Dubai: Jebel Ali Racecourse has announced a strong sponsorship line-up for its first meeting of the 2010-2011 UAE Racing Season, which takes place on Friday.
The event will be the first of 11 race meetings that the popular "family style" racecourse has scheduled for the term.
Sharif Al Halawani, Director of the Jebel Ali Racecourse, addressed a press conference yesterday and outlined the venue's plans for the season which include a competitive championship for owners, trainers, jockeys and stables.
The top owner will receive a Waterford Crystal trophy, while the leading trainer and jockey will each pick up a cheque for Dh15,000.
The championship is sponsored by Dublin's Ardmore Trading, corporate gifts specialists.
Derrinstown Stud, Bin Belaila Contracting, Al Shafar Investment, Al Shafar Group, Powerpoint and the Commercial Bank of Dubai have said they will continue their support for Jebel Ali Racecourse by sponsoring Friday's six races.
Derrinstown Stud, owned by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, will sponsor the feature race of the afternoon, a thoroughbred handicap over 1,000 metres which has attracted nine top-rated sprinters.
Speaking via telephone link from Melbourne, Australia, Mirza Al Sayegh, the Director of Shaikh Hamdan's office, said Shaikh Hamdan had pledged to continue supporting Jebel Ali Racecourse in the new season.
Shaikh Hamdan also applauded the venue's contribution to the development of racing in the UAE.
Frank Gabriel Jr, CEO of the Dubai Racing Club said: "We are extremely thankful for Jebel Ali Racecourse's support and overall wealth of experience that they bring.
"We are looking forward to a good season, and Friday's six-race card looks very competitive.
"We also look forward to bringing international competition to not only Meydan Racecourse, but also to Jebel Ali, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi."