Dubai: Mirza Al Sayegh was joined by a senior representative of The Jockey Club, the governing body for horse racing in Britain, in congratulating Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, on his wonderful achievement of winning an unprecedented seventh Flat Owners Championship on Thursday.
Sheikh Hamdan, who first won the accolade back in 1990, finished ahead of Dubai’s Godolphin stable, Coolmore’s Michael Tabor, John Magnier and Mrs Michael Tabor, with earning of over £2 million in prize money from 112 winners.
Al Sayegh, who is the long-standing Directory of Sheikh Hamdan’s Office and Chairman of Shadwell, the operation under which Sheikh Hamdan’s horses compete around the world, paid tribute to his passion, commitment and resilience during what he termed as ‘a difficult year.’
“This recognition will give Sheikh Hamdan the strength and force to move forward and reach for more success in the coming year,” Al Sayegh told Gulf News.
“The Owner’s Championship is a reward for his consistency and passion and justifies his constant and successful communication with his team at Shadwell, Angus Gold (Racing Manager), Richard Lancaster (Stud Manager), Richard Hills (Assistant Racing Manager) and Jim Crowley (jockey).
“Throughout the year Sheikh Hamdan keeps in touch with the team and follows-up on every tiny detail including the races to target, the going at the racecourses, the weather … everything,” added Al Sayegh.
“Running a racing operation of the magnitude in which Shadwell operates is not a small job, nor is it easy.
“Sheikh Hamdan fell ill in August so I took the responsibility myself to inform Angus and members of his team not to call His Highness unless it was a terrible urgent matter, during this difficult time.
Meanwhile, John Hawkins, Senior Adviser to Ascot and The Jockey Club in England, wrote a letter to Sheikh Hamdan and offered his wholehearted congratulations on winning British racing’s top accolade.
“I am delighted and I know that everyone at Ascot and The Jockey club feels the same,” he wrote.
“It was a most impressive achievement and reflects your tremendous contribution to British racing and breeding, a contribution that is greatly appreciated by us all. Having six winners at Royal Ascot and ending up as the top owner and breeder was something special Battaash storming away with the King’s Stand Stakes will long stick in the memory.
“However, for me the moment of the season was Mohaather’s acceleration from the back of the field to win a high-class Sussex Stakes. It was such a shame that all of this happened behind closed doors. With my best wishes to you and your family for 2021.”