RB Burn Shocks Fancied Field to Win Abu Dhabi Title

Upset result in €1.2Million Worlds Richest Arabian Race

RB Burn and Gerald Avranche

RB Burn and Gerald Avranche

14 November 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ It was like a bolt from the blue when little-known RB Burn under French jockey Gerald Avranche stunned a star-studded field to win the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s €1.2 million Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Crown Jewel-IPIC (Group 1) – the world’s richest race for Purebred Arabian horses -at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club race course on Sunday, 13 November 2016.

It was a tremendous win for the Eric Lemartinel-trained RB Burn, a winner of just two races prior to Sunday’s historic triumph and that too against a 16-strong field that included eight Group 1 winners, the Dubai Kahayla Classic winner, two-time Sheikh Zayed Cup US Triple Crown winner and Al Mourtajez – the highest-rated Purebred Arabian currently racing and a winner of 12 of his last 16 races including four Group 1 wins coming into the big race.

Owned by HH Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Advisor to the U.A.E. President, the 4-year-old grey son of Majd Al Arab finished three-quarters of a length ahead of Mabrooka followed by Sylvine Al Maury, Sahabba, the runner-up last year, and AF Mathmoon, the Dubai Kahayla Classic winner while hot favorite Al Mourtajez could only finish sixth.

Jewel Crown Prize Giving

Jewel Crown Prize Giving

It was also the biggest win for French jockey Avranche who said, “It was a perfect race, we had a good draw and he travelled very well. I had all the favorites in front and we hit the lead a bit early. RB Burn was a bit cheeky then but soon settled down and did very well.”

Lemartinel said he felt 1600 to 1800 metres was the right distance for RB Burn and also decided to put blinkers on him and all seemed to have paid off. RB Burn after getting off to a winning start in Houston, soon moved to France for new owner HH Sheikh Sultan and was then followed by Lemartinel.

He had a lot of speed,” the trainer said. “He was pulling hard over long distance races and didn’t have much luck in some of the races in France. We also had the blinkers on for the first time because when I saw him in France, I observed him looking left and right. He concentrated on his job tonight.”

Lady jockey Walton, Apprentice Dunn emerge world champions

It was a double for US breeder Dianne Waldron as both RB Burn and the horse that won the preceding HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) final- RB Dixie Burning– were bred by her.

Catherine Walton

Catherine Walton

Briton Catherine Walton was spot on steering RB Dixie Burning to a comfortable win to become the 2016 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Champion and put Lemartinel on the board for his first of two memorable wins of the night.

RB Dixie Burning finished ahead of the Mohammed Ramadan-trained Babel D’Aillas ridden by Dutch lady Cindy Klinkenberg while defending champion Astrid Wullschleger of Switzerland was third on the Lemartinel-trained RB Burning Ash.

Commenting on the performance of 6-year-old Burning Sand-bred mare, Walton said, “She moved nicely and I only had to use my hands and heels, and once she got into the front on the final bend she just pulled away”.

HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR)

The HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR) final winner was once again an Australian as Dylan Dunn repeated what countryman Ben Thompson accomplished last year.

It was almost a start-to-finish affair as Dunn cruised home on the Jean de Roualle-trained Qader finishing over seven lengths in front of Ameer Al Reef under German Apprentice Esther Weissmeier while Puerto Rican Evin Roman finished third on Snaffy.

The 21-year-old Dunn with 121 career winners is the leading Apprentice jockey in Victoria and his effort earned praise from the trainer.

Dylan rode a beautiful race,” De Roualle said. “He knows how the pace is going, the speed is going and that’s the base for a good jockey.”

Dunn said, “It’s a massive thrill for me. I was able to get the horse to relax there in the front early on and getting it to switch back on and once I was able to do that it was pretty much simple from there.”

The evening started with a double for trainer Ernst Oertel of South Africa and UAE owner-breeder Khalid Khalifa Al Naboodah.

Richard Mullen scored on AF Mukhifah in the UAE Martyrs Cup while South African Lyle Hewitson made a winning debut in the UAE with a smart win on Ibn Harmany Al Zobair in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup.

It was also Hewitson’s 100th career win and he said, “It was really a close race and it was fantastic to come out on tops. It was my first ride in the UAE and to end up completing the 100th career win was very, very special.”

HH Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth, and Social Development welcomed guests and celebrities who packed the stands at the ADEC racecourse after which all Lady jockeys, Apprentice Jockeys and the professional jockeys lined up in a brief but impressive ceremony.

The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, IPIC as Strategic Partner, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Al Aweer Stables, Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.

~ end supplied report