HINCE 2015 BRAZIL has been part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival calendar and the first two races were contested at the Hippodrome of Cidade Jardim in São Paulo. Over 1300m, the Grand Prix Wathba Stallions Cup for Colts, a conditions race, was won by Clapton AJR, making a successful racecourse debut in the process.

A 3yo colt, he had to work hard after a prolonged battle throughout the final stages with Gunther Rach and Graccus Rach always in close attendance. However, the latter pair faded, the winner kicked clear and it was left to Mentor Rach, victorious in a Wathba Cup race last December, to chase him home.

Homebred by Almir José Ribeiro, the winner was saddled by Oberdan Pereira and partnered by apprentice W Ariel. Ariel said: “Because it was his debut, he responded well to commands and because he was very calm he impressed me.

When we took second place, I knew he had a chance to win because he wanted to race more and it was exciting to win over Mentor Rach, who is a horse who has won two races this year and has a lot of potential.” Trainer Pereira added: “Since he arrived I told the owner that he is a distinguished horse with the potential to win.

He is in excellent condition and has shown that he has a pedigree to win the races and I believe we have a future champion.” In the 1000m Grand Prix Wathba Stallions Cup for Fillies, RG Kodak and R. Mendonça crossed the line with a length advantage.

Winning trainer Estanislau Petrochinski said: “RG Kodak ran an excellent race and won in a battle with last year’s winner Osiris Rach. I believed that she would win because she is in excellent condition and I am sure that she will improve a lot when the distances increase.”

The races and awards were attended by HE Mr Ibrahim Salem Alalawi, Consul General of the United Arab Emirates in the State at Hippodrome of Cidade Jardim in São Paulo. He said: “These Purebred Arabian races are sponsored by HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival and are organised and supervised by the Brazilian Arabian Horse Breeders Association.

“We are proud when we see the flag of the United Arab Emirates flying in the fields of Brazil and also the important sponsors with the success that the festival has achieved here and in various parts of the world.”