Bahrain makes its mark on opening day of July Festival

Bahrain makes its mark on opening day of July Festival
The Bahrain Turf Club yesterday (Thursday 13 July) marked the beginning of its new, expanded partnership with Newmarket Racecourse by entertaining a wide range of guests on a thrilling opening day to the Boodles July Festival.

The Kingdom of Bahrain is the longest standing sponsor at Newmarket’s prestigious July Festival having supported the Bahrain Trophy since its inception in 1991. This year the Princess of Wales’s Stakes (Sponsored by the Kingdom of Bahrain) and the Kingdom of Bahrain July Stakes were added to the portfolio as part of a new multi-year agreement.

A packed Newmarket crowd witnessed top-class racing with exciting finishes. Among the highlights was the victory of Israr, running in the colours of Shadwell Estate, who overcame the favourite Adayar - winner of the 2021 Derby - in the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes (Sponsored by the Kingdom of Bahrain).

Following the race, a new trophy was presented by His Highness Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Bahrain Turf Club, to Israr’s owner, Sheikha Hissa Bint Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Israr is trained by John and Thady Gosden in Newmarket and was ridden by Jim Crowley.

Shaikh Salman bin Rashed Al Khalifa, Bahrain Turf Club High Committee Representative, International Racing, said:

“We have seen some wonderful racing in the Kingdom of Bahrain sponsored races. Our sincere congratulations to the connections of the three winning horses, including His Highness Shaikh Sultan Al Deen bin Mohammed bin Salman Al Khalifa who owns Jasour, winner of the Kingdom of Bahrain July Stakes in great style.

“We are very proud to have become part of the heritage of the July Festival through our long-standing support of the Bahrain Trophy. The Kingdom’s association with two further high-profile races reflects our ambitions for the future of horseracing in Bahrain as it continues to grow and international participation increases.”

It was recently announced that the value of the Bahrain International Trophy, run in November and the highest profile race held in Bahrain, has been increased to $1million and the race’s status upgraded to Group 2 level. The increase is part of an all-round investment programme making the 2023-24 season in Bahrain the most valuable yet.

Among an illustrious list of guests in attendance were representatives from the Bahrain Economic Development Board and Bahrain’s UK Embassy, together with several commercial partners of the Bahrain Turf Club and senior figures from British racing and around the world.

Yusuf Buheji, CEO of the Bahrain Turf Club said:

“Our thanks and congratulations to Newmarket Racecourse for hosting a wonderful afternoon of sport. We look forward to working with Newmarket and The Jockey Club to further develop this day over the coming years.

“I would also like to thank the Bahrain Economic Development Board for their ongoing help and support with our international partnerships. It was a great pleasure to enjoy the racing with their team and guests in the beautiful setting of the July Course.

“It was wonderful to entertain several owners and trainers and I can promise they will receive as warm a welcome when they come to Bahrain this winter.”

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