10 November 2018 ~ Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ If last week’s race meeting, the first of the season in Abu Dhabi, was like the first day back at school catching up with friends old and new, this week’s meeting featuring the fabulous Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown, the HH Sheikh Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) and HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice Jockey’s World Championship (IFHAR) on 9 November, was the reconvening of a very special club where friends with a common interest joined together from all corners of the world to enjoy a night of excellent racing.
The feature race, the AED 5,000,000 Group 1 Sheikh Zayed in Sultan Jewel Crown, was literally crowned with jewels, top class horses rated between 100 and 124 and many meeting for the first time. The race was run on the 1600m (8f) Abu Dhabi’s turf track, the only one in UAE.
The field of 14 set off with ES Ajeeb (Big Easy x Bent Al Asayl by Djebel Lotois) the 4 year-old owned and bred in Sharjah by H.E. Sheikh Abdulla Bin Majid Al Qassimi set off in his usual front running style, but perhaps the long break found him out, his last run was in January, as he faded on the homeward turn. The lead had been taken by Al Shamoos (No Risk Al Maury x Hamiya by Al Hasim) a four year old filly bred in France by Dr Mohammed Al Nujaifi who was a winner at ParisLongchamp at the Arc meeting in October. From the home bend Al Shamoos opened up a substantial lead and proved an easy winner, although a few more metres might have proved a different story as the Polish hope and winner of the Qatar Arabian World Cup held on Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Day, Fazza Al Khalediah (Jalnar Al Khalidiah x Assma Al Khalediah by Amer) was gaining ground fast. He had been almost last turning into Abu Dhabi’s very short home straight, he finished a diminishing length behind the winner. Bred by Al Khalediah Stables and owned by Polska Akf, he was trained in Poland by Michal Borkowski and ridden by Pierantonio Convertino.
Al Shamoos is owned by H.E. Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, trained by Charles Gourdain and ridden by Julien Auge. The winning time for the race was 1:42:19
The third horse home was the filly Joudh (Mahabb x Shamyl by Kesberoy) Trained by Didier Guillemin ridden by Olivier Peslier for Yas Horse Racing Management LLC and bred in France by H.E Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
~ Deirdre Hyde with Down the Straight reporting