Abu Dhabi: Shaikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan owned Al Shamoos ridden by Julien Auge and trained by Charles Gourdain won the Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown, the Dh5 million richest race for Purebred-Arabians at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian and Racing Cup on Friday.
Finishing second a length behind was Fazza Al Khaledian ridden by Pierantonio Convertino, the winner of the Group 1 World Cup on Prix de l’arc de Triomphe. Another two and quarter lengths behind on third place was Olivier Peslier onboard Joudh.
“Well, I was confident because she was very impressive in Longchamp but you never know when you race against older horses. For a young five-year-old filly it is very difficult,” said Gourdain adding that he wasn’t sure about the chances though.
“I was not sure, to me she was more of a future win but she confirmed she is good as she travelled very well behind the leader and finished like she did in Longchamp. They just could not keep up with her,” said Gourdain, who went on to reveal that Al Shamoos will most likely return to France.
“We will however be back here definitely next year. She has got a great future. We will be doing her programme in Europe and in this area as well. We will think about bringing it for the Kahayla Classic because she has only run on turf once in Sweden and she won so she might like that as well,” revealed Gourdain.
Earlier, Owner Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda scored a double by taking the opener with AF Momtaz and the third race with Noof KB.
Ben Curtis rode Musabbeh Al Mheiri trained AF Momtaz to win in the UAE Martyrs Trophy for Pure Arabians- Maiden over 1,600 metres.
AF Momtaz, leading from the front in the race comprising 16 runners, brushing off the late challenge from second placed Turfa W’Rsan ridden by William Lee to win by half-a-length. A neck behind in third place was MH Wari ridden by Antonio Fresu.
An hour later, Al Nabooda’s colours were again in the winner’s enclosure when the Ernst Ortel-trained Noof KB ridden by Connor Beasley clinched the Wathba Stallions Cup For Private Owners Only.
Noof KB won comfortably ahead of Nawwaf KB trained by Helal Al Alwai and ridden by William Lee. AF Ashras was third.
Ortel, who lost his leg after a fall from horseback, speaking about the success said, “It shows the show must go on.”
He was trying to draw similarities between him and his winning jockey Beasley. The latter too was left out of action a couple of years back following a similar fall. Beasley had a fractured skull pieced back together with six metal plates and fractures to his spine and neck that left him in a body brace. And here he was riding and very much back to his winning ways.
An elated Al Nabooda said, “I’m glad and I’m so happy. Today the two horse showed their class and delivered when it mattered.”
The HH Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak (IFAHR) Apprentice Jockey Championship was clinched by Germany’s 21-year-old Esther Weissmeier on Harrab trained by Jean de Roualle, beating Spain’s Alejandra Gutierrez Baeza onboard MH Tawag. Finishing third was Garnishh, ridden by United Kingdom’s Patrick Pilley.
“It a great feeling to win and become the World Champion,” said an elated Weissmeier. “I just rode the way the trainer told me. He asked me to take care of the pace and give him breath.”