Aurora, CO – The Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown, dubbed the world’s richest Arabian race with a purse of €1.2 million, not surprisingly drew the top-rated Arabian racehorses in the world last Sunday to Abu Dhabi. The field of 16 horses including eight Group 1 winners, including Al Mourtajez, who is rated the #1 Arabian racehorse by handicap ratings (134) and earnings and is well-known for taking the $1 million Qatar Arabian World Cup in France this past October.
But Sunday’s race at 1600 meters (1 mile) revealed a new superstar. RB Burn (Majd Al Arab x Burnie Gee PW), a four-year-old grey stallion, was not considered a serious contender having won only 1 of his last 4 starts in France and rated 115. He proved his skeptics wrong with a momentous ride by French jockey Gerald Avranche to win easily at just off the track record, for owner Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE president’s son. Avranche stalked Silvestre de Sousa on Thakif as Al Mourtajez seemed unsettled by the searing pace.
The horse, trained by Eric Lemartinel just 30 minutes away from the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Center, host of the Jewel Crown, wore first-time blinkers to focus his concentration, a tactic that clearly paid off.
RB Burn was bred in the United States by noted USA breeder Dianne Waldron of Rosebrook Farm in Brooksville, Florida, making it the second consecutive year a USA-bred horse has won the Jewel Crown, which was inaugurated only two years ago. RB Burn carries French racing lines on his sire’s side, and lines going to the great USA racehorse Kontiki on his tail female line coupled with the leading USA sire line, Burning Sand.
“As a young horse, ‘Burn’ stood out to me,” said Waldron. “I love exaggerated parts that all fit together well on a young race horse, and he had them all! He was extremely strong with huge shoulders and hips, a long keen neck, and a great mind to go with it. He did nothing but improve as he grew up.”
Waldron reflected on the emotions that went into selling him last year. “When I was approached about choosing and selling my best three-year-old non-starter prospect, I chose him,” she said. “But I asked permission to run him just once in our colors, as I strongly felt he was a superstar in the making. I knew he’d win, and he did. When you’ve dreamed of what a sire and dam may produce, you have at least four years of dreams and emotions tied up into it, so to run at least one time meant a lot to me. And now he has gone on to prove he is more than I could have even dreamed of. I wish nothing but the best for him, his owners and his entire team. I know there will be many more exciting days ahead for all of us.”
The statement made by USA-bred Arabian racehorses winning two consecutive years of the Jewel Crown immediately sounded across the globe of the Arabian racing community.
“This second running of the world’s richest Arabian race was thrilling, as the invitees included the cream of the crop from Europe, the Middle East and the USA,” said Kathy Smoke, president of the Arabian Jockey Club. “To have an American-bred horse win this prestigious race two years in a row proves that our horses can compete anywhere in the world. There were as many as six American-bred horses on Jewel Crown night, in multiple races, showing the market is strong for American-bred race lines.”
The Arabian Jockey Club was onsite broadcasting the evening’s championship race card on Facebook Live, culminating with the Jewel Crown.
For more information, visit www.ArabianRacing.org.
The Arabian Jockey Club is a nationally chartered non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion & education of the Arabian racing industry in the United States, and serves at the U.S. representative to the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing. For more information, visit www.ArabianRacing.org