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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Stewards award Muraaqib victory in Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown after 'bump' from RB Burn

Runner-up Muraaqib declared the winner of the richest race for Purebred Arabians at the Abu Dhabi Racecourse after stewards inquiry

Muraaqib, right, tussles with RB Burn in the €1.2million Group 1 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown race at Abu Dhabi Racecourse on Friday. After a stewards inquiry, Muraaqib, who had finished second, was awarded the race win. Erika Rasmussen for The National
Muraaqib, right, tussles with RB Burn in the €1.2million Group 1 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown race at Abu Dhabi Racecourse on Friday. After a stewards inquiry, Muraaqib, who had finished second, was awarded the race win. Erika Rasmussen for The National

The winner of the €1.2 million (Dh5m) Group 1 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown was decided in the stewards’ office more than half an hour after the race ended on Friday.

After the deliberation, Muraaqib, trained in France by Francois Rohaut and ridden by Jim Crowley in the silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, was declared the winner of the richest race in the world for Purebred Arabians at the Abu Dhabi Racecourse.

RB Burn, winner of the inaugural race 12 months ago, was first past the post but following an objection from Muraaqib's connection, the placings were reversed after a length inquiry.

RB Burn, under Gerald Avranche, and Muraaqib, both drawn wide in gates 14 and 13 from the maximum 15 runners, hit the front and battled all the way from the 200-metre mark to the finishing line.

“We received quite a bump and were continually taken off our racing line from about 200m out,” said Crowley after his horse was declared the winner.

“There was interference throughout and if you watch the replay we are carried from close to the rail towards the middle of the track.

“It made a big difference to my challenge and I do believe I was on the best horse on the day. It is not ideal to win any race in the stewards’ room but that is racing.”

Like RB Burn last year, Muraaqib was making his local debut. The result took the five-year-old chestnut son of Munjiz’s record to eight wins from 10 starts, six of them Group 1 prizes.

Chaddad, trained in Oman by Sultan Al Hajri and under Omani jockey Issa Al Balushi, finished third ahead of Ahzar, another trained in France with Pierre Boudot atop.

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Alice Bertiaux of Belgium clinched the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) Final on the Eric Lemartinal-trained RB Inferno.

The Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentice Jockey Championship (IFAHR) was won by Danish rider Ina Toverud on the Ernst Oertel-trained AF Yatroq.

Shamaal Nibras replicated his victory of 12 months ago in the UAE Martyrs Cup, a 1,600m conditions race and the solitary race for the Thoroughbreds on the six-race card.

The Doug Watson-trained eight-year-old gelding under Pat Dobbs came with a strong late run from the back of the field to win from Hawkesbury under Pat Cosgrave.

Watson, the UAE champion trainer, was all praise for his stable jockey after the race.

“That was a brilliant ride from Pat,” he said. “He won this last year before he was second in the National Day Cup, as well as the Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile and has been a great horse both to train and for the syndicate EEEC.

“Those same races will be his main targets again and he really deserves a big race win.”