Floodlights and expanded Turf Series will show Bahrain racing in a new light

Floodlights and expanded Turf Series will show Bahrain racing in a new light
Bahrain Turf Series and international programme extended to include all Bahrain’s premier races, plus prize money boost. Introduction of floodlights adds extra dimension and enables racing to continue during Ramadan.

The upcoming 2024-25 season heralds a new chapter in the evolution and growth of horseracing in Bahrain with the installation of floodlights and an expansion of the Bahrain Turf Series, elevating its overall value to over $1million.

Last year the Bahrain Turf Club announced exciting changes to the Kingdom’s most valuable race, the Bahrain International Trophy, with the news that the race’s prize fund had been increased to $1million and the race’s status upgraded to Group 2 level.

This year the focus is on developing the Bahrain Turf Series, the initiative launched in 2021 to attract international runners to compete in Bahrain throughout the European winter. Three years after its launch it was felt the time was right to build on the success of the series and expand the international programme to incorporate all the premier races from the second half of the season.

His Highness Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Rashid Equestrian & Horseracing Club, said:

“I am pleased to announce both an expansion of the Bahrain Turf Series and the introduction of floodlit racing, a bold initiative that will elevate the spectacle of racing in Bahrain to a new level and enable our season to continue to flourish.

“For the first time, our most prestigious races, including the Crown Prince’s Cup and the King’s Cup, will all fall within the Bahrain Turf Series calendar. The move, coupled with the new floodlights, provides more flexibility to the race programme, and is intended to make racing in Bahrain an even more attractive and compelling proposition to international visitors.”

Yusuf Buheji, CEO of the Bahrain Turf Club said:

“Last season produced some memorable moments. Notably the first $1million running of the Bahrain International Trophy, won in great style by Spirit Dancer, providing what his co-owner and breeder Sir Alex Ferguson described as “the best moment of his racing life.” That was followed by a wonderful season of racing during which Victorious Racing’s Isle Of Jura progressed from Bahrain Turf Series runner to King’s Cup victor and then on to Royal Ascot winner.

“The stories of both Spirit Dancer and Isle Of Jura showcase the opportunities available for international horses coming to Bahrain.”

For 2024-25, the Bahrain Turf Series has been expanded to comprise of twelve races, now worth a total of $1million, with a further $80,000 available in bonuses. The programme will start on a later date, 20th December, and run until 7th March, with an additional two handicaps, each worth $100,000, set to be run at the season’s finale weekend, where the feature event is The King’s Cup.

The extension of the Bahrain Turf Series means that all the premier races in the second half of the season now fall within the dates of the international programme. This makes it easier for horses to follow the path taken by last season’s break-out star, Isle Of Jura, who graduated from Bahrain Turf Series handicaps to pattern races when winning The Crown Prince’s Cup and The King’s Cup.

The Crown Prince’s Cup, Shaikh Nasser Cup, The Al Methaq Mile and The King’s Cup, along with further valuable races, now fall within the same window of the international programme as the twelve Bahrain Turf Series races.

The 2024 running of the $1M Bahrain International Trophy will take place on 15th November at the Rashid Equestrian & Horseracing Club with entries for the 1m2f (2000m) event closing at noon on 2nd October. Last year’s winner, Spirit Dancer, trained by Richard Fahey and ridden by Oisin Orr, defeated a high-class field, with Group 2 and recent Royal Ascot winner Israr finishing second and Aidan O’Brien’s Point Lonsdale in third.

For more details see the 2024-25 brochure.

Thursday 4th July 2024

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