Ertijaal gives Jim Crowley valuable Meydan win before Al Rayhi doubles up

• ‘Wherever he goes, I’d want to be on him,’ says Crowley
• Le Bernardin later completes double for trainer Ali Al Rayhi

Jim Crowley, Britain’s champion jockey, rode his most valuable winner since replacing Paul Hanagan as first rider to Sheikh Hamdan al-Maktoum when Ertijaal led throughout under top weight to win a valuable handicap at Meydan racecourse in Dubai on Thursday.

Crowley, who had already taken a race for pure-bred Arabians on the same card in Sheikh Hamdan’s famous blue and white colours, was in front from the opening stride as Ertijaal exploded from the stalls and then tore down Meydan’s turf track on the way to a one-and-three-quarter-length success. The six-year-old finished a close second in the Group One Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup night at Meydan in March, and while Thursday’s race was a handicap he was giving plenty of weight to useful opponents and seems sure to be a leading contender for this year’s renewal of the Al Quoz on 25 March.

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