Mia Ann Nicholls won the first ever International Pony race at Abu Dhabi
There was drama at Abu Dhabi on ku888 Friday after the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown, the world’s most lucrative race for pure-bred Arabians, with RB Burn crossing the line in front but losing the race in the stewards’ room.
RB Burn and Jim Crowley’s mount Muraaqib engaged in a protracted duel in the straight and Muraaqib received a significant bump.
Crowley, riding for his boss Hamdan Al Maktoum, lodged a protest and a lengthy inquiry followed as stewards heard from Crowley and RB Burn’s jockey Gerald Avranche.
Forty minutes later the stewards’ decision to reverse placings was announced, and the Francois Rohaut-trained Muraaqib was confirmed the winner of a race worth more than £1 million in total prize-money.
Crowley said: “I was very confident going into the inquiry. I was taken off my line from the furlong mark and I received two bumps. There was no doubt it cost me the race.”
The final race on the card of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival was the Sheikha Lateefa Bint Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan International Pony race.
In the first ever running of the contest victory went to Mia Ann Nicholls, wearing red, white and blue silks as the British representative.
Afterwards her father, trainer Adrian, said: “I’m delighted. Her grandad Dandy would have been so proud.”
Frankie Dettori’s son Rocco, who also competed in the race, finished unplaced.
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