By Duane Fonseca
Trainer Francois Rohaut and jockey Valentin Seguy combined to land the Sheikh Mansoor Festival race for Purebred Arabians with Heelywa on Sunday in Spain.
The 2000m turf run for 3yos carried a prize purse of €10,000 and the No Risk Al Maury filly showed spectacular form as she went from last to front and win by a half length from the Didier Guillemin trained and Alexandre Gavilan ridden Al Jasrah. A further half length back in third was Dabaa De Monlau for trainer Marc Comas Molist and jockey R Sousa.
The race was keenly contested with Seguy and Heelywa bringing up the tail in the field of nine starters. But the race favourite was not to be written off and despite facing a stiff field of first timers, Heelywa roped in all eight rivals one by one before finally contesting the lead with Al Jasrah and only just managing to pip her in time for what was a deserving half length success. Heelywa posted a winning time of 2:16.83.
The race was held under the patronage of the His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival, which carries the name of Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs. The Festival through its many series encourages owners and breeders to breed and acquire Purebred Arabian horses.
The Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival is active around the world with races sponsored in Britain, United States, Europe and South America.
The festival is supported and sponsored by the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, National Archives, Etisalat, National Feed, Emirates Airlines, The General Council, the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Viola Company, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and the Emirates Arabian Horse Association.