Abu Dhabi Hosts Second Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown
14 November 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ The second running of the race that carries the world’s most valuable Purebred Arabian prize, the €1.2 million Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown, went to the US-bred, locally-trained RB Burn at Abu Dhabi Racecourse on Sunday, 13 November.
Staged by the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Racing Festival, the field of 16 for the 1600m feature included some of the best Arabians racing today from Europe, Qatar, Oman, the USA, and the UAE. The conventional wisdom was that the highest rated Arabian, Al Shaqab Racing’s Al Mourtajez, would be the one to beat, but the runners including 11 Group one winners, saw this as no challenge and the winning prize was within sight of all.
RB Burn, under Gerald Avranche, making his debut in Abu Dhabi fulfilled the earlier talent seen by trainer Lemartinel for HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and took on the talent pool as if it were his to own.
Lemartinel, breathlessly holding double trophies after the awards said, “Yes, I followed him since he was 2 years old, and he was working in France. I saw he had speed and long distance would work better for him. He has speed and he is so relaxed that he can keep it up. Today is the first time he had blinkers but I saw in France he was looking right and left, and today he was more concentrated.”
US breeding back in the winner’s circle
Lemartinel had five on the boards for the evening with four of them being US-bred horses, including the top prize, G1 winner, RB Burn (Majd Al Araab x Burnie Gee PW (US) by Burning Sand (US). This is the second US-bred winner in this Championship G1 series of two (2015 winner was Kalino).
The Championship Finals for the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak (IFHRA) Apprentice Jockey Championship and the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship, earlier on the card, brought top jockeys from six continents covered by the Festival. The Festival Ambassadors included US Racing Hall of Fame jockeys, Calvin Borel and retired lady jockey,
HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak (IFHRA) Apprentice Jockey Championship
Young apprentice jockeys were teamed by draw in this 1600m Prestige race. Out of the 13 on the card, Dylan Dunn with 120 Australian wins drew Abu Dhabi maiden, Qadar which proved a winning combination for the Grand Championship.
New-to-Abu Dhabi French trainer, Jean de Roualle savored his second win of the season for HE Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Speaking of Qadar De Roualle said, “He has a good potential but he some problems when he came from France but we have worked through them and he has been working beautifully.”
“This is a great race series and I am very proud to be representing my country,” said winning jockey Dunn. “To win this, in Abu Dhabi, in the colors of Sheikh Mansoor is very special.”
HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship
The Ladies Championship finalists filled 15 stalls at the post. Breaking from the pack, English rider, Catherine Walton on RB Dixie Burning (US) gained the lead on the straight and seemed clear barely surviving a final charge by Babel A’Aillas in the last yards. The Burning Sand filly has now won four of her five starts in Abu Dhabi.
Walton said: “Tadhg O’Shea won on her last time and gave me a few pointers. She has won that pretty comfortably and it is great to be here and to ride this winner is amazing.”
Local owner Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda had the win with AF Mukhifah saddled by Ernst Oertel under Richard Mullen in the opening 1200m on her second racecourse appearance. The Nabooda team also took second in this race with AF Khafajeh under Rafael de Oliveira.
The following 1200m handicap saw Nabooda’s team back taking first in the Purebred Arabian Handicap with Ibn Harmany Al Zobair ridden by Lyle Hewitson. Second in was Extra Hope (Burning Sand) owned by Mr. Ali Haddad, and Nabooda and Oertel gathered in places three and four.
The only Thoroughbred contest of the evening was a 1600m conditions race won impressively by Shamaal Nibras under jockey Pat Dobbs and trained by Doug Watson for EERC (Emirates Entertainment Racing Club).
Full Race Card: