All set for Shadwell

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All set for Shadwell

Shadwell, belonging to Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Finance Minister, is set to sponsor the Shadwell Stud Harry Rosebery Stakes (For South Ayrshire Cup), a Thoroughbreds listed event for two-year-olds to be held at the Ayr Racecourse, in Edinburgh, Scotland on Friday, it was announced on Wednesday.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

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Published: Thu 20 Sep 2012, 9:07 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:13 PM

“The move which coincides with the 30th anniversary of our Arabian races campaign comes in response to a request by the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond to Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum to extend his sponsorship plans to the Scottish races” said Mirza Al Sayegh, director of the office of Shaikh Hamdan during a news briefing at the Carlton Hotel here on Wednesday.

“Ten runners have been declared for the event which will be contested over five furlongs and carries a total purse of £14,178 in prize-money. The race will be held on the first day of the Ayr Gold Cup two-day festival,” he said.

According to Al Sayegh, the money will be donated to a charity society which is chaired by the Prince of Wales Prince Charles.

“This is to start with and there’s more to come,” he promised. “The directives of Shaikh Hamdan are to focus on Arabian races. He has no objection against supporting Thoroughbreds, but priority should be given to promote the UAE culture. There are many international companies and parties who are backing the Thoroughbreds, while little attention is paid to the Arabians,” he said.

“We are celebrating the 30th anniversary since our humble start with six horses and 300 spectators at the Kempton Park in 1982. Now the races have been increased to 160 events around the globe which underlines the great effort to safeguard the dynasty of the Arabians and change the perception of the world towards the qualities and scope of this noble creature,” he added.

“As the numbers of races have increased, we have decided to shift to Newbury Racecourse where facilities are better and access is easier. Over 18000 fans are expected to turn out to watch the Dubai International Arabian Race Day on Sunday, but still there’s no finish line in the race for excellence. We may say that our message has been received and most of our goals have been accomplished. This is true, but we need to do more. There’s room for more excellence and there’s a big chance to fly the flag of our young nation at all arenas,” he said.

Al Sayegh noted that it’s a challenge and every day they are breaking new grounds.

“The sky is the limit. Our next target is to sponsor Arabian races in Australia, Brazil and Italy where we are right now sponsoring Thoroughbreds events,” he said.

Paul Hanagan’s performance praised

Speaking about the overall performance of Shaikh Hamdan’s horses during the current season, Al Sayegh said it’s getting better.

“Shaikh Hamdan is happy with the performance of his newly appointed jockey Paul Hanagan and the second jockey Tadhg O’Shea. The duo is working in great harmony and doing a very good job,” he said.

“We are truly sad to see leading trainer John Dunlop retiring after 47 years in the profession,” he noted.

“Throughout much of the past 30 years Dunlop has been closely associated with the blue-and-white colours of Shaikh Hamdan and his Group One winners for the owner include the outstanding filly Salsabil, who won the 1,000 Guineas, Oaks and Irish Derby in 1990, as well as Marju in the St James’s Palace Stakes, Lahib in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Bahri, who won both,” he recalled.

When asked about the future plans and preparations for the next season, Al Sayegh said he’s optimistic.

“Shaikh Hamdan bought plenty of Yearlings besides the 187 home-bred while there’s no sufficient spaces in the stables and this problem needs to be handled one way or another.

“As regards our operations in US, Shaikh Hamdan has acquired some quality horses with the intentions of expanding his racing operations there,” he confirmed.

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