It was a win for the USA and France last night as Arabian flat racer, First Classs lived up to his name and took top spot in the world’s richest Arabian Horse Race, the Jewel Crown in Abu Dhabi.
The 2200 metre Group One race is the highlight in the Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Racing Festival and offers a staggering five-million Dirhams to the winner.
With horses from the UAE, France, US and UK it was an impressive field, with last year’s winner Lady Princess spending most of the race in her favourite position at the back. First Classs stayed in the centre of the pack until only 500 metres from home when he began his drive to the front. At 400 metres, much to the crowds delight Lady Princess also began her signature move and powered through the field to arrive in second place, with Emirati-bred Hameem coming in third.
According to his owners and breeders, Deb Mihaloff and Alan Kirshner, the Jewel Crown win is First Classs’s third million dollar race in 12 months, a new world record for an Arabian racehorse.
The told fans via their Facebook page, “we’re over the moon with First Classs’s performance today and feel truly blessed to have bred and continue to be a part of his career… Thank you to Jean de Mieulle and his team for taking the best care of our boy!”
Equitrans was once again the official transport partner for the prestigious Jewel Crown event and transported both First Classs and Lady Princess together with four other international horses to the UAE.
“Flying racehorses is a real art,” says Equitrans Managing Director and Co-Founder David Robson. “These animals are in absolute peak condition and have been prepared for this specific race, any deviation or ‘upset’ in their schedule could cost the horse and team dearly.”
“Our flight grooms have been with us for fifteen, twenty, some even twenty-five years and because of this they not only know the procedure, but they often at this point, also know the horses rather well too!”
“From start to finish, we work with the trainers to ensure the transport process from stable to stable is smooth, comfortable and impacts the horse as little as possible.”
The Jewel Crown’s main support race, the 1600m Group 3 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan National Day Cup was won comprehensively by AF Alwajel, owned and bred by Equitrans client Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, and trained by Ernst Oertel.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the horses, trainers and owners on their wins yesterday,” said David Robson. “As some of Equitrans long-term clients we really love to see our supporters succeed, and wish them and their teams huge congratulations from everyone at Equitrans.”