Dubai World Cup: Seemar praises UAE government's decision
Even without the fans, the majestic Meydan will conjure another night of exhilarating racing. (AFP file)
Dubai - Seemar salutes the UAE government for taking a very positive decision at a time when the world is grappling with the menace of coronavirus
After the Dubai Racing Club made the announcement on staging the 25th edition of the Dubai World Cup without spectators at Meydan in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, leading Dubai-based Indian trainer Satish Seemar has welcomed the move.
The $35 million Dubai World Cup, the richest race day in the world, will miss the riot of colours at the Meydan grandstand on March 28, but the action on the turf and the dirt will be as intense as ever as some of the world's finest race horses will vie for glory.
The race lovers, of course, can still enjoy the world-class action on TV.
And Seemar salutes the UAE government for taking a very positive decision at a time when the world is grappling with the menace of coronavirus.
"It's a very positive decision keeping in mind the health and the safety of people at this point in time," Seemar told Khaleej Times on Friday.
"The whole world has taken steps to prevent the spread of the virus. So I am very happy that Dubai has taken a very positive decision. See, at the end of the day, people's safety is the most important thing in the midst of such a crisis," said Seemar, the current leader of the UAE trainers' championship.
Dubai-based Indian trainer Satish Seemar
As a precautionary step, the authorities have also cancelled all pre-race events, including Post Position Draw (March 25), Breakfast with the Stars (March 26) and Welcome Reception (March 26).
"Only horse connections, racing officials, accredited media and sponsors will be permitted entry," the Dubai racing Club statement said on Thursday night.
But Seemar says there is no need for race aficionados to lose heart.
"The racing fans can still enjoy the action in the comfort of their homes. They can watch every moment of it on TV. It's not that they are going to miss out on anything. It's just that the decision has been taken keeping in mind the current situation so everybody is safe," he added.
Despite the absence of fans, Seemar is looking forward to the big night.
"Of course, I am. It's the 25th edition of the Dubai World Cup night. I am sure it's going to be a big success once again," he said.
"As for 25th year celebrations, we can maybe do it next year."
But it will be a celebration of world-class racing once again on March 28 when world's best horses will lock horns for the $12.74 million Dubai World Cup - a race that brings the country to a standstill.
Last year, it was Thunder Snow that wrote its name in the history books by becoming the first horse to defend the Dubai World Cup trophy.
Now even without the fans, the majestic Meydan will conjure another night of exhilarating racing.