The sense of excitement is rising ahead of the 15th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival, which will take place at The Curragh Racecourse in Co. Kildare (Ireland) from Saturday to Sunday.
Ralph Beckett-trained Westover won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby with a dominant display at the Curragh Racecourse on Saturday. Ridden by Colin Keane, Westover romped home with seven lengths to spare over Piz Badile. French Claim finished third.
Golden Mile won the “stallion-making” Caulfield Guineas over 1,600m after stable star Anamoe stamped his claims on the G1 Cox Plate in a fortnight with a lion-hearted win in the G1 Might And Power Stakes (2,000m).
The four-year-old Shamardal gelding, under the skillful guidance of Adrie de Vries, unleashed a breathtaking surge of speed in the final 500 meters after lagging behind during much of the race.
Aya Hamcho of Syria followed in second place on her bay stallion Dxb Legend in a time of 48.37s, just pipping Dubai-based Iranian rider Farhang Sadeghi into third place on Gazaro VDL.
As it transpired, Abdul Aziz Al Balushi timed his late challenge to perfection aboard Majed El Meqirat in the colours of Ahmed Alneibi for trainer Ali Al Ameri, a first ever trip to the winner’s enclosure for the last named.
Running from 9 am to 9 pm each day, the show promises to be a fun-filled day for all the family. Visitors will be able to shop at the Virtus Village, featuring local and international equestrian brands and artisan makers.
Day one saw a female-dominated leaderboard, with young Emirati rider Alya Adnan Awadh Al Mheiri riding Douwecara taking first place in The Date Room 110cm in a strong field of 96 riders.
Taking place at Kalba Beach, the showjumping championship, is organised by the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club as part of the fifth edition of the Sharjah Kalba Festival for Equestrian Sports.
Horses from the UK, Bahrain, Czech Republic and Ireland will compete against a wealth of local talent at the first ‘Festive Friday’ meeting, where more than Dhs4.5 million in prize money is up for grabs across nine races.