DDF Stakes
Remarquees owner Julian Richmond Watson, acoompanied by his wife, receives the trophy for the Dubai Duty Free Stakes from Colm McLoughlin last year. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Elmalka looks set to make her turf debut for Newmarket trainer Roger Varian in the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Stakes, which kicks off DDF’s 2024 European horse racing season at Newbury Racecourse on Saturday.

Get exclusive content with Gulf News WhatsApp channel

The Dubai Duty Free Stakes is one of seven races at the DDF Spring Trials Weekend, which begins on Friday.

Elmalka, running in the colours of Major General Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Chief of Dubai Police and Public Security, beat off eight rivals to win a seven-furlong fillies’ Novices stakes on her sole start on the all-weather track at Southwell last November.

Long association with Newbury

A recognised early season target for many of the sport’s leading stables, the two-day fixture features established trials for the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas in Saturday’s Watership Down Stud Too Darn Hot Greenham Stakes and the Dubai Duty Free Stakes, which both share Group 3 status.

Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of DDF, said: “We are very proud of our long association with Newbury Racecourse and with British horse racing, which extends back to 1996. During that time we have witnessed many changes at Newbury, including the construction of the Dubai Duty Free Grandstand, but the quality of the racing has remained a constant.”

Aside from a competitive race programme, racegoers will be able to enjoy a host of activities including the opportunity to sample Arabian hospitality in the Dubai Duty Free Marquee where there will also be the chance to win fabulous prizes including free entry into Dubai Duty Free’s Finest Surprise and Millennium Millionaire prize draws each day.

The fixture gets under way with the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup EBF Maiden Stakes, scheduled to be run on Friday.