RHRC unveils season itinerary

MUSCAT: The Royal Horse Racing Club (RHRC) will begin the 2017-18 season for horse races at Al Rahba Racecourse in the Wilayat of Barka on October 19.
The season includes 20 races, the foremost of which are three classic races and lasts till April 2018.
Brigadier Abdul Razzaq bin Abdul Qadir al Shahwarzi, Commander of the Royal Cavalry, said that the classic race will be on November 17 (National Day Cup), to be followed by the Omani Derby on January 11, 2018 besides series of Sheikha Fatima Races, which are organised annually in Muscat and then the final classic race on April 7, 2018.
In a press conference held at Madinat Al Adiyat on Monday to unveil details of the new season, Brigadier Al Shahwarzi said preparations are going on and flat race horses are registered, besides finalising all matters related to jockeys. He added that work is going on at Al Rahba Racecourse in terms of preparedness, its ground and related services.
Last season, the Sultanate hosted international races, the foremost of which are races of the International Federation of Gentlemen and Lady Riders (Fegentri), as well as races of Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak for pure Arabian horses.
Al Shahwarzi affirmed that the races gained the Omani jockeys the expertise and confidence to take part in international races abroad through which they got advanced places. The Omani jockeys have rating approved by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports or the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI).
He said the RHRC has dedicated races for locally bred horses besides the pure Arabian horses and the thoroughbred horses in a bid to support and encourage horse owners, in addition to the keenness to support the thoroughbred horses to obtain high rankings by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA). He affirmed that the upcoming season will witness participation of male and female jockeys from various countries around the world in the classic races. As for the victorious horse ‘Maisoor’ of the Royal Cavalry and the direct offspring of the world stallion ‘Burning Sand’, Al Shahwarzi said, “Maisoor will race in the Sultanate and Abu Dhabi.”
Last season witnessed participation of nearly 600 horses. The new season is likely to see 700 horses due to the entry of more than 100 horses in the Sultanate during the last period to take part in 20 races. Such horses are managed by Omanis by nearly 100 per cent. Al Shahwarzi added that five jockeys from the Royal Cavalry recently qualified to the World Endurance Championship in North Carolina, the United States, to be held in September 2018. The press conference was attended by Dr Sarhan bin Salim al Zeidi, acting Director General of the Royal Cavalry. — ONA