Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Mashhur Al Khalediah wins Dh5m Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown

Five-year-old wins first Group One prize while trainer Phillip Collington takes ninth in Abu Dhabi

Mashhur Al Khalediah, ridden by Jean-Bernard Eyquem, won the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. Victor Besa / The National Section
Mashhur Al Khalediah, ridden by Jean-Bernard Eyquem, won the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. Victor Besa / The National Section

Mashhur Al Khalediah cracked the Dh5 million Group One Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown for Purebred Arabians at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday.

Trained by Phillip Collington and ridden by Jean-Bernard Eyquem for the Athbah Stables of Saudi Arabia, the five-year-old tracked the leaders, took off on the home stretch and held on to victory from Bel’Izam under Jim Crowley by half-a-length.

Salem bin Ghadayer’s Chaddad with Mickael Barzalona atop took third from the Eric Lemartinel’s pair of Darius Du Paon and RB Money To Burn.

“It’s an unbelievable win,” Collington said. “This horse has improved all year. He was just immature at the beginning of the year but has been improving and improving.

“When he won in Baden-Baden (Germany) beating Typhoon and Bel’Izam, that’s when we truly realised he’s a Group One horse. Now he has proven it on the world’s richest race (for Arabians).”

Mashhur Al Khalediah, the highest rated horse on 121, won his first Group One prize and Collington took his ninth.

The Englishman didn’t rule out a crack at the Group One Dubai Kahayla Classic, when asked if he had any plans to run him at the Dubai World Cup meeting in March.

“He’s had seven races this year so we have to consider giving him a break,” Collington added.

“I wouldn’t rule the Kahayla out. I think he’ll go well on the dirt. He’s run on dirt in Belgium but that was only a conditions race. He trains on dirt and I’m sure he’ll handle it.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, November 24, 2019. Abu Dhabi meeting highlighted by the world’s richest race for the Purebred Arabians, the Dh5million Group 1 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown. -- Mashhur Al Khalediah, ridden by Jean-Bernard Eyquem, won the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. Victor Besa / The National Section: SP Reporter: Amith Passela
Mashhur Al Khalediah, ridden by Jean-Bernard Eyquem, after winning in Abu Dhabi. Victor Besa / The National

“He’s a lovely big striding horse. One of his biggest assets is that his gate speed is electric. He was one of the first out of the starting stalls and he was already in a very good position and around Abu Dhabi, you need that.”

Meanwhile, Victoria Larsen and Riccardo Iacopini were crowned champions of the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak (IFAHR) World Ladies and Apprentice Championships, respectively, on board horses trained by Eric Lemartinel.

Larsen on board Assyad clinched her biggest career prize by winning the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak World Ladies Championship, a Dh125,000 race with Prestige status.

“I was fortunate to ride a well-prepared horse in Morocco to qualify for this race and once again rode another well-prepared horse to win in Abu Dhabi,” the 21-year-old Dane said.

Assyad won the race for the second straight year. Bainoona teamed up with Iacopini to land the Apprentice Championship.

“Assyad is an easy horse to ride and he runs well when fresh,” Lemartinel said of the five-year-old Burning Sand gelding.

“Bainoona is very consistent and has only been placed outside the first five three times in 21 starts now.”

The six-year-old mare by Mahabb made smooth headway from the back of the field to lead in the final 200m and win from El Faust under Conor McGovern by a length.

“I had to overcome a bit of a challenge at the beginning of the race but she was running well towards the end,” Iacopini said.

The Italian, 20, has been riding for more than two years and it was his 70th career win.

Updated: November 24, 2019 10:36 PM

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