Khadijah Mellah cuddles Haverland after winning the all-female Magnolia Cup in Chichester, England, on Thursday. AP
Teenager Khadijah Mellah created history on Thursday, becoming the first Muslim woman to ride in a British race.
Wearing a hijab under her helmet the 18-year-old enjoyed a fairytale debut, steering Haverland to victory in the Magnolia Cup, just three months after first sitting on a racehorse.
"There are no words to describe it. I can't believe it, to be fair," she told RacingTV after being declared the winner of the charity event following a lengthy photo-finish.
"Ambitious women can make it and that is what I want to represent. I've had so much support and I can't wait to see other stories of other women doing the same and getting into the industry."
Mellah is a seven-year veteran of the Ebony Horse Club, a charity and community riding centre in Brixton in London overlooked by tower blocks on one side and a railway line on the other.
Speaking before writing her name in racing folklore she said: "There's quite a stereotype around Muslim girls and 'them not being able to follow their sporting passions and dreams.”
"I want to be a role model to anyone who wants to do something that they wouldn't initially believe was in their comfort zone and allow people to follow their aspirations and dreams."
In September her focus is set to switch from the racecourse to university and a mechanical engineering degree.
Now an 8-year-old, after 20 starts he has won just once, his final appearance in his native France, over 1,700m on turf, in July 2018. He joined Mohd Ramadan, making a very pleasing local debut in a conditions race over the same 2,000m as Friday’s race.
The Abu Dhabi turf played host to six races on Sunday and UAE champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea landed four consecutive races for a memorable four-timer, including doubles for both Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda and Ernst Oertel.
Since horses are herbivores and have a digestive tract quite different from ours, they require a special diet that contains more fibre and water.
The seven-race card officially highlighted by the Dubai Creek Mile, a 1600m contest, was impressively won by Thegreatcollection, who under Pat Cosgrave, upset a superb field that included G1 winner Capezzano and G3 winners Secret Ambition and Salute The Soldier.
A buoyant Bangladesh will seek a clean sweep against a confident UAE with a victory in the second match of the Skyexch T20 series on Tuesday. Both the team showed their mettle in the first match but an experienced Bangladesh won the game of nerve to emerge winners eventually.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the UAE National Olympic Committee, on Monday met with UAE medal winners at the fifth Islamic Solidarity Games, held last month in Konya, Turkey.
The Board of Directors of the UAE Badminton Federation, headed by its President Noura Hassan Al Jasmi, announced the distribution of administrative positions to its board members during a meeting held at the federation headquarters in Dubai.