SHEIKH ZAYED BIN SULTAN AL NAHYAN JEWEL CROWN: Belgium’s Messi cleans up in the five million dirhams bonanza


SHEIKH ZAYED BIN SULTAN AL NAHYAN JEWEL CROWN: Belgium’s Messi cleans up in the five million dirhams bonanza


Gr1 PA - 4-year-olds & up - 2,200m (11f) - AED5,000,000

This particular tale is hard to believe but history was made nonetheless. Born and trained in Belgium, Messi (Dahess) pulverised the opposition in the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown (Gr1 PA), a race worth five million dirhams, which is the local currency of the United Arab Emirates (the equivalent of 1.12 million euros). The horse is owned by his breeder, Vido Keersmaekers, who entrusted the horse to the care of his son, Timo Keersmaekers. Forced to cut back on his import-export activities because of the health crisis, the latter has since returned to the source of his first love, training horses 'at his home base'. After learning his trade in PA races at Mons, Ostend and Duindigt – where racing for the breed is of a higher standard than in those events reserved for English thoroughbreds –, Messi started to rub shoulders with the best PA horses in the world this year. He was beaten the minimum distance in the Qatar Arabian World Cup (Gr1 PA), the PA equivalent of the Arc de Triomphe. However, on this particular Friday in Abu Dhabi, he again cranked his performance level up a notch again by storming his way to a three and half lengths victory in the ultra-rich prize!

Delivering a stellar performance. Rb Frynchh Dude (Baseq Al Khalediah) made the running, but the tempo for the race wasn’t commensurate with the class of PA horses on show. Meanwhile, the future winner, ridden by Pat Dobbs, kept tabs on the leaders. However, on hitting the straight, Messi left his rivals for dead after exuding class by winning with plenty in hand. Al Zahir (Madjani), a triple Gr1 PA winner, was three and a half lengths away in second. A French-bred, he bears the breeding etiquette of Xavière Ducoloner-Cauhape. Another Gallic-bred horse, Hayyan (Munjiz), was a close third. He, too, numbers three previous Gr1 PA successes on his CV. Jaazmah Athbah (Jalnar Al Khalidiah) and Hajres (Nizam), the Élisabeth Bernard pair, respectively collected fifth and sixth.

Hailing from the family of Djanet Monlau. Messi is a son of Dahess (Amer), the Al Shaqab Racing sire resident at the Haras de Thouars. The dam, Jeanne d'Arc (Dormane), won over 1,600m (1m) in Belgium, and she has also foaled another winner. The grandam, Hase de Colmar (Tidjani), also won in Belgium after beginning her career in France. Her achievement is to have been foaled the future stallion Ambiorix (Amer). The great grandam, the French mare Vanda de Domenjoi (Chéri Bibi), is the ancestress of Djanet Monlau (Dormane), the Prix Razzia III (Gr3 PA) heroine and Arabian Trophy des Juments (Gr1 PA) runner-up, and fellow distaffer Shomoos Athbah (Burning Sand). The latter captured the Cavalry of Oman ARO Cup International Stakes (Gr3 PA).























Danie du Cassou





Nerva du Cassou  


















Jeanne d'Arc









Hase de Colmar





Vanda de Domenjoi




4-year-olds & up - 2,000m - €1,123,951

1st        MESSI (57) H8

            (Dahess & Jeanne d'Arc, par Dormane)

            Owner & Breeder: V. Keersmaekers

            Trainer: T. Keersmaekers

Jockey: P. Dobbis

2nd       AL ZAHIR (57) H7

            (Madjani & Petite Class, par Barour de Cardonne)

            Owner: Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Breeder: X. Cauhape

Trainer: A. Rashid Al Rayhi

Jockey: D. O'Neill

3rd       HAYYAN (57) H5

            (Munjiz & Dahwa, par Tidjani)

Owner: Yas Horse Racing Management

Breeder: H.H. M. Bin Zayed Al Nahyan

            Trainer: F. Sanchez

Jockey: A. Fresu

Other runner(s) in finishing order: Mubasher Al Khalediah, Jaazmah Athbah, Hajres, Harrab, Amwaj, Rb Frynchh Dude,           Mutwakel Al Khalediah, Rasi, Somoud, Goshawke, Darius du Paon,        Bf Mughader & Af Al Bairaq

(Turf) Good. 2'30"65. Distances: 3,5 – Short head - Neck