The His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Italy Endurance Festival will take place as part of the Toscana Endurance Lifestyle 2018 at San Rossore Racecourse in Pisa on Friday.
Meydan Group was the headline sponsor for the Toscana Endurance Lifestyle in 2016 and 2017 as well and this year they have announced a record-breaking prize pool of €1 million, doubling last year’s prize for the festival.
Azizi Developments, a major Dubai-based real estate developer, will also be sponsoring the festival as part of its partnership with Meydan that extends to international events.
Azizi Developments is a Pillar Partner of the Dubai World Cup, which includes its sponsorship of one of the world’s top thoroughbred flat sprint races, the Group 1 $1 million Al Quoz Sprint.
“We are honoured to be part of such a significant sporting event as the His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Italy Endurance Festival,” said Mirwais Azizi, chairman of Azizi Group.
“Through our relationship with the Dubai World Cup and sponsoring the Al Quoz Sprint, we have experienced the beauty and brilliance of equine sport.
“We look forward to expanding on that by co-sponsoring at Toscana Endurance Lifestyle 2018 on what will surely be a historic affair of horsemanship and athletic excellence.”
The 2018 HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Italy Endurance Festival consists of a series of prestigious endurance races, including a CEI2* 120km ride and a CEI1* 81km ride.
San Rossore Racecourse is considered one of the great endurance venues of the world. It is rich with racing tradition dating back to 1829 and hosts several world endurance events, making it the perfect setting to highlight the significance of the His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Festival in Dubai, the most prominent ride on the UAE endurance calendar.
HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Festival, held at Dubai International Endurance City, is one of Meydan Group’s two key endurance events organised annually by the Dubai Equestrian Club, with the other being the Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Festival.
Meydan Group has ensured that both festivals now have international editions held at premier endurance venues in Europe.
“San Rossore is a beautiful venue and we look forward to returning to Toscana Endurance Lifestyle 2018 and the His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Italy Endurance Festival,” said Mohammed Essa, general manager of Dubai Equestrian Club.
“It is a very important event on the endurance calendar and showcases some of the top athletes of the sport.”
Godolphin‘s Gyllen achieved his biggest success in the G2 Prix Eugene Adam over an extended 10 furlongs at Maisons-Laffitte in France on Sunday.
The improving three-year-old Medaglia d’Oro colt, trained by Andre Fabre and partnered by Mickael Barzalona, was held up as fourth of the five runners.
He remained on the inner turning into the straight and improved to second before taking the lead after the quarter-mile post.
Gyllen was strongly pressed by Crossed Baton but saw off that challenge and then was in control, winning by a length in 2m 9.74s on ground officially described as good to soft.
Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin said: “Gyllen has delighted us with his performance.
“He is a very brave little colt. It turned out to be perfect opportunity for Gyllen to win his first Group race.
“We are now thinking about the G2 Prix Guillaume d’Ornano (10f, 15 August) at Deauville, in which he would not get a penalty.”
Godolphin‘s Blue Point, who finished seventh in Saturday’s G1 Darley July Cup, over six furlongs at Newmarket, is set to drop back in trip for his next runs.
Trainer Charlie Appleby reported the Shamardal colt was too free in the early stages of the July Cup, with jockey William Buick doing his best to restrain him in behind the pace.
“In a five furlong race, they are going just that fraction faster, and that makes all the difference to Blue Point,” Appleby said.
“Looking ahead, races such as the G1 Nunthorpe at York, the Flying Five at the Curragh, and the G1 Abbaye at Longchamp are all possible targets.
“I would like to keep him to five furlongs now, though he could possibly revert to six furlongs for the Sprint on Champions Day at Ascot in October.
“He is a different horse at Ascot, and has held records for both the five and the six at the course,” he pointed out.