Dubai: The coronavirus pandemic might have been crippling with international travel down to the bare minimum, but that did not stop some of the best names in racing from turning up and winning during the course of the Dubai World Cup Carnival and the multi-million Dubai World Cup night whose Silver Jubilee played out at Meydan on Saturday night.
This year’s Dubai World Cup meeting was spectacular to say the least, with the nine races doing brilliantly when it came to underlining the truly international nature of the card. Nine races, nine winners spread out between France, UAE, Europe and America. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Godolphin won two of the nine, including the feature Group 1 Dubai World Cup, while American connections landed two, Dubai-based Satish Seemar clinched his first G2 Godolphin Mile and Yas Racing’s French arm the opening Group 1 for Purebred Arabians the form of the Dubai Kahayla Classic.
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It was a massive night for British connections, however, with three big winners, including the two G1s that went the way of the legendary John Gosden, who dispatched three on the night through son Thady, with whom he now shares his training licence. Thady saddled Lord North to win the G1 Dubai Turf and Mishriff, who added the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic to his repertoire, a great follow up to his big win in the $20million Saudi Cup in February.
Another legendary British conditioner in Mark Johnston, the UK’s most successful trainer, also won with his solitary runner on the night Subjectivist, who landed the G2 Dubai Gold Cup in record-breaking time. Gulf News caught up with the International Racing Bureau’s (IRB) Adrian Beaumont, who works tirelessly behind the scenes to bring European connections opportunities abroad. Beaumont has been working with organisers in Dubai for nearly three decades, way before the Dubai World Cup could be instituted and has seen the meeting grow into one of the premier events worldwide.
In the run up to the Dubai World Cup, Beaumont shuffled during early morning work between the track at Meydan Racecourse and the adjacent training circuit to check on all the horses he represented through IRB. He was there every day and for as long as was needed, happily bridging the divide at all levels.
Gulf News caught up with the man responsible for linking European connections with racing worldwide.
GN: Can you tell us more about yourself and the IRB?
AB: I work for the IRB and we’ve been the European representatives for the Dubai World Cup (DWC) since year one and we’ve always brought the horses over.
My job is to promote the Dubai World Cup races to the European horsemen to get them here for the Dubai World Cup Carnival (DWCC) and then for the Dubai World Cup itself. We help with processing all the entries for the races and we work closely with the team in Dubai with regards to the invitation process by finding out which horses want to run and in which races they want to run in and making sure it’s a very smooth process.
GN: Obviously, this year with the COVID-19 situation things might not have been as smooth.
AB: This has been one of the more testing years because of the Covid situation. It’s actually comparatively easy to bring the horses here, but that hasn’t really been the issue, it’s more the personnel and the biggest issue is for the trainers and the jockeys that when we return to Britain after the races we have to do 10 days quarantine in a government-organised hotel.
Of course, that puts off a lot of connections because it’s very difficult to plan to come here and it makes it more expensive and more difficult to arrange.
Trainers and the owners have been very supportive of the Dubai World Cup. They love coming here, they appreciate the prize money and this event Sheikh Mohammed and the team he has put together have done for us and I was very pleased with the quality of horses we were able to get here.
GN: There were a lot of challenges, but the pleasure of seeing it all come through might have been enormous?
AB: The cut in the prize money for the DWCC made things a little more difficult, but we still had very good support and good winners and it’s particularly pleasing to see the likes of Lord Glitters winning big feature races over here.
For the Dubai World Cup itself, I think it’s been a very successful recruitment drive and I am particularly pleased to have brought horses of the quality of Mishriff who ran in Saudi and won the Saudi Cup come here. It was a fantastic Dubai Sheema Classic and I felt it would be one of the races of the year with Mishriff taking on some of the best horses from Japan. It was a very interesting race.
So, I am delighted with the quality of the horses and we also have a lot of the top jockeys here. Despite the Covid restrictions to have the likes of Ryan Moore and Oisin Murphy and the top French jockey Mickael Barzalona here is very good. We are pleased with the turnout in Dubai.
GN: You’ve been working with racing organisers in Dubai for years, you’ve obviously seen it all grow into what it is now. Can you comment on the growth of racing in the region?
AB: I actually came here three years before the Dubai World Cup to organise the International Jockeys Challenge we had before we had the quarantine protocols and I have done every Dubai World Cup so yes I have been here.
Obviously, I’ve seen racing at Nad Al Sheba, the building of Meydan and the development of the Dubai World Cup Carnival and the World Cup itself.
It’s very much a high point of the International Racing Calendar. The Dubai World Cup Meeting is the first meeting of the season where we get to see the Americans and the Japanese and we really understand who the quality horses are going to be this year.
GN: IRB works massively in the region, wouldn’t it be nice to have a more integrated set up in the Gulf?
AB: I work in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Dubai and the season has really changed. The European turf season runs from March to November, but now we’re finding that a lot of horses are being settled to race in the Gulf region over the winter after the Breeders’ Cup.
We then were targeting horses to go to Bahrain and then Saudi and to come here to Dubai. So it’s a different level of horse to come to the Dubai World Cup Carnival and the Dubai World Cup is a big step up.
I’m very much hoping that the sort of horses that go to race in Riyadh for the Saudi Cup meeting will come here and I’ve found it a great bonus for the region that we had a plane to bring the horses from America and Japan who raced in Saudi to come straight here the day after the race in Riyadh.
Having the horses come here and stay in the Gulf region is a great asset to the whole area.