Messi lives up to famous name with 'amazing' win in Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Jewel Crown

Also at the Abu Dhabi meet, AF Alwajel delivers victory in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan National Day Cup for Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Patrick Dobbs, wins the Dh5 million Group 1 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown race in the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. Khushnum Bhandari for The National
RESULTS

5pm: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival Purebred Arabian Cup Conditions (PA) Dh 200,000 (Turf) 1,600m
Winner: Hameem, Adrie de Vries (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)
5.30pm: Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup Conditions (PA) Dh 200,000 (T) 1,600m
Winner: Winked, Connor Beasley, Abdallah Al Hammadi
6pm: Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan National Day Cup Listed (TB) Dh 380,000 (T) 1,600m
Winner: Boerhan, Ryan Curatolo, Nicholas Bachalard
6.30pm: Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan National Day Group 3 (PA) Dh 500,000 (T) 1,600m
Winner: AF Alwajel, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel
7pm: Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan National Day Jewel Crown Group 1 (PA) Dh 5,000,000 (T) 2,200m
Winner: Messi, Pat Dobbs, Timo Keersmaekers
7.30pm: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival Handicap (PA) Dh 150,000 (T) 1,400m
Winner: Harrab, Ryan Curatolo, Jean de Roualle
8pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh 100,000 (T) 1,400m
Winner: AF Alareeq, Connor Beasley, Ahmed Al Mehairbi

Messi – the Purebred Arabian named after the Argentine football star – earned his own accolades by scooping the Dh5 million Group 1 Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Jewel Crown at the Abu Dhabi racecourse on Friday.

Making the long journey from Belgium, Messi repaid the faith placed in him by handler Timo Keersmaeker with his biggest career prize after a comfortable win over the 2,200-metre distance.

Pat Dobbs, on board the eight-year-old son of Dahess, broke well from gate eight to race in third. He dropped to fourth behind the pacesetting BF Mughader and the Saudi pair of Mutwakel Al Khalediah and Mubasher Al Khalediah on the back stretch.

Having raced prominently in the front group, Dobbs then made his challenge approaching the final bend and went clear on the final 200-metre mark to win by three and-a-half lengths from Ali Rashid Al Raihe’s Al Zahir.

“I was always travelling strongly, though he was a bit on and off until he saw real daylight,” Dobbs said.

“When he quickened, I knew it would take a really good one to get past us and nobody was able to challenge us.

“He is clearly a very good Purebred Arabian and it is amazing to win such a prize in one of the world’s biggest Arabian races.”

Messi was recording his seventh career win, fifth on the turf, but his first at Group 1 level.

“That was brilliant! The horse has been in such good form all year and had been working well, so we were hopeful,” Keersmaeker said.

“Pat Dobbs has given him the perfect ride. I must thank Adrie de Vries (Dutch champion jockey) for recommending Pat when it was clear he could not take the ride. My wife (Vido) is here with our young daughter which makes it extra special.”

The Group 3 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan National Day Cup for the Arabians was won by AF Alwajel, ridden confidently by Tadhg O’Shea in the colours of his main employer, Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda for the owner’s principal trainer Ernst Oertel.

“As an Emirati owner and breeder this is one race I have always wanted to win. Now I have and I am so proud,” Al Nabooda said.

Ryan Curatolo delivered Boerhan with a perfectly timed challenge to take the thoroughbred equivalent in a three-way photo finish.

“We had the worst draw, widest of all in 16, so I had to be patient and ride for a bit of luck,” Curatolo said.

“When I asked him in the straight he really quickened nicely and that was a very good effort.

“I am delighted for the owner, the trainer and all the team at home who work so hard every day. Remember, this horse had been off the track for more than 460 days before winning the prep, so it is a great training performance.”

RESULTS

5pm: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival Purebred Arabian Cup Conditions (PA) Dh 200,000 (Turf) 1,600m
Winner: Hameem, Adrie de Vries (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)
5.30pm: Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup Conditions (PA) Dh 200,000 (T) 1,600m
Winner: Winked, Connor Beasley, Abdallah Al Hammadi
6pm: Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan National Day Cup Listed (TB) Dh 380,000 (T) 1,600m
Winner: Boerhan, Ryan Curatolo, Nicholas Bachalard
6.30pm: Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan National Day Group 3 (PA) Dh 500,000 (T) 1,600m
Winner: AF Alwajel, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel
7pm: Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan National Day Jewel Crown Group 1 (PA) Dh 5,000,000 (T) 2,200m
Winner: Messi, Pat Dobbs, Timo Keersmaekers
7.30pm: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival Handicap (PA) Dh 150,000 (T) 1,400m
Winner: Harrab, Ryan Curatolo, Jean de Roualle
8pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh 100,000 (T) 1,400m
Winner: AF Alareeq, Connor Beasley, Ahmed Al Mehairbi