Meydan Stages First Trial Race

DUBAI - Meydan on Tuesday held a trial race night at the world’s largest integrated racing facility — the Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse — with His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, in attendance.

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Published: Fri 22 Jan 2010, 12:44 AM

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

The successful and well-received trial is a precursor to the Dubai International Racing Carnival (DIRC), beginning on January 28. Shaikh Mohammed was on hand to tour the facilities which included the racecourse and associated facilities, including the paddock, grandstand and jockey’s changing rooms.

Consisting of four races commencing at 6pm, the trial saw 44 horses with a total of 16 jockeys racing over distances between 1200m and 2000m, a press release said.

Saeed Humaid Al Tayer, chairman of the board and CEO of Meydan, said: “We’ve seen some of the world’s finest talents in horseracing take to the tracks this evening, and we’re excited at the responses we’ve had to the conditions and facilities we’ve built. Feedback and suggestions from our partners in the industry is something we’ve always heeded and Meydan is a result of this collaborative effort. We are indeed excited to showcase it to the world when the races begin.”

Frank G. Gabriel, Jr, chief executive officer of Dubai Racing Club, added, “We’re geared up for the start of the Dubai International Racing Carnival and want to thank all horsemen, staff, and everyone who’s been a partner to us for their support of Meydan and these trial races. We look forward to the opening of the tracks and racing facilities for the first meeting on the 28th of January.”

Champion jockey Frankie Dettori, Ted Durcan, Richard Hills, Pat Smullen, Kevin Shea and Kieren Fallon were amongst the first to ride at Meydan.

Frankie Dettori spoke of his experience between the races: “I’m gob smacked after what I’ve seen, and I just can’t find the words to describe the amazing experience of racing at the Meydan Racecourse, it’s just out of this world. The tracks are great and very even, and the lights are beautiful. I absolutely loved it.”

Kieren Fallon shared his sentiments: “Meydan Racecourse has a beautiful surface which is very well covered even as you’re coming round the bends, and I can’t wait to get on the grass. It was really a joy to ride on this track and I really loved it. Santa Anita has one of my favourite tracks in the world, and this track is probably every bit just as good, if not better. It couldn’t be better. To just get out there on the turf now would be really exciting.”

Ted Durcan added: “The layout of the track is super and the rides all went great. I think it’ll suit all horses and you have to be really enthusiastic about everything, I’m really impressed”.

Thrilled with his experience and looking forward to the start of the 2010 Dubai International Racing Carnival, Richard Hills said: “I think the track rode very well and the saddling area looks in good condition. Full marks on everything!”

World-renowned trainer Mike De Kock also concurred that the trial race night was a resounding success.

De Kock said: “We’ve received really positive feedback from the jockeys that the surface is fantastic. It was very good to have the trials as it was a good experience, especially to get a feel of the long walk from the barns and through the tunnels.”

Champion UAE trainer Doug Watson added: “Everyone was really positive about their experience at the trials. I haven’t been a big synthetic fan but have received very good feedback from the jockeys. All our horses ran and finished nicely, so now we’re just ready to race for the money.”

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