Horseracing - Sk Hamdan
Sheikh Hamdan with Richard Lancaster, Shadwell Stud Director, and jockeys from the stable during one of his Newbury visits. Image Credit: Supplied photo

Dubai: Purebred Arabian racing looks set for a ground-breaking 2021 season in the UK following the efforts of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance.

This week, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) announced the next steps into the full integration of Purebred Arabian racing into British Racing, according to Shadwell, Sheikh Hamdan’s breeding empire. The intention to align the regulatory practices of Purebred Arabian racing with Thoroughbred racing was announced in December 2019.

From January 1, 2021, existing BHA licenced trainers will be able to train Purebred Arabian horses as well as Thoroughbred horses, a practice not permitted in the past.

Richard Lancaster, Shadwell Stud Director, believes that this will forever change the face of Arabian racing. The giant step forward, and one that Sheikh Hamdan has been advocating for years, will officially integrate Purebred Arabians into the British horseracing industry and pave the way for a new generation of owners and trainers.

Leadership and support

This will doubtless help increase in the population of Purebred Arabian horsehorses competing in the country, and its neighbours across Europe. ‘‘Without Sheikh Hamdan’s encouragement, things would not have moved forward in this way,” said Lancaster.

“All those involved in Arabian racing in the UK are most grateful for his leadership and support in bringing this about.”

Sheikh Hamdan’s vision to bring Arabian racing into the mainstream began over 30 years ago when he created the Dubai International Arabian Races, a end-of-season finale that began its life in Kempton Racecourse in the UK before finding a new home at Newbury, it’s current headquarters.

The Arabian extravaganza is a lucrative one-day fixture that attracts the best horses from around the world to compete for some of the most prestigious races, over a variety of distances, at the historic racecourse.