Article written by Victoria Shaw
The horse racing world now turns its attention to Australia, with another glorious Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France run and won by the fabulously impressive 3 year old thoroughbred mare – Enable (ridden by Frankie Dettori & trained by Sir John Gosden). Although the classic French race meeting is a world away for most Aussie racing fans that can only marvel at its grandeur on You Tube, some Australian racing enthusiasts and horse breeders are working hard to bring an element of equine resplendence that adds another dimension or je ne sais quoi that European and Arabic racing fans enjoy.
A wonderful edition to the extraordinary French race meeting is the Qatar TOTAL Purebred Arabian World Cup. Held on the same day as the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and attracting just as much interest and wagering speculation as the thoroughbred group one, with the world’s leading jockeys vying for an opportunity to ride in the event. A well fought out finish in the YouTube below will demonstrate to those racing fans not familiar with Purebred Arabian Racing the excitement and wonderful spectacle of the world’s original racehorse in action at the highest level.
What is very surprising for this time of year in Australia where thoroughbred racing reaches its peak with many group one races and high stakes earnings on offer, is the internationally well respected middle eastern television sports network – Al Jazeera coming to Australia to film and showcase two prominent Purebred Arabian Studs – Future Farms in Victoria and Mulawa Stud in New South Wales, while bypassing some of our most revered thoroughbred racing events.
In Australia our Purebred Arabian racing scene may only be in its developmental stage, however the quality of Purebred Arabian horses bred down under have MANY foreign admirers and buyers. Not only is the Purebred Arabian the foundation breed of horse that the thoroughbred is a derivative, Australia has become the largest producer and exporter of Purebred Arabians in the world. It should then come as no surprise that the greatest demand for such a versatile and beautiful horse comes from the center of the globe where horse racing has some of its earliest origins. The middle east today imports more Purebred Arabian horses from Australia than thoroughbreds and it is the Arabian horse’s broad capacity participating in endurance events, showing and dressage that add to the horse’s intelligence and support its prospects to adapt to a racing situation. Even at the grass roots level of racing that I have experienced first hand here in Australia, walk up line starts clearly demonstrate the Arabian’s wonderful composure, with tapes snapping back that many a thoroughbred would be frightened by. The Purebred Arabian would provide an ideal riding experience at our Picnic race meetings for inexperienced jockeys as well as seasoned regulars that all use the high weights scale.
With the Australian Purebred Arabian horse highly sought after for many equine disciplines, their capacity as a racehorse is now valued by many royal stables and private owners from countries such as Oman, Egypt, The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Bahrain and more.
Congratulations to Qatar based trainer Julian Smart with his horse Gazwan who battled out a courageous finish in the Qatar TOTAL 2017 Arabian World Cup as well as a special mention to Madame Elizabeth Bernard, trainer of Sylvine Al Maury who finished a very impressive 4th. Sitting back for most of the race the 6 year old mare Sylvine Al Maury was wide at the top of the home straight flashing home with the bright red cap on. Both the horse and connections hold a special place in my heart, as interviewing Elizabeth Bernard horse trainer and breeder Renee Koch in Morocco this year, gave me the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of the women and their horses amongst an emerging racing circuit. Australia and its racing participants could easily enjoy as much success and further opportunities as our European and Arabic racing counterparts currently do, given the extensive quality of Australian Purebred Arabian horses.
Australia’s only female racecaller Victoria Shaw
Race Broadcaster / Race Caller