French Apprentice lady jockey Isis Magnin on the Awn Al Aidarous-owned Burj Al Arab won the Prix Fleur d’ Avril HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship race in Tarbes on Sunday to become the 8th jockey to qualify for the championship finale on November 8 in Abu Dhabi.
In fact Magnin on the 4-year-old Burj Al Arab had finished second by a neck to Paxan ridden by Niven Marday from Mauritius but she lodged an objection on the grounds of interference by the latter on the home straight.
After an inquiry by the Stewards, Magnin’s appeal was upheld and Burj Al Arab was promoted to the winner’s position and Paxan under the Mauritian was relegated to second place. Sixteen-year-old Moroccan Omar Lakjal on Cristal De Ghazal and Georgia Cox on Forgehill Cartier finished third and fourth respectively. The winning time for the 1500-metre turf contest was 1:29.70.
Though only Magnin qualifies for the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship final race in Abu Dhabi on November 8, Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) invited Niven Marday to be part of the final line-up.
“We will have nine winners from the nine rounds of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship held all over the globe. We will fill the remaining three slots and one of them will go to Marday who at a young age has revealed immense skills. It was unfortunate he lost out today but that is all a part of sport,” she said.
After winning the 8-horse Euros 20,000 race, the Frenchwoman Magnin said, “I lost some precious moments when my horse was obstructed just as we had turned for home. I am happy that my appeal was upheld and now I am so delighted to be going to Abu Dhabi for the final.”
Marday thanked the Festival and said he is very happy to represent Mauritius at one of the most famous racing venues in the world.
“Under instructions from His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE, Chairperson of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and Mother of the World, the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival will be adding two more races to the four races on November 8 in Abu Dhabi,” Ms Lara Sawaya said.
“The two races will be in honour of the UAE troops who sacrificed their lives in Yemen, one the UAE Martyrs Trophy for Thoroughbreds for Dh 80.000 and the other UAE Martyrs Cup for Purebred Arabians for Dh 90.000,” she said.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2015, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Yas Channel, Omeir Travels, Racing Post and Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics.