Sheikh Hamdan leaves lasting legacy in horse racing

Dubai - Sheikh Hamdan’s affinity for horses began when he travelled to England for further studies.

By James Jose

Published: Wed 24 Mar 2021, 1:19 PM

Last updated: Wed 24 Mar 2021, 1:29 PM

The passing of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, has not just left the country in shock, but has also created a deep void in the world of horse racing, one that will be quite hard to fill.

The UAE Royalty, especially the Al Maktoum family of Dubai, have been synonymous with horses and with the equine sport. And it is, but a well-known fact, that they have enjoyed tremendous success not just here at home, but also the world over, across different continents.

Sheikh Hamdan had a massive part to play in that. Born in December 1945 and the second of four sons of Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the late Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan’s affinity for horses began when he travelled to England for further studies. With Great Britain being the hotbed of top class thoroughbred racing, Sheikh Hamdan developed a keen interest and that love affair translated into him establishing his first racing stable in the UK in the 1980s.

Since then, it has grown to become a full-fledged racing and breeding operation and has come to be known as Shadwell Racing, and has spread its wings across England, Ireland and the United States.

And some of the best horses have come through over the years and brought pride and glory in the famous blue and white silks of Sheikh Hamdan.

His horses have sparkled in the United Kingdom with him landing some of the top races like the 1000 Guineas, 2000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby, the Epsom Oaks, St.James’s Palace Stakes, Coronation Stakes, Queen Anne Stakes, Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Ascot Gold Cup and Eclipse Stakes, and many others.

He also won some of the top races in the United States like the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Classic with Invasor in 2006 and the Belmont Stakes, to name a few.

Sheikh Hamdan also enjoyed success in Ireland, winning the Irish Derby, the Irish 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas as well as the Irish Champion Stakes.

The roll of honour also includes the biggest races in France as well as the prestigious Melbourne Cup in Australia.

Sheikh Hamdan was also crowned the Champion Owner in Britain for the seventh time last season after he had won it in 1990, 1994, 1995, 2002, 2005 and 2014.

Sheikh Hamdan’s horses have also dominated at Royal Ascot with him being named the leading owner last season after six of his horses emerged winners.

Closer home, Sheikh Hamdan triumphed at the Dubai World Cup with Almutawakel in 1999 and Invasor in 2007. He also won other races on Dubai World Cup night, including the Dubai Sheema Classic, Dubai Golden Shaheen and the Godolphin Mile.

He has also contributed to the Purebred Arabians, with the Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship being held under his patronage, apart from the Dubai International Horse Fair.

Sheikh Hamdan’s absence will be felt strongly but he has left a lasting legacy in the world of horse racing.

Major International Racing Wins

United Kingdom

•2,000 Guineas:

◦Nashwan (1989)

◦Haafhd (2004)

•Epsom Derby:

◦Nashwan (1989)

◦Erhaab (1994)

•1,000 Guineas:

◦Salsabil (1990)

◦Shadayid (1991)

◦Harayir (1995)

◦Lahan (2000)

◦Ghanaati (2009)

•Epsom Oaks:

◦Salsabil (1990)

◦Eswarah (2005)

◦Taghrooda (2014)

•St. James's Palace Stakes:

◦Marju (1991)

◦Bahri (1995)

•Coronation Stakes:

◦Al Bahathri (1985)

◦Ghanaati (2009)

•Queen Anne Stakes:

◦Lahib (1992)

•Prince of Wales's Stakes:

◦Muhtarram (1994 & 1995)

◦Nayef (2003)

•Ascot Gold Cup:

◦Ashal (1990)

•Eclipse Stakes:

◦Nashwan (1989)

◦Elmaamul (1990)

◦Mukhadram (2014)

•Falmouth Stakes:

◦Al Bahathri (1985)

◦Alshakr (2000)

◦Tashawak (2002)

◦Nazeef (2020)

•King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes:

◦Nashwan (1989)

◦Taghrooda (2014)

•Sussex Stakes:

◦Mohaather (2020)

•International Stakes:

◦Nayef (2002)

•Queen Elizabeth II Stakes:

◦Lahib (1992)

◦Maroof (1994)

◦Bahri (1995)

•Champion Stakes:

◦Nayef (2001)

◦Haafhd (2004)

•King's Stand Stakes:

◦Dayjur (1990)

◦Battaash (2020)

•Golden Jubilee Stakes:

◦Atraf (1996)

◦Malhub (2002)

•July Cup:

◦Hamas (1993)

◦Elnadim (1998)

◦Muhaarar (2015)

•Nunthorpe Stakes:

◦Dayjur (1990)

•Haydock Sprint Cup:

◦Dayjur (1990)

•Dewhurst Stakes:

◦Alhaarth (1995)

◦Mujahid (1998)

•Middle Park Stakes:

◦Fard (1994)

◦Hayil (1997)

◦Awzaan (2009)

•Racing Post Trophy:

◦Al Hareb (1988)

•Lowther Stakes:

◦Al Bahathri (1984)

•Fillies' Mile:

◦Aqaarid (1994)


•Irish Derby:

◦Salsabil (1990)

•Irish 2,000 Guineas:

◦Awtaad (2016)

•Irish 1,000 Guineas:

◦Al Bahathri (1985)

◦Mehthaaf (1994)

◦Matiya (1996)

◦Bethrah (2010)

•Irish Champion Stakes:

◦Elmaamul (1990)

◦Muhtarram (1993)


•Poule d'Essai des Pouliches

◦Ta Rib (1996)

•Prix Jean Prat

◦Tamayuz (2008)

•Prix Jacques Le Marois

◦Tamayuz (2008)

•Prix du Moulin de Longchamp

◦Aqlaam (2009)

•Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp

◦Dayjur (1990)

•Prix Vermeille

◦Salsabil (1990)

•Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère

◦Naaqoos (2008)

•Prix Morny

◦Arcano (2009)

•Prix Marcel Boussac

◦Ashayer (1987)

◦Salsabil (1989)

◦Shadayid (1990)


•Melbourne Cup:

◦At Talaq (1986)

◦Jeune (1994)

•Caulfield Cup:

◦Tawqeet (2006)

•Blue Diamond Stakes:

◦Nadeem (2006)

United Arab Emirates

•Dubai World Cup:

◦Almutawakel (1999)

◦Invasor (2007)

•Dubai Duty Free Stakes:

◦Altibr (1999)

•Dubai Sheema Classic:

◦Nayef (2002)

•Godolphin Mile:

◦Tereshkova (1996)

◦Tamarkuz (2015)

•Dubai Golden Shaheen:

◦Atraf (1997)

United States

•Belmont Stakes:

◦Jazil (2006)

•Breeders' Cup Classic:

◦Invasor (2006)

•Metropolitan Handicap:

◦Frosted (2016)

•Pimlico Special:

◦Invasor (2006)

•Suburban Handicap:

◦Invasor (2006)

•Whitney Handicap:

◦Invasor (2006)

◦Frosted (2016)

•Donn Handicap:

◦Invasor (2007)

◦Albertus Maximus (2009)

•Breeders Cup Dirt Mile

◦Tamarkuz (2016)

•Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf:

◦Lahudood (2007)

•Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes:

◦Lahudood (2007)

•Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes:

◦Alwajeeha (2008)

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