Ostend, Belgium: The Wellington racecourse in the Belgian city of Ostend turned out to be a happy hunting ground for Yas Horse Racing management, the horse racing arm of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, on Monday.
In the two races organised under the umbrella of the HH Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival, Naziq under Richard Mullen and Mirna under Rosie Jessop, both horses owned by Yas, won their respective races.
The Group 3 Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup over 1,800 metres and carrying a prize fund of 35,000 euros turned out into an exciting contest.
Mullen, who is one of the jockey Ambassadors for the Shaikh Mansour Festival, said after steering Naziq to victory.
“Naziq is a great horse, put in a lot of effort in the final stages and helped stay ahead,” said the champion jockey of the UAE.
Trainer Elizabeth Jean-Francois Bernard said, “Naziq is back to the form that he had been in previously which had helped her win Qatar Arabian Trophy des Juments, a Group 1 race held last year in Chantilly France.”
The second success for Shaikh Mansoor came when another Mahabb mare, 5-year-old Mirna. finally tasted victory in the Ostend leg of the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) race.
It was the first win for Mirna in 8 starts and the win helped the 28-year-old Rosie Jessop win her 69th win in 544 starts. The winner completed the 1000-metre distance in 1:05.17.
Jessop, who will now be part of the starting line-up in November in Abu Dhabi to contest the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race, said she was elated with the victory.
“I have to give full credit to my horse Mirna for that. She was the best today. I am looking forward to the Abu Dhabi final,” said Jessop, who rode Arabians for over two years during a stint in Bahrain and now works for Sir Marl Prescott. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the Shaikh Mansour Festival, congratulated Shaikh Mansour on the double success of his horses and also hailed Richard Mullen, the Festival’s jockey’s Ambassador for his victory.
“This race was the second leg of the Shaikh Zayed Cup European Triple Crown. The first was held in Toulouse and the next and final leg of the three race series will be in Poland on August 20,” she added.