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The Arabian Derby at the Służewiec Race Course – 27 July 2014
On Sunday 27 July, after a three week holiday break, the races will start again on the Warsaw Race Course. On this day the races will start at 15.00 hours and the key point of the program will be the Arabian Derby consisting of 10 races (race no. 7, at 18.30 hrs).
The sounds of the classical 2400 m Derby for three-year-old Thoroughbreds have not died down yet (the race took place on 5 July) while the admirers of this sport are already looking forward to the blue ribbon for four-year-old Arabians, which is also called the Derby. It is a spectacular race because the horses, racing over a distance of 3000 m, pass by the spectators’ stands twice.
Polish Arabians, known worldwide mainly for their beauty, compete for the Derby Prize since 1927. Służewiec is known all over Europe as a the Mecca of races for horses of this breed. These days only race courses in the United Arab Emirates hold more races for Arabians. Four years ago the Arabs appreciated the Europe Prize awarded at Służewiec since 1985, and included it in the worldwide racing series called after the ZEA Founder, Sheikh Zayed Ibn Sultan Al Nahyan. This year it will take place on the Sunday of 24 August.
The Arabian Derby is traditionally held only for mares and stallions bred in Poland and entered in the Polish Pure Bred Arabian Stud Book (PASB). This year 10 stallions have been entered for the race and only one mare, Afrah. Experts consider her to be one fo the favourites, others being Adhmad, the winner of the pre-Derby trial for the Janów Prize (Przychówek, 5 July, 2600 m), Muzahim, beaten by the latter only by a nose, and the third, Ziko (beaten by Muzahim by 1.75 lengths). Afrah has had more rest than the stallions because her last race was on 14 June. She lost then by a short head with the fantastic Cerwing, who, due to injury, was first withdrawn from the start list for the Janów Prize and then from the Derby entry list. She nonetheless beat Ahmad by a length and Cepton, considered to be the black horse of the Sunday race, by 6 lengths.