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Seemar chuffed with growth of horse racing in the UAE

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on February 11, 2020
Seemar chuffed with growth of horse racing in the UAE
RACING PIONEER: Satish Seemar has been one of the key figures in Dubai's horse racing journey. - KT file

The Dubai-based Indian has saddled winners for close to three decades

This year marks 30 years since Satish Seemar set foot here in the UAE. And it hasn't been the same since then. As the country, and especially Dubai continued to grow exponentially, so did the bustling horse racing scene.

The vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has seen the city become a prime destination in the world for horse racing. And people like Seemar has been one of the key figures in that journey since he arrived in 1990.

Apart from setting up the picturesque Zabeel Stables, in the heart of Dubai, the Indian trainer has seen horse racing evolve over the years.

A five-time UAE Champion Trainer, Seemar has trained horses for different owners from the country as well as from all over the world.

And for Seemar, for whom, Dubai is much more than home, the ever-changing demographic is what he had dreamt of when heading to these shores.

"Racing has changed," Seemar said matter-of-factly.

"Racing has changed, in the sense that, now, there are more two-year-olds. We get a lot of two-year-olds. So, there is two-year-old racing. Last year's two-year-olds are turning into late three-year-olds. And there are a lot of new owners from all over the world. So, over the last three or four years, the racing has changed, and so have we, the trainers. The results have changed, which is for the better. This is the way it is supposed to be," he added.

Seemar, who is also been known to blood apprentice jockeys from around the world, finished second in his debut season a trainer, back in the 1992-93 season. He won his first UAE Trainers' Championship title in the 1997-98 season.

After a gap of one season, the Indian was on a roll, so to speak, winning in 1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2001-02.

His last Championship title came in the 2006-07 season.

There is still some way to go until the season plays out but Seemar is in the box seat to add to his trophy cabinet.

He currently leads the Trainers' Championship with 32 victories from 266 rides so far. Multiple winner Doug Watson is breathing down his neck with 26 wins.

Seemar is also delighted with how the landscape has changed with newer events like the Saudi Cup adding to a busy calendar. Seemar felt that events such as the Dubai World Cup and Saudi Cup will boost horse racing in the region even more.

"And, I think, as we go forward with Saudi Cup, Saudi racing, Dubai racing complementing each other, it is excellent. The future of racing is very good here," felt Seemar, who so far has had 8974 rides and saddled 844 winners.

Seemar equates the growth of racing in Dubai to how the city has grown. "We have real international flavour, like the rest of Dubai does. This is where we wanted to come and we have come to such a day. And we only improve from here," hoped Seemar.

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