The countdown is on for Bahrain’s first international horse race – the inaugural Bahrain International Cup – with the arrival from Europe of nine world-class race horses, which will join a further five local runners in the field.
The horses arrived last night and stepped foot on the track for the first time this morning. They are: Intellogent (IRE), Mountain Angel (IRE), Turgenev (GB), Pivoine (IRE), Afaak (GB), Royal Julius (IRE), Coolagh Forest (IRE), Sword Peinture (GER), and Aquarium (GB).
The 14 thoroughbreds were chosen from 46 global entries to compete in the race over 2,000 metres (10 furlongs) of turf. All are rated at or above 95 by their domestic authority, with six rated 106 and over.
Intellogent (IRE), ridden by two-time champion jockey, Pierre-Charles Boudot, will be the first Group 1 winner to run in Bahrain, and boasts an accumulated £401,647 in career earnings.
Mountain Angel (IRE) has won twice this year in England, but is perhaps best known for placing second at one of the recent Middle Eastern races.
Turgenev (GB), nearly completed what would have been a famous five timer for jockey Frankie Dettori at Royal Ascot earlier this year, before being caught close home in the Britannia Stakes, but has since twice finished runner-up to two subsequent Group winners.
Royal Julius (IRE) has been a model of consistency, having failed to finish outside the first five places in his last eight starts, with £469,000 in accumulated career earnings.
Pivoine (IRE) will be ridden by three-time champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa, in what will be his third international trip of the year, following outings in the USA and Canada. Afaak (GB), owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, is coming off a win at this year’s Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot.