The £550,000 10-racing Bahrain Turf Series, specifically targeting international horses rated 85-100, was announced on Thursday. All the races in the series, each worth £50,000, will be linked together and run alongside Bahrain's King's Cup, Crown Prince's Cup and National Day Grade 1. There will also have a bonus point system attached to the Bahrain Turf Series, depending on where horses finish. At the end of the series, points will be added up and the owner of the horse with the most points in each pot will get £15,000 and the trainer of the horse with most points will get £10,000. Overseeing the new Bahrain Turf Series will be the Rashid Equestrian and Horseracing Club. The Bahrain Turf Series will be held on the following dates: Dec. 10, Dec. 31, Jan. 7, Jan. 14, Jan. 21, Feb. 5 and Feb. 25.
In advance of the Bahrain Turf Series, the Bahrain International Trophy is slated for Nov. 19 at Sakhir Racecourse. Open to horses rated 95+, the 2000-metre event will have three spots reserved for the winners of the G3 Fitzdares Royal Whip S. at The Curragh on Aug. 13, the G3 Sky Bet and Symphony Group Strensall S. at York on Aug. 21 and the G3 The Darley S. at Newmarket on Oct. 9.
His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Rashid Equestrian and Horse Racing Club High Committee, said: “I am very proud of the Bahrain International Trophy. We have hosted the race for two years and we will be hosting it again in 2021 for the third time having seen a huge jump in the quality of horses and participants in year two. By introducing the new Bahrain Turf Series we hope to further attract great horses to the Kingdom of Bahrain, horses that can add a higher quality of performance to our two most prestigious races, His Majesty the King's Cup and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince's Cup.
“My own personal goal is to develop the industry of thoroughbred horse racing in the Kingdom of Bahrain and if we are able to facilitate our Bahraini trainers and jockey's relationships with European connections that will be one of my key goals met.”
His Highness Shaikh Faisal bin Rashid bin Isa Alkhalifa, Deputy Chairman of the Rashid Equestrian & Horse Racing Club, added, “We are delighted to be introducing the new Bahrain Turf Series to our race programme and hosting these races for the forthcoming season. We look forward to welcoming owners and trainers to experience horse racing in Bahrain and everything that the Kingdom of Bahrain has to offer.”
Shaikh Salman bin Rashed al Khalifa, Executive Director of the Rashid Equestrian & Horse Racing Club said, “It is an incredibly exciting time for horse racing in Bahrain. We have been blown away with the amount of quality trainers, jockeys and horses who have come to race in Bahrain since the first Bahrain International Trophy in 2019. To have had five individual Group 1 winners in our second running of the race, including Aidan O'Brien's Irish Derby winner Sovereign was very special. Off the back of the race's success, the Rashid Equestrian & Horse Racing Club are very proud to introduce the Bahrain Turf Series for the 2021/22 season in Bahrain.”