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Dubai horse race adds sparkle to Global Series

$2m Golden Shaheen enters second season as part of elite worldwide challenge

Gulf News

Dubai: The Group 1 $2 million (Dh7.3 million) Dubai Golden Shaheen, sponsored by Gulf News, will continue to be part of an elite group of races in the lucrative Global Sprint Challenge (GSC) series in 2013.

First run in 1996, the 1,200m Dubai Golden Shaheen joined the GSC on March 30, 2012. It represents the third stop in the series of ten Group 1 races that kicks-off with Australia’s Lightning Stakes in February. The challenge then moves on to Japan’s Takamatsunomiya Kinen and before arriving in Dubai for the Dubai Golden Shaheen.

Frank Gabriel, CEO, Dubai Racing Club, commented: “Ever since the Dubai World Cup was inaugurated in 1996, Dubai has been synonymous with truly international horse racing.

“The inclusion of the Dubai Golden Shaheen as part of the Global Sprint Challenge only adds to the international flavour of racing at Meydan Racecourse. Over the years the Golden Shaheen has attracted runners from 15 countries; evidence of its strong worldwide appeal.”

“The Dubai Racing Club and Meydan are extremely proud that the 2013 Dubai Golden Shaheen will be featured as part of the prestigious Global Sprint Challenge.

“The growth and popularity of the Dubai World Cup racing program is one of the greatest success stories in international racing.”

Other races in the GSC included Singapore’s Krisflyer International, the Kings Stand Stakes, Diamond Jubilee Stakes and the Darley July Cup in the UK before rounding off the year with Japan’s Sprinter’s Stakes, Australia’s Patinack Farm Classic and the Hong Kong Sprint.

In addition to the significant prize money at stake for each race, the GSC separately offers a $1m bonus to any horse that claims three GSC contests in any three different racing jurisdictions.

Last season two horses came close to winning the bonus. Black Caviar, the all-conquering Australian mare, claimed the Lightning Stakes and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes while Japanese star Lord Kanaloa took out the Sprinters Stakes and the Challenge-ending Hong Kong Sprint.

The 2012 Dubai Golden Shaheen was won by Krypton Factor, trained by Bahrain’s Fawzi Nass. Krypton Factor beat the fancied Rocket Man, who was defending his 2011 Golden Shaheen title into second.