Dubai: One man’s passion to grow Purebred horse racing across the world resulted in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh hosting a unique race meeting earlier this month.

The venue was the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Arabian Horse Race Track, and the six-race card for Purebred Arabian horses was sponsored by Shadwell, the breeding arm of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance’s racing empire.

Horses representing the formidable Khalediah Stables, owned by Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, won three races including the featured SR120,000 handicap with Tallaab Al Khalediah, trained by Mutlaq Bin Mushref and ridden by Panamanian rider Camilo Ospina.

Mirza Al Sayegh, Director of the office of Shaikh Hamdan, heralded the well-attended event a major success. “This was the perfect start to this venture between Saudi Arabia and Shaikh Hamdan,” he said. “We are confident that the success of this first meeting will inspire all those who were involved to look at ways to develop it further.

“Shaikh Hamdan has expressed his appreciation and thanks to Prince Khalid for supporting the initiative and praised the excellent facilities available at the magnificent racecourse.

“This is a great initiative for the sport of Purebred Arabian racing in Saudi Arabia and Shaikh Hamdan has underlined his commitment by sponsoring all the races,” Al Sayegh added.

“Shaikh Hamdan is keen to take Arabian racing in the region to a higher level to ensure that the quality of the breed continues to improve.”

Faisal Rahmani, the president of the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities, added: “This is a very positive step for Arabian racing in the region and as promoters of the breed we are only too willing to support the initiative.”