Exotic breed comes to Darling Downs
THE fastest Arabian racehorse in the country will be in action at Clifton on June 25, when the town plays host to Australia’s first standalone Arabian race day.
The race meeting is being conducted by the Clifton Jockey Club, in conjunction with the recently formed Australasian Arabian Racing Club, and will feature a five-race program.
AARC founding member and local Arabian horse trainer, Michelle Amos, of Mt Marshall, near Allora, is the owner of the country’s fastest Arabian racehorse and is one of the organisers of the event.
Michelle said Arabians had been already racing under the banner of another organisation up until January this year, when the AARC was formed to benefit Arabian owners, trainers and breeders.
“We want to concentrate on growing Arabian racing both domestically and internationally,” she said.
Michelle will have her 11-year-old Arabian stallion, Djehlbi, in peak condition for the day, and hopes to continue her steed’s unbeaten race record.
Operating Beersheva Arabian Stud with her husband Gary, Michelle established her operation three years ago, and purchased her imported French bred stallion, Djehlbi, two years ago.
“He stands at our stud, and we have outside foals on the ground at the moment,” Michelle said.
“His first start was at Beaudesert in 2014, where he won from an all Arab field, on a thoroughbred race day,” Michelle said.
“Djehlbi also won at the Gold Coast at the end of that year, setting a course record for the greatest winning margin of any breed – he won by 35-and-a-half lengths, and his times are comparable with overseas race times.”
Michelle was part of a delegation representing the AARC, which returned last week from Italy, where they attended several Arabian race meetings, as well as the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference held in Rome.
The conference attracted 500 delegates from six continents and was part of an international Arabian Racing initiative sponsored by HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
“It was a great experience and we hope to further promote Arabian racing over here from what we learned in Rome,” Michelle said.
“We had a lot of races on country tracks in 2014, but last year we didn’t race at all in south east Queensland, so we lost a bit of momentum, and we are trying to encourage breeders/trainers back in and to get involved,” she said.
The Clifton Arabian Race Meeting will feature a couple of “match” races over 200m, which will be a sprint down the home straight.
The day will get under way at 11am, with great prizes on offer in the Fashions on the Field, including categories for best Arabian outfit, best lady and gentleman’s winter fashions, and best knitted beanie and scarf.
Clifton Jockey Club secretary Margaret Cross said there would be prizemoney for winning racehorse owners, however no bookmakers would be operating.
“Racing Queensland is very supportive of us running another meeting here outside our annual Clifton Cup in October,” Mrs Cross said.
“We want it to be a fun family day out and we are hoping to make it an annual event,” she said.
There will also be horses on display in traditional Arabian dress.
The race meeting is one of three being held in the lead up to a special three-race meeting being held in conjunction with a normal Gold Coast Turf Club meeting on September 3.
Michelle said the Gold Coast meeting was part of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival.