Ara­bian Mash­hur Al Khale­diah proves Group 1 class with vic­tory in Abu Dhabi

Colling­ton’s ma­tur­ing five-year-old wins Dh5m Sheikh Zayed bin Sul­tan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown

The National - News - - SPORT - AMITH PASSELA Vic­tor Besa / The Na­tional

Mash­hur Al Khale­diah cracked the Dh5 mil­lion Group 1 Sheikh Zayed bin Sul­tan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown for Pure­bred Arabians at the Abu Dhabi Eques­trian Club yes­ter­day.

Trained by Phillip Colling­ton and rid­den by Jean-Bernard Eyquem for the Ath­bah Sta­bles of Saudi Ara­bia, the five-yearold tracked the lead­ers ini­tially be­fore tak­ing 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 BadenBaden [Ger­many], beat­ing Ty­phoon and Bel’Izam, that’s when we truly re­alised he’s a Group 1 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 1 prize and Colling­ton took his ninth.

The English­man did not 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.

“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, on­board 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 fiveyear-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.

When he won in BadenBaden [Ger­many], beat­ing Ty­phoon and Bel’Izam, that’s when we re­alised he’s a Group 1 horse PHILLIP COLLING­TON Mash­hur Al Khale­diah trainer

Jean-Bernard Eyquem guides Mash­hur Al Khale­diah past the win­ning post at Abu Dhabi Eques­trian Club

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