Purebred Arabian Racing Dreams
The Dubai International Arabian Race Day was held for the first time in 1982 at Kempton, and on Sunday the 20th of July 2008 approximately eighteen thousand spectators filled the grandstands at Newbury Racecourse to watch the twenty-sixth running of this wonderful racing event. Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is not only Finance Minister and Deputy Ruler of Dubai but a Thoroughbred and purebred Arabian horse breeder, has been a vocal advocate for the promotion and support of Purebred Arabian racing.
Over the last couple of years, Sheikh Hamdan has been working tirelessly to gain attention for Purebred Arabian racing throughout Europe and England. Although it has grown in popularity and in some countries it has really taken off as a horse racing division, it is felt that if the purse money for Purebred Arabian horse racing events could be increased, more international competitors would participate. But the Jockey Club is quite strict when it comes to the rules and regulations in regard to purse money for Purebred Arabian racing events and has instituted a limit.
Some of the racing events in the Dubai International Arabian Race Day have been compared to the likes of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, and this year the entertainment and prizes to be won exceeded all expectations. There was free entry for spectators, free gifts, entertainment for the children while the adults watched the racing, an Arabian exhibition including competition prizes of a luxury holiday and a Fiat 500 vehicle.
And of course the racing action was breathtaking, with three Group 1 horse racing events topping off the magnificent lineup of racing and an elite group of competitors. The winners of the respective races were as follows:
The Emirates Airline Premier Handicap Stakes – Pepita de Carrere
The Al Hai Group Zabeel International Stakes (Group 1) – Quaolina
The NBD Hatta International Stakes (Group 1) – Magadir
The Shadwell Dubai International Stakes (Group 1) – No Risk Al Maury
The Jumeirah Group International Stakes (Group 2) – Royal Class
The Jebel Ali Racecourse Premier Handicap Stakes – Aljaareh
The Emirates Horse Breeders Society Handicap Stakes – Falak
It is hoped that in the future, the interest and support for the sport of Purebred Arabian racing will increase and that purse increases may become available to attract bigger fields of competitors. Everyone who is currently involved in Purebred Arabian racing is working towards educating the public on the qualities of these wonderful athletes, such as their amazing intelligence, speed and endurance, which make them terrific racehorses.