Dubai: Jim Crowley may have conceded the Champion Jockey’s title to Frankie Dettori at Royal Ascot this year, but he helped secure a more significant victory for Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, who was crowned the Top Owner at the conclusion of the five-day meeting on Saturday.
Crowley, who joined Sheikh Hamdan’s bloodstock operation at the end of 2016, rode six winners in Sheikh Hamdan’s famous blue-and-white silks, which was the most by any owner during the week.
It also marked the first time that Sheikh Hamdan, who has won most of the major races around the world including the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby, Melbourne Cup, Breeders’ Cup and Dubai World Cup, won the top accolade at the Royal meeting.
“This is a victory for the UAE,” Sheikh Hamdan said in a message to Gulf News.
“I dedicate this to The President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.”
This is a major boost for all the racehorse owners in the UAE. Sheikh Hamdan’s efforts to support racing around the world has been exceptional and this is a fitting reward for a man whose passion for the sport is limitless
Mirza Al Sayegh, the long serving Director of Sheikh Hamdan’s office and equine affairs, described the Royal Ascot success as a ‘great honour.’
“It fills me with great pride and honour to see Sheikh Hamdan achieve such a significant victory at one of the world’s most prestigious race meetings,” he said.
“This is a major boost for all the racehorse owners in the UAE. Sheikh Hamdan’s efforts to support racing around the world has been exceptional and this is a fitting reward for a man whose passion for the sport is limitless,” Al Sayegh added.
Sheikh Hamdan is the owner of Shadwell, a global racing and breeding enterprise which encompass Shadwell Estate Company Limited in Britain; Shadwell Farm LLC in the USA and Derrinstown Stud in Ireland.
On Saturday, Sheikh Hamdan received a congratulatory letter from the Royal Ascot management, which he shared with Gulf News.
The message was signed by Johnny Weathery, Her Majesty’s Representative, Sir Francis Brooks Bt, Chairman of Ascot Authority and Gary Henderson, CEO.
‘‘On behalf of all of us at Ascot Racecourse, we write to offer our congratulations to you on finishing as the Leading Owner at Royal Ascot 2020. Everyone at Ascot is thrilled for you and the team,” the message said.
“We are deeply grateful for all your support of Ascot and wish to record our sincere thanks. We are sad that we are not able to present this award to you in person but very much look forward to being able to do so in person as soon as circumstances permit.
“There was no better way for everyone to enjoy the opening day of the Royal Meeting than admiring Battaash producing one of his most brilliant performances to win the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes.
“It was a stunning performance which lit up the racecourse and excited the large broadcast audience. It will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most impressive performances in the history of the race.
“It must have been particularly thrilling for you to see three homebreds win at the Royal meeting in Hukum, Khaloosy and Nazeef.
“Your support for Royal Ascot and the sport of racing in Britain and around the world is hugely appreciated and we look forward to welcoming you to Royal Ascot soon.”
Meanwhile, Frankie Dettori claimed a seventh jockeys’ title at Royal Ascot which for the first time was held behind closed doors and with strict social distancing protocols in place due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Six of the Best
Hamdan’s Royal Ascot winners 2020
Buckingham Palace Handicap
King’s Stand Stakes (Group 1)
Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2)
King George V Stakes (Handicap)
Jersey Stakes (Group 3)
Britannia Stakes (Heritage)