Organisers of the Bahrain International Trophy 2020 were delighted with its success on and off the track and believe the recognition it has received has strengthened the standing of the kingdom as a global horse racing destination.
The kingdom’s showpiece horse racing event of the year was held last Friday at Rashid Equestrian and Horseracing Club (REHC) and was won by Simsir, owned by Victorious team, edging out Al Adiyat Racing’s Global Giant.
Delighted REHC executive director Shaikh Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa expressed his pride in the ‘outstanding organisational success’ and said: “It reiterates the ability of the Kingdom of Bahrain to organise major events, championships and international races, including hosting horse races of this magnitude.
“The second edition of the Bahrain International Trophy has received great local and international praise.
“It has further strengthened the standing of Bahrain in the world of horse racing. This was evident by the large number of globally-acclaimed, prominent stables and horses that participated.
“Despite the current challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bahrain was able to attract top riders and showcase the capability of the club to organise an international race of this level.”
He added that the event’s success highlighted the ‘care, attention and support’ given by His Majesty King Hamad.
Shaikh Salman bin Rashid also praised the continuous interest and support offered by REHC chairman Shaikh Abdullah bin Isa Al Khalifa and deputy chairman, Shaikh Isa bin Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Shaikh Salman said they helped create ‘the best organisational conditions’ for its success and followed its progress throughout all stages of race preparation.
He added that ‘persistence, determination and the concerted efforts of everyone involved, in particular the REHC’s High Committee’ made it possible to cope with the ‘unusual conditions’ caused by Covid-19.
“The competence of the people of Bahrain contributed in overcoming these difficulties to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved, in line with the national directives and efforts of Team Bahrain,” said Shaikh Salman. “All guidelines and procedures were adhered to by all participants and workers in this race, including those who had travelled from abroad.”
He also noted and appreciated the club’s key partnerships with Batelco, Bapco and the Economic Development Board and the various government agencies involved in staging the Bahrain International Trophy.
Although fans could not attend, the race attracted the attention of the international media and millions of viewers in Bahrain and around the world who were able to enjoy the race on TV in the safety of their homes.
The much-awaited race, for imported horses three years old and above, produced a thrilling finish as Victorious edged ahead of its nearest rival by a neck to claim the prestigious trophy.
The winner of the 2,000m race was trained by Fawzi Nass and ridden by Lee Newman while second-placed Global Giant’s trainer was John Gosden and Frankie Dettori the jockey.
Shaikh Salma believes the lessons learned and advances made in staging the race - and the thorough evaluation held under the guidance of the REHC high committee - will enhance the way upcoming events are staged.