Ertijaal Tragically Dies of Colic

Ertijaal Dies of Colic

Ertijaal - trained by Ali Rashid Al Rayhi and one of the most recognised horses based in the UAE, died last week following a spell of colic.

The UAE Racing Community and now indeed the rest of the world, has been left stunned following the news of the sprint sensation, who British jockey Jim Crowley, described as ‘an aeroplane’ earlier this year.

Colic in horses is also defined as severe abdominal pain, but it is a clinical sign rather than a diagnosis.

The 7yo won exactly half of his 22 starts, earning almost £900,000 in prize money.

His career started in England with leading trainer William Haggas - winning the Spring Cup and a valuable three-year-old conditions race, on All-Weather Finals Day at Lingfield back in 2014.

He had no joy switching to the turf initially, including when down the field in the 2,000 Guineas - Night Of Thunder springing a surprise back in 2014, beating both Kingman and Australia.

As a result, Ertijaal was picked up by Al Rayhi, and turned over a new leaf in the Middle-East.

The sprint sensation won eight of his 14 starts in Dubai for his new yard, including the last two runnings of the Meydan Sprint.

An injury setback ruled him out of the 2018 Al Quoz Sprint, a race in which he had placed twice before, but he was reported in good order prior to last week’s tragic events.

Al Rayhi said: “It's devastating, not just for me and my whole team but also Sheikh Hamdan, for whom Ertijaal was a real star.

“He was certainly one of the most popular horses in the UAE and, over 5f, one of the fastest in the world.“

Royston Ffrench also rode Ertijaal, on his initial UAE breakthrough victory over 7f.

Ffrench said: “Ali dropped him back to sprinting trips after I rode him and the rest, as they say, is history; he started winning regularly and never ran a bad race from Grandstand Stables.

“His 5f turf track record at Meydan will be a hard one to lower and it's a massive loss to Ali and his team, as well as to UAE racing.

“Ertijaal had established a following around the world and a reputation as one of the very fastest turf sprinters in training.”