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Middle Eastern Arabian racing series in the pipeline

Hamdan vision could see Saudi, Sudan, Morocco, Bahrain and Morocco stage race meeting

Gulf News


A flat-racing circuit that has the potential to grow Purebred Arabian racing in the Middle East is currently under consideration.

The series, which could be held in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt and the UAE, is the brainchild of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance.

The blueprint was outlined by Mirza Al Sayegh, Director of Shaikh Hamdan’s Office and Chairman of Shadwell, the breeding arm of Shaikh Hamdan’s thoroughbred racing empire.

“Shaikh Hamdan has instructed that a series of Purebred Arabian races should be held, starting this season, in the UAE and five other Arab countries,” said Al Sayegh.

“The aim is to grow Arabian Racing in the Middle East and to encourage more Arab countries to support the sport and help take it to a new level.

“Shaikh Hamdan is always looking at new frontiers for Arabian racing which is now gaining strength around the world,” he added. “Through the Dubai International Arabian Raceday (DIAR), Arabian races have been held in Europe, South America and North America.

“Arabian horses are very important to Shaikh Hamdan and it has always been his ambition to develop the sport further, particularly in the Middle East.

“Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt have been selected to host this series, with more countries likely to be added after the first running,” said Al Sayegh.

“These races will be supported through Shadwell, Shaikh Hamdan’s breeding company, that is already at work to make the series a reality.

“This has been buoyed by the success of Arabian races in Europe, America and South America, which have helped enhance the presence of the breed in these jurisdictions.

“We are confident that the dates for the races will be finalised shortly and look forward to seeing Arabians grace these countries.”