Full Race Results Below
8 November 2015, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ Abu Dhabi’s first meeting of the new season on Sunday evening featured the inaugural running of the €1.2million Group 1 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown over 1600m and the most valuable Purebred Arabian contest in the world.
Befitting its world ranking, the thrilling finish showed Olivier Peslier, consistently one of the best jockeys in the world over many years, driving the Qatar based, Alban de Mieulle-trained Kalino,(Virlaxy (US) by Virgule Al Maury), to a narrow victory.
Having stalked early leader Manark, then sent for home at the top of the straight, Peslier’s mount responded gamely to his jockey’s urgings, just holding off the late challenge of French rival, Sahabba, that finished second. Thakif followed in third.
“The horse was very brave,” said Peslier. “He was tiring at the end but found just enough and this is a great result for Qatar, Alban and the whole team. He is a very good trainer who knows which horses will be suited by which races.
The main support races were the finals of both the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies’ (IFAHR) World Championship and HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentice (IFAHR) World Championship.
Experience told in the 2200m apprentice contest with Ben Thompson from Australia, who arrived with 65 winners to his name, a joint second only to Ireland’s Conor Hoban among the 12 riders set to take part but Hoban’s mount was sadly withdrawn at the start,
Thompson’s mount, AK Adour (Akbar), trained by Ahmed Al Mehairbi, had won once in eight previous starts, over 1200m at Abu Dhabi in March. Settled well off the pace, the six-year-old made noticeable progress on the home turn before Thompson took dead aim at those in front of him, sneaking through a gap on the rail at the 200m pole. His mount, though seeming to tire, galloped on resolutely for a memorable victory. Trainer Nacer Samiri’s pair of Hanoof under Moroccan Ommar Lakjal and Merzal under French jockey Isis Magnin finished second and third behind Ak Adour.
“The jockey did exactly as I told him and it was a perfect effort,” said Al Mehairbi.
Based in Victoria, Thompson, age 17, is attached to the stable run by seasoned jockey Craig Williams’ father Alan. He added: “The trainer warned me I would have to work quite hard and push the horse and it proved the case but I was prepared. It is great to even be here on such an occasion. To win is just fantastic.”
Astrid Wullschleger was victorious in the ladies race over 1600m, producing the win for the Eric Lemartinel-trained Najm Alemarat. Rebecca Smith on the Nacer Samiri-trained Haizoom came up with a late burst to deny second place to another Lemartinel runner Molahen El Alhan under US rider Sandee Martin. It was a great result for trainer Eric Lemartinel who saddled the first, third and fourth in the race. The prestigious ladies trophy was the final in a series that stopped at 13 venues around the globe before Sunday.
“The plan was to try to lead,” said Wullschleger. “However, they went very fast early on so I was happy to be patient and it worked out perfectly. It has been a great week and wonderful evening.”
A Dubai World Cup winner and former UAE Champion Jockey, Fernando Jara made the perfect return to local action, landing the opening 1200m maiden on AF AL Sally for his new boss, Musabah Al Muhairi.
“It is nice to be back, especially with a winner straightaway,” said Jara. “I am really looking forward to the season ahead.”
Helal Al Alawi does well with the ammunition at his disposal and combined with apprentice George Buckell landed the following 1200m handicap with AL Shabab. It was a second career win for the horse who won a 1400m course maiden 51 weeks ago.
“This horse is tough and game,” said Buckell. “I was always pretty happy just off the speed and he picked up nicely when I asked him.”
The only Thoroughbred contest, a 2200m handicap, produced a victory for Blue Tiger’s Eye, a first winner of the season for trainer Ahmed bin Harmash and ridden by new stable jockey, Freddie Tylicki, riding his first UAE winner.
Full Results:[gview file=”http://www.horsereporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Results_10017_Sheikh-Zayed-bin-Sultan-Al-Nahyan-Jewel-Crown_20-45.pdf” save=”1″]