Ffrench Scores Notable First Victory in China
Royston Ffrench entered the record books April 6 as the first European jockey in modern history to ride a winner in mainland China.
Ffrench, a native of Great Britain, guided in Albayan, trained at Meydan Racecourse's Grandstand Stables by Ali Rashid Al Raihe, to victory in the Wenjiang Sprint. It was the first race at the inaugural Chengdu Dubai International Cup race day at Jinma Lake Racecourse in Wenjiang, a district in the Garden City of Chengdu in western China.
Horses competing on the card were supplied by United Arab Emirates. A total of 48 runners from eight stables in the U.A.E. took part in five races, all run on turf. They all were ridden by jockeys based in the U.A.E. during the recently completed season.
Ffrench and Al Raihe also won the day's final event, the Chengdu Dubai International Cup presented by Longines, with Mutual Force.
"I'm very happy to be here, representing the (United Arab Emirates) and Britain, and delighted to have ridden a double. I've ridden all over the world in the last 17 years and the facilities here compare favorably with anything I've seen elsewhere."
Also on the card, Musabah Al Muhairi won the Guangsha Handicap with Special Boy, ridden by Gerald Avranche, and the Wenjiang-Meydan Classic presented by Longines with Colour Guard, ridden by Sam Hitchcott.
Erwan Charpy saddled Citizen's Charter, with Jesus Rosales aboard, and Fa'iz, ridden by Avranche, to finish one-two in the Meydan Mile.
The race meeting was organized by the Meydan Group in partnership with the Chengdu Municipal Government, the Chengdu Sports Bureau, the Wenjiang District Government, and the China Guangsha Group.
"I would like to thank all the trainers, jockeys and stable staff for their dedicated preparation, and to thank everyone involved in the partnership with Meydan Group for their tremendous support," said Frank Gabriel, the Dubai Racing Club's chief executive. "We had a good crowd and everyone seems to have enjoyed the day."
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