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Season 2021 at Służewiec Racetrack. The sponsorship offensive of Polska AKF is the biggest news in Arabian racing

Races / Sport

Season 2021 at Służewiec Racetrack. The sponsorship offensive of Polska AKF is the biggest news in Arabian racing

Mayar Al Khalediah, by Tor Wyścigów Konnych Służewiec
Mayar Al Khalediah, by Tor Wyścigów Konnych Służewiec

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May 1st marks the beginning of the 76th racing season at the Służewiec Racetrack. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, races will be held without an audience until further notice, which will hopefully be announced in a few weeks. 159 races for Arabian horses will be held, with a prize pool of PLN 2,542,225.

The biggest novelty in the Arabian racing program is an over six-fold increase in the prize pool in races sponsored by Polska AKF on the tracks in Warsaw, Wrocław and Sopot. In total as much as PLN 448,500, of which 408,500 are meant for Służewiec, and PLN 20,000 each for Wrocław and Sopot. Let us recall that until last year, the aforementioned company, owned by the Saudi Prince Khaled bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, sponsored the Al Khalediah Poland Cup (cat. A, 1600 m) since the 2013 season, held during the Arabian Horse Day, the pool of which was recently 70 thousand PLN. This season, it was increased to PLN 129,500. In addition, Polska AKF will sponsor a new race at Służewiec called the Tiwaiq Central European Derby for 4-year-old horses (cat. A, 2000 m) with a pool of PLN 119,000 (it will be held on May 29), the Białka Stakes – Al Khalediah Colts & Fillies Trophy (cat. A, 2000 m, August 22) for three-year-olds, and also four more races under the name Al Khalediah Racing Festival 2021 for 4 years old and older horses with a pool of PLN 9,250 each. Moreover, AKF Polska funds additional prizes, which gives a sum of 408,500. The full list of basic and additional prizes is provided at the end of the article.

Rasmy Al Khalediah, by Traf Online
Rasmy Al Khalediah, by Traf Online

Of course, the vast majority of these prizes, especially the races of the 3rd group, as well as the stake races, will be won by horses owned by AKF Polska. It is already possible to predict with almost 100% certainty that the “Al Khalediah Derby” on May 29 will be the fighting arena of primarily two “Al Khalediahs”, the trained by Janusz Kozłowski Rasmy (Nayef Al Khalidiah – Rajwa Al Khalediah / Tiwaiq) and Mayara (Nashwan Al Khalediah – Assma Al Khalediah / Amer), Fazza’s half-brother. The first was undefeated in three races, including the Bask Stakes (cat. B), then won the Premio Casa Di Cura San Rossore in Pisa, the second also won three races, including Białka St. (cat. A) by as much as 23 lengths. The sensational winner of the Sambor St. (cat. A, 2200 m), the trained in Wrocław by Małgorzata Kryszyłowicz, Echaron by Ontario HF (Monarch AH – HF Orzonna / Pepton) from Michałów Stud, should not be a match for them. The Sambor St. is the main race for three year olds, right beside the Białka St., which Echaron won against a weaker field, but in a very good style, beating, among others, the Dutch Sjabahar ‘OA by AF Albahar (Amer – Al Hanouf / Sabaani) and two slightly weaker “Al Khalediahs”, Dary (Jalnar Al Khalidiah – Amerah Khalediah / Amer) and Hazima (Kasir Al Kahlediah – WFA Harmony / Djebbel).

Hazim Al Khalediah, by Nie Tylko Galop
Hazim Al Khalediah, by Nie Tylko Galop

The latter is worth a few words, because he will be the second horse bred by Polska AKF with a top French pedigree on both sides and an open road to the Derby, because due to his place of birth and his Polish owner, he was registered in the Polish Arabian Stud Book (PASB) upon birth. His sire Kasir, the son of the legendary Tiwaiq (Hamdani KS and Hamdanieh KSA, and what comes later is not known), did not live up to the hopes placed in him. He was 7th in the Janów St. and 13th in the Derby. Hazim also did not run in the first year as his pedigree would suggest. However, he won twice, so trainer Maciej Kacprzyk in his pre-season statement for tor.sluzewiec.pl said that he would prepare him for the Derby. Before the Janów St., the trainer plans for him to appear only once in a second group race.

Fazza Al Khalediah by World Horse Racing
Fazza Al Khalediah by World Horse Racing

Fazza and Salam will only race abroad

Meanwhile, the two best “Al Khalediahs” which are the international showcase of Polska AKF, i.e. Fazza (the sensational winner of the Arabian World Cup 2018) and Salam (last year’s winner of the Premio Milano Jockey Club, G3, 1800 m), are prepared for performances only abroad. “Fazza is currently in a clinic in Belgium, where he will soon be recovering from an injury he suffered at the beginning of the year. I think he will return to Michał Borkowski’s stable in Wrocław in mid-May and start training. We plan for him, if he reaches a high form, foreign starts in the second half of the season”, says Szymon Głowacki, the representative of Polska AKF.

Salam Al Khalediah, by Monika Metza-Jodłowska
Salam Al Khalediah, by Monika Metza-Jodłowska

Trainer Kacprzyk told us about the preparations for Salam: “In January, I took him for three weeks for light training and rest to France. In February, he competed against tough competition in Saudi Arabia. He was even active at first, running in second and third positions. He weakened only in the last 100 meters and he was close to the sixth, last paid place. He was eighth in the end. I am moderately pleased with this performance, because although he had a short period of preparation, he showed willingness to fight, he did not follow the horses like a dog. I originally planned a foreign start for him in mid-May, but recently he suffered a slight injury, but he should return to the training track soon. If he is in good shape, I will enter him in the G2 race in mid-June in Milan, where he won the G3 race last year. By the way, I would like to inform you that last year’s winner of the European Cup at Służewiec, Shadwan Al Khalediah, has already completed a successful career on the track and has been retired to breeding. Currently, he is starting breeding duties at the stud of Magdalena and Daniel Gromala. I know that Polish breeders are interested in breeding their mares to him. And this year in the races at Służewiec I am mostly counting on the very good performances of Amwaj Al Kahlediah (Nashwan Al Khalidiah – Asma Al Khalediah / Amer), who will be thrown into deep water on the second racing day, because her rivals in the race for the Comet Stakes (cat. B 2000 m) will be, among others, two very strong colt, Polish Derby winner Dragon (Dahess – Djaima / Nonius) and Russian Seiful Muliuk (Karmel de Faust – Sjamara / Marwan I). Wasma Al Khalediah (Jalnar Khalidiah – Chinook de Gazal / Dormane) is also an extremely talented filly. Last year she was plagued by injuries. This season she should run much better”, concluded Maciej Kacprzyk.

Dragon, by Nie Tylko Galop
Dragon, by Nie Tylko Galop

15 Al Khalediahs at Służewiec

“In total, we have 15 of our horses in training at Służewiec and eight in Wrocław in Michał Borkowski’s stable. We try to cooperate with several trainers. Apart from trainer Kacprzyk (he prepares seven horses), in Warsaw three of our Arabians are trained by Janusz Kozłowski, two by Krzysztof Ziemiański and three by my brother Bartek, at our stud in Nowa Mała Wieś near Leoncin. We are very pleased with this cooperation, because just a few years ago we did not even dream of such significant successes in the country and abroad, emphasizes Szymon Głowacki.

Little protection of Polish bred horses

To make it not too sweet, I have to add a tablespoon of acid. French Arabians, not only those from Polska AKF, but earlier also from Krzysztof Goździalski and Zbigniew Górski, whose Tefkir, purchased in France, as the first Arabian in Polish training (Małgorzata Łojek), defeated Sheikh Mansoor’s horse in the race for the 2016 Europe Cup, as well as from Cornelia Fraisl (who registered 18 “French” Arabians for the 2021 season), have dominated Służewiec for several years. Polish private breeders somehow get through by adding French bloodlines. Horses born from breedings to top stallions (recently fashionable is Mared Al Sahra, son of Amer and Massmarie), in a few years will almost exclusively compete in the Janów, Derby and Oaks St., formally closed to foreign horses. In fact, this process cannot be stopped. But as the writer Fredro saying goes, “know the proportion, mighty lord.” And what about Arabians with typically Polish pedigrees from the three state-owned studs, Janów, Michałów, Białka, and horses from small training centers in the country: Should they not compete in closed races like so far, but only in open races? The matter is controversial and will probably arouse emotions more than once. We asked Jakub Kasprzak, the head of the selection department of the Polish Jockey Club, if the additional bonuses for “Polishness” that were paid to Arabian breeders in previous seasons are maintained: “Yes, but there has been some modification. Polish Arabian horse breeders will have a bonus of 10 percent of the total. For example, if Zbigniew Górski’s Arabians won PLN 100,000, he would receive an additional PLN 10,000. This year, during the season, the owners of Polish-bred horses will also receive additional bonuses, amounting to 40% of each award in races for 3-year-olds, 25% for 4 year olds and 15% for 5 year olds. However, they will be paid only when Polish horses compete in open races. When they race against each other in PASB races, there will be no such bonuses.”

Mared Al Sahra, by Emma Maxwell
Mared Al Sahra, by Emma Maxwell

4-5 horses of one trainer in a race

Out of 159 races in total, I counted only 15 Arabian-type races and 25 for horses entered in the PASB. The closed races (except Janów, Derby and Oaks) are intended only for… three-year-olds. There is not a single Arabian-type race or PASB race for 4 years and older Arabians. In practice, this means that purely Polish four-year-olds and older horses can only look for scraps from the table on the racing track. No wonder that trainer Sergiej Vasyutov currently trains only two older horses, four years olds: Bravos and Pilargo. The remaining four older Arabians, the Polish Marakhes (Ontario HF – OM Moksha / Marwan I) and Pressus (Addis – Pisarka / Pesal) and two Dutch stallions, six-year-old Victory Kossack (Marvan I – Vydumka / Madiar) and his brother Vol Gass Kossacka are being prepared by Paweł Wasilewski according to Vasyutov’s training plans. Naturally, there are natural phenomena, such as Dar Duni (Eldon – Decyma / Eurol), who won a race in 2016 at the age of 13 and has finished second four times in the last three seasons. Apparently, trainer Kamila Urbańczyk wants to set a record. When asked last year if she should put a 16-year-old horse to race, she replied: “Why should I forbid him to do so, when he just likes to race.” Let’s add that this veteran of the track was also reported for the 2021 season!

Dar Duni, by Marta Chowańska Photography
Dar Duni, by Marta Chowańska Photography

Will Dragon tame the Al Khalediahs and will Wielki (Grand) Dakris be even grander?

The 2019 derby winner Dragon by Dahess (Amer – Danie du Cassou / Dahr) out of Djaima (Nonius – Driada / Demarsh), bred by Zbigniew Górski and trained by Maciej Janikowski, had a great season in 2020. First, he was second four times in stake races (including the Europa Cup), and then two times first in Michałów and the Criteirum St. He won them with great ease. Will he try to tame two strong four-year-olds, about whom I wrote above – Rasmy and Mayar this year? Or maybe these three will be joined by last year’s Derby winner Wielki Dakris by Mared Al Sahra (Amer – Massmarie / Tidjani), out of the mare Wielka Damira (Ontario HF – Wielka Dama / El Amor), bred by Krzysztof Zakolski, who has a brilliant finish, but is difficult to ride. The horses is trained by Adam Wyrzyk, who last year recorded a Derby double (the blue ribbon was also won by the Thoroughbred Night Thunder). He wintered until March at his breeder and owner, currently a councilor of the Serock Commune and Town Hall, Krzysztof Zakolski.

Wielki Darkis, by Nie Tylko Galop
Wielki Darkis, by Nie Tylko Galop

“I have created the best possible conditions for him to be in the fresh air almost all day long. He slogged through the meadows. When I think that I would bring him to Służewiec, where the horses, apart from daily rides, have to stand in the stables for hours, I feel sorry for them. I give my Arabians to Adam Wyrzyk for training, to his center in Podbiel, because there the gallops take place along forest paths. Of course it seems to me that Dakris last year, although he won the Derby and was third in the Europa Cup and second in the Michałów and Criterium St., has not yet shown what he can do. He has great acceleration on the finishing straight. I had the impression that, apart from Derby, he started finishing too late. He is difficult to ride at distance and therefore needs a strong hand. I do not hide that this year I count on great emotions and even greater successes”, said Krzysztof Zakolski to polskiearaby.com.

The best Arabian horses will begin on Sunday!

We will see Dragon on the second day of the season in the race for the Comet St. (cat. B, 2000, 4 years old and above). His main rival seems to be the Russian Muliuk, but perhaps Amwaj Al Khalediah, a mare who is highly praised by trainer Kacprzyk, will try to fight these stallions. “If she is to win with Dragon, it is probably only now, because she will carry not two, but three kg less. I am also counting on a very good ride by Szczepan Mazur, who successfully raced in Dubai in winter”, he assesses.

Amwaj Al Khalediah, by Nie Tylko Galop
Amwaj Al Khalediah, by Nie Tylko Galop

“Dragon feels the same as he did in the fall. That is why I think that he should also deal with horses with which he has already won easily”, says trainer Maciej Janikowski.
Also on Sunday, in the race for the Cabaret St/ (cat. B, 4 years, 2000), which will be held three weeks earlier than in previous years, my second Arabian and Derby prospect Alsahr (Mared Al Sahra (Amer – Massmarie / Tidjani) bred and owned by Zbyszek Górski. At the age of three he was second four times and won twice. In the last race, from the beginning of the straight, he fought like a lion with the very good Rasmy Al Khalediah. He lost 50 meters before the finish line, by 1,25 lengths. If he does well on Sunday, he will also appear on May 29 in this new “Al Khalediah” version of the 2000 m Derby. He will have very strong opponents in his first start. Fazza’s half-brother, Mayar Al Khalediah, who was the best three-year-old during the last season. But I hope that a 4 kg weight allowance will help in taking a higher paid place. Jockey Aleksander Reznikov, who worked and traveled in Qatar in winter, returned in a good form. I think he will definitely weigh in at 56 kg, and in the future even 55 kg.

SS Mothill makes his debut as a sire on the track

In the 2021 season, the first offspring (three fillies and one colt) of the French sire SS Mothill (Nizam – Bundless / Calin du Loup), owned by Janów Podlaski, will make their debur. Mothill is the male grandson of Amer. He won 6 races in 14 showings at Służewiec. He was most successful when he won the Al Khalediah Cup (category A, 1600 m) at the age of 6. Trainer Sergey Vasyutov highly counts on the grown Wirgilion out of Wira by the Swedish Portmer and Floryna out of Furina by Druid, the other two fillies, out of the capable Janów mares Sabatina and Salsa, will debut later. Trainer Vasyutov does not hide that he counts mount on these three-year-olds. The rest, apart from the Dutch Nestor (Mercimurhib Kossack – Neige Nuit / Dormane), which is prepared outside Janów by Paweł Wasilewski, are Arabian type race horses. There are as many as 37 of them.

From the right: SS Mothlill and Mogadiusz, by Nie Tylko Galop
From the right: SS Mothlill and Mogadiusz, by Nie Tylko Galop

Even four or five horses of one trainer in a race

Probably trainer Vasuytov will have to enter four or even five horses for some races in order for them to take place. It happened more than once last season. Not only the trainer from Janów was forced to do similar practices so that even the weaker horses could earn anything. Cornelia Fraisl, who is doing great as a trainer, also entered up to four Arabians. In the 2020 trainers championship, she took second place with 44 victories (Wyrzyk won with a large advantage – 74 wins), third was Krzysztof Ziemiański – 35 first places. Trainer Andrzej Laskowski showed full determination during the first entries this year, when he entered five of his charges for the first open race for debuting Arabians in the season (at least 7 horses must be entered for a race to take place). To tell the truth, I am not surprised at all, but I commend that he saved this race. As he has the most 3 year old Arabians (11) and his stable has a total of 20 horses, any paid place is important to him. Trainer Laskowski also acted as fairly as possible, because atop his best three-year-old, the French filly Aiwa de Limarzel (Neshan – Amwaany / Madjani), he placed the best Polish rider, Szczepan Mazur, who from November to April raced in Dubai and won as many as 22 races.

Szczepan Mazur in the footsteps of the great champions of the track

Szczepan Mazur has had an established brand in the Emirates for several years, and at Służewiec his dominance is growing every year. He is following in the footsteps of the best jockeys in the history of Służewiec: Walenty Stasiak, Jerzy Jednaszewski, Mieczysław Mełnicki and Tomasz Dul. Suffice to say that he won last year’s championship with a great advantage. From May 16 to mid-October, he won 77 times and finished second 45 times, yet he left for another contract in Dubai right after the Wielka Warszawska Race (October 12), while the races ended on November 22. Kamil Grzybowski, second in the championship, ended the season with the result 45:33. You can be sure that also this year Szczepan Mazur (his brother Konrad was third in the championship 36:34) will easily win the riders’ classification, because almost all the trainers (if he does not have a ride at the Wyrzyk stable where he works) will offer him rides on their best horses. He will be able to choose as he sees fit. But he deserves this privilege like no other.

Szczepan Mazur, by Tor Wyścigów Konnych Służewiec
Szczepan Mazur, by Tor Wyścigów Konnych Służewiec

A list of primary and additional AKF Polska prizes:

09.05.2021

AL KHALEDIAH RACING FESTIVAL 2021 (1):
Prize pool 9625 PLN (5500-2200-1100-550-275)
Race for 4yo and above Arabians of the 3rd group (2000m)
Additional prize from the sponsor: 20.000 PLN*
horse owner: 15000 PLN, horse trainer: 3000 PLN, rider: 2000 PLN

22.08.2021

AL KHALEDIAH RACING FESTIVAL 2021 (2):
Prize pool 9625 PLN (5500-2200-1100-550-275)
Race for 4yo and above Arabian horses of the 3rd group (2000m)
Additional prize from the sponsor: 20.000 PLN*
horse owner: 15000 PLN, horse trainer: 3000 PLN, rider: 2000 PLN

22.08.2021

BIAŁKA Stakes – AL KHALEDIAH COLTS & FILLIES TROPHY (cat. A):
52500 PLN (30000-12000-6000-3000-1500)
International race for 3yo Arabian horses (2000m)
Additional prize from the sponsor: 80.000 PLN*
Division of the additional prize:

Place Owner Trainer Rider
1 25000 PLN 10000 PLN 6000 PLN
2 10000 PLN 4000 PLN 2500 PLN
3 6000 PLN 3000 PLN 1750 PLN
4 4 4000 PLN 2000 PLN 1000 PLN
5 5 3000 PLN 1000 PLN 1000 PLN

18.09.2021

AL KHALEDIAH RACING FESTIVAL 2021 (3):
Apprentice race (7)
Prize 9625 PLN (5500-2200-1100-550-275)
Race for 4yo and above Arabian horses solely of the 3rd group. Horses are ridden only by apprentices – riders that have not won 25 races. Weight allowances due to the riding category: riders that have not won a race 2kg, riders that have not won 10 races 1 kg. No whips allowed. (1800m)
Additional prize from the sponsor: 20.000 PLN*
horse owner: 15000 PLN, horse trainer: 3000 PLN, rider: 2000 PLN.

24.10.2021

AL KHALEDIAH RACING FESTIVAL 2021 (4):
Prize 9625 PLN (5500-2200-1100-550-275)
Race for 4yo and above Arabian horses of the 3rd group. (1800m)
Additional prize from the sponsor: 20.000 PLN*

29.05.2021 – Category A races:

TIWAIQ CENTRAL EUROPEAN ARABIAN DERBY – (cat. A):

The cash prize for each place in the race is paid from the funds fully obtained from the sponsor, in accordance with the Organizer’s Regulations for the first 5 places as follows:
85% goes to the horse owner,
10% goes to the horse trainer,
5% goes to the rider.

*the additional prizes will be paid after receiving the funds from the sponsor.

Dates of other cat. A stakes:

19 June – Janów Podlaski St. (Produce), 2600 m
2 July – Ofir St., 4yo and above, 2400 m
22 July – Derby, 4yo, 3000 m
22 August – Arabian Day, stakes: Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan – Europy Cup – G3 PA (cat. A), 4yo and above 2600 m; Al Khalediah Poland Cup – Listed PA (cat. A), 4yo and above, 1600 m; Białka St. – Al Khalediah Colts&Fillies Trophy, 3yo, 2000 m
12 September – Gazella, Mlecha and Sahara St. (OAKS), 4yo fillies, 2400 m
2 October – Sambor St., 3yo, 2200 m
3 October – Michałów St., 4yo and above , 2800 m
24 October – Criterium St. – Listed, PA, 3yo and above, 2400 m

Rasmy Al Khalediah, by Tor Wyścigów Konnych Służewiec
Rasmy Al Khalediah, by Tor Wyścigów Konnych Służewiec

Furthermore 4 Wathba Stallions Cup races are sponsored by Wathba Stallions:
12.06.2021 ERRLIS ST. I 1600m + 5.000 EUR for the winner of the race (owner 85%, trainer 10%, rider 5%)
03.07.2021 BOREK ST. I 1800m + 5.000 EUR for the winner of the race (owner 85%, trainer 10%, rider 5%)
24.07.2021 TRAF ST. I 1800m PASB + 5.000 EUR for the winner of the race (owner 85%, trainer 10%, rider 5%)
22.08.2021 EMAELST. I 1600m + 5.000 EUR for the winner of the race (owner 85%, trainer 10%, rider 5%)

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