Mega Moment for Meydan

DUBAI - His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, attended the opening night of the Dubai International Racing Carnival at the Meydan Racecourse on Thursday.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

Published: Sat 30 Jan 2010, 12:30 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:22 AM

It was truly a memorable moment in racing, but to see the action begin at the state-of-the-art new headquarters – Meydan – must surely be a sight to cherish for Shaikh Mohammed.

Meydan is arguably the most exciting new venue in international racing and its opening is another successful moment for Shaikh Mohammed. He is not only one of the world’s leading owner and breeder, but a personality whose contribution for the racing industry will be remembered forever.

And for Shaikh Mohammed, the carnival has begun. Indeed the work at the massive facility is still being completed, but the important aspect is the return of races, a high profile card of eight races including the Maktoum Challenge Round-1, the Group-1 for the Purebred Arabians and G-3 for thoroughbreds. Shaikh Mohammed took a tour of the facility he masterminded.

However, apart from the trial race which was organised last week at the venue, Richard Hills became the first jockey to ride a winner on the All-Weather track. The top English jockey partnered debutant No Risk Al Maury from the all conquering stables of Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum to a resounding victory in the 1600m Maktoum Challenge R1 (Gr-1) curtain raiser. “He handled the surface very nicely and did nothing wrong all the way,” Hills said. “He will be definitely heading for the Dubai Kahayla Classic on the Dubai World Cup night,” he said. Meanwhile, leading French jockey Christophe Soumillon registered a splendid double in the second and third Thoroughbred races on the card. He delivered for the Mike de Kock yard in the 1400m UAE 1000 Guineas Trial aboard the well-bred Australian filly Raihana. Less than 45 minutes he brought Lizard’s Desire home ahead of fast finishing stable companion King of Rome in the distinguished silks of Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum.

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