Dubai Horse Racing Complex Opens
In March 2007, Dubai unveiled its plans to build the Meydan Horse Racing Complex to the world. The project took thirty-four months to complete, and on 28 January 2010 the complex opened its doors to the public and racing community. The inaugural day kicked off with breathtaking live horse racing action. If the first day of racing was anything to go by, the Meydan Horse Racing Complex in Dubai will become one of the world’s major racing venues.
The Meydan Horse Racing Complex boasts a massive grand stand that can seat and estimated 60 thousand spectators, with the complex itself being able to accommodate 80 thousand people in total. Synthetic surfaces were used for the race track, of which one is 1 200 meters in length and the other is 1, 75 kilometers, or 8.75 furlongs. It will become the host to the Dubai World Cup, where thoroughbred and purebred Arabian horse racing will take place, offering Group 1, 2 and 3 events for horsemen to participate in. In total, the project carried a price tag of $1.25 billion, and it also includes a five star hotel with 290 rooms available, an IMAX cinema and a fascinating racing museum for enthusiasts to visit and marvel at. The complex is finished off with a breathtaking marina and the CEO of Dubai Racing, Frank Gabriel, expressed his hope that all the additional features at the complex will mean that it will be in use all year round.
The first racing event at the new Meydan Horse Racing Complex was filled with excitement and anticipation as the starting gates swung open for the first time. Mike de Kock, a well known South African trainer, enjoyed the very first victory at the complex, with Raihana and jockey Christophe Soumillion taking the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial. This team, with Soumillion riding Lizard’s Desire, also won their second race. Other winning trainers and jockeys included Kieren Fallon riding Drunken Sailor for Luca Cumani, TJ Pereira riding Gloria De Campeao to victory for Pascal Bary, Frankie Dettori riding Sir Whispering Gallery, Ryan Moore on Leahurst and John Best trained Sir Gerry. Opening day turned out to be a huge success for the Meydan Horse Racing Complex, and the entire horse racing community is looking forward to future events at this breathtaking race course.