Racing-Jebel Ali
Jebel Ali Racecourse Image Credit: Supplied photo

Dubai: Mirza Al Sayegh expressed his desire to see the legacy that the late Prince Khalid bin Abdullah has left through his incredible contribution to the sport of horse racing continued by his successors in the future.

Speaking to media during a virtual press conference from Jebel Ali Racecourse on Tuesday, Al Sayegh, who is the Director of the office of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, Al Sayegh spoke highly of the lifelong work Prince Khalid has done.

“Prince Abdullah was a big contributor to the racing world and was honestly a partner of the Al Maktoum Family in promoting the sport globally, but he was also a close friend of theirs,” Al Sayegh said. “His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai) has already sent a condolence message to Prince Khalid’s family on behalf of the whole Al Maktoum family and we should all really join in offering our sympathies as well. We hope that Prince Khalid’s successors can continue and enhance what he has achieved through good succession planning.”

Al Sayegh, met with Sheikh Hamdan before attending the Jebel Ali press conference, said: “Sheikh Hamdan conveys his warm wishes to everyone and says that he is recovering well from his recent illness. Sheikh Hamdan asked me to reiterate the commitment of Shadwell, Shadwell Farm and Derrinstown Stud towards supporting racing at Jebel Ali. Sheikh Hamdan will continue his long patronage of racing here through his worldwide stud farms.”

Al Sayegh also said that there was good news for Purebred Arabian racing during 2021 which will see Royal Ascot, the most prestigious festival in the world, opening its door to Arabian racehorses.

“I have received a letter from Royal Ascot confirming that this year’s event will comprise an additional race for Purebred Arabian horses for the first time in its history,” he said. “This will continue for the rest of the racing calendar.”

Last year, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) teamed up with the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) to further integrate Purebred Arabian (PA) racing into the British racing calendar in the New Year.”

Al Sayegh said that this break though is a result of the hard work and commitment of Sheikh Hamdan to promote Arabian racing in the UK and around the world for close to 30 years.

“This is the fruit of his labour and collaboration with all the racing authorities and his continuous service to foster Arabian racing worldwide,” said Al Sayegh.

Meanwhile, Shareef Al Halwani, who chaired the press conference, encouraged fans to continue to support Jebel Ali Racing by watching the races from their homes on television and participating in the various online competitions. The feature race of this Friday’s seven-race card at the venue is the Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile, one of the highlights of the season at Jebel Ali Racecourse.