The Presidents Cup is a Group 1 event for pure bred Arabian horses and was hosted at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club over the weekend. It has a purse amount of Dh1 million and is seen as one of the most prestigious events for Arab horses. Numerous worthy contenders took on the 2 200 meter challenge, but only one horse could reign supreme, namely Seraphin Du Paon. Even though this talented five-year-old is undoubtedly a very successful athlete, participating in such a huge event was still a gamble as it was only his sixth career start.
Seraphin Du Paon is trained by Philippe Barbe at the Al Asayl just outside Abu Dhabi, and is owned by Sheik Khaifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Barbe contacted jockey Olivier Peslier to ride Seraphin Du Paon in the 2011 Presidents Cup. Peslier had never raced in Abu Dhabi before, but was not fazed by the fact that the 2008 winner, Dynamite, and 2009 winner, Nirwan, were also in the line-up. He went out to ride his own race, and together with Seraphin Du Paon’s determination and speed, the duo looked to be in a league of their own as they headed towards the finish line. They completed the race in a time of 2:29:02, and Rabah De Carre had to settle for second place, with Nieshan crossing the finish line in third. Peslier was extremely happy with the performance of his horse, stating that: “It has been a great first visit obviously and I look forward to coming back. The horse has really done well and I was always happy throughout.”
Barbe spoke to the press in regard to the future of Seraphine Du Paon, saying: “We will see how he has come out of this race and if we plan to run him again this season, it will be in the Kahayla Classic.” The Kahayla Classic is run on the Dubai World Cup Night and hosted by the Meydan Racecourse. He went on to say that they will have handle their horse very carefully from now on, as he is still young and has proven that he has much potential to develop into an even greater racehorse with a very bright future.