Sheikh Mohammed Wants A Derby Victory
If there is one thing that is known for certain about Sheikh Mohammed, the Ruler of Dubai, it is that he is passionate about his horses. And it is understandable that, with the magnificent horses that he has purchased lately, he wants to wake up every day, go to the stables and see them. But the Sheikh has another passion when it comes to horse racing– the Kentucky Derby. It is one of his greatest goals to be able to win a Kentucky Derby and this year he is leaving nothing to chance, by securing the best two year old horses and training them in anticipation for May 2009.
Sheikh Mohammed has recently reviewed his past strategies and has acknowledged that by buying top European turf horses, he has not owned the perfect horse to take on the Kentucky Derby. This year, he has decided to try a different tactic and has been adding brilliant dirt horses to his stables. He is planning on shipping some of his horses back to Dubai for winter, where they will train and enter the Kentucky Derby. Godolphin, which forms part of his horse racing empire, uses Saeed bin Suroor as their trainer and he also trains horses for the Sheikh in Europe.
In September, Sheikh Mohammed added the Stonerside Stable to his racing kingdom, and with it he gained ownership of Midshipman. Midshipman is a recent Breeder’s Cup champion and will more than likely be moved to Dubai soon, as he is one of the Sheikh’s hopefuls for the Derby. Midshipman has earned more than $1.1 million off four career starts of which three were victories and a second place finish in the Norfolk Stakes (Grade 1). But there is another two year old that many have fingered as being a possible challenge to Midshipman, namely Vineyard Haven. He might pose a threat to Midshipman, but not to the Sheikh, who purchased him as well.
It is believed that both Vineyard Haven and Midshipman will spend the winter in Dubai, competing in the UAE Derby, before being shipped to America for the Kentucky Derby. Sheikh Mohammed most definitely now owns a group of horses capable of capturing the Kentucky Derby, and next year May promises to be a very exciting event.