jockey Lee Newman in the 1m2f Al Muharraq Cup. Of his chances Bell said: “He is a horse that stays well, likes fast ground and we’re happy with the condition he’s come in. After he won a couple of races he was raised quite a bit in the handicap so then we started to look at international races for him and we think he is a suitable candidate as they have a good programme for ten furlong horses over here”.

Bahrain-based trainer Allan Smith is confident his team of horses will be able to fend off the international raiders with five horses represented across the two Bahrain Turf Series races. Smith is looking forward to the inaugural Bahrain Turf Series and said: “It has certainly given us something to aim for with the horses. There’s good prize money up for grabs, and I think the series has added excitement all around. We’re looking forward to it.”

The leading local trainer has three contenders in the Al Manama Cup. The highest rated of the three Breath of Air is a three-time winner and Smith said: “Breath Of Air is a nice horse. He was a bit difficult to place last season, and he took a bit of time to get used to the track. He’s a talented horse, he’s rated 93 so that speaks for itself and he wouldn’t be without a chance if he got a run.”

Happy Craf a winner last time out who came to Bahrain last year is a horse that excites Smith. He said: “She’s a lovely, big, improving mare. We’re quite excited about her, she could be anything. She won very easily last time. I know it was a low-class handicap but she won in terrific style.”

On the three-year-old Inveigle who has just come over from the UK Smith added: “He’s working really well. He’s settled in well and is a nice, big, strong horse. If he gets the rub of the green he should run well and give a good account of himself. 

Smith has two that will take their chances in the Al Muharraq Cup, Giustino and The Emperor Within. Giustino will be making his debut in Bahrain having previously been trained by Joseph O’Brien. Smith said: “Giustino is a young and improving horse that came from Joseph O’Brien’s earlier in the year. He looked like a progressive horse when Joseph had him and he’s certainly shown that in his recent work. 

“The Emperor Within is a horse we’ve had for a couple of years and he runs in and out. He ran last week and is off a low handicap mark of 83 and he’s got a good weight. He has been rated 90 in the past, so if he can improve on what he’s been doing he should give a good account of himself.”

Final Fields:

Al Manama Cup, 7f (click here)

Al Muharraq Cup, 1m2f (click here)

Al Manama Cup conditions

Friday 10th December 2021

●      7f (1400m)

●      For horses rated 0-100 by their recognised Racing Authority

●      Total Race Value £50,000

●      £30,000 to the winning horse

●      For colts, geldings, fillies and mares aged 3 years old and upwards

●      Top weight carried will be 62kgs (9st10lbs.) No horse will carry less than 54kgs. (8st.7lbs.)

●      Priority for inclusion will be given to visiting horses from Europe

●      Two places in the race will be reserved for horses trained in the GCC provided they have won a race at a distance between 1200m and 1600m

●      At least four places in the race will be allocated to horses trained in Bahrain

●      Elimination will be by the weight to be carried

●      Apprentices may claim their appropriate allowance according to their Racing Authority

Al Muharraq Cup conditions

Friday 10th December 2021

●      1m2f (2000m)

●      For horses rated 0-100 by their recognised Racing Authority

●      Total Race Value £50,000

●      £30,000 to the winning horse

●      For colts, geldings, fillies and mares aged 3 years old and upwards

●      Top weight carried will be 62kgs (9st10lbs.) No horse will carry less than 54kgs. (8st.7lbs.)

●      Priority for inclusion will be given to visiting horses from Europe

●      Two places in the race will be reserved for horses trained in the GCC provided they have won a race at a distance between 1800m and 2200m

●      At least four places in the race will be allocated to horses trained in Bahrain

●      Elimination will be by the weight to be carried

●      Apprentices may claim their appropriate allowance according to their Racing Authority

Press Release : Rashid Equestrian & Horseracing Club

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