From left: Yasir Mabrouk, Osama Rifai, Sayed Hashish, Hana Refai, and Mohamed Al Ahmed during the presentation ceremony.
Amir Naqvi, Sports Editor
Meydan Racecourse, home of the $30.5 million Dubai World Cup meeting, will host the Emirates Sprint Series races after Dubai Racing Club comes on board for the second edition of the series.
The organising committee of the Emirates Sprint Series has confirmed that Dubai Racing Club will be part of the ambitious initiative when the new season of horseracing kicks off in October.
Following the directives of Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the patron of Jebel Ali Racecourse, the Emirates Sprint Series was launched last season.
Sheikh Ahmed’s initiative aimed to support owners, trainers, and jockeys, as well as link racecourses and promote horse racing in the country.
Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club and Jebel Ali Racecourse hosted the different legs of the series. Major General Mohammed Essa Al Adhab, Board Member and Executive Director of Dubai Racing Club, expressed his thanks and appreciation to Sheikh Ahmed for kicking off the series for a second year running.
“Sheikh Ahmed is regarded as one of the pillars of horse racing in the UAE, and we are pleased to be a part of this unique series.”
The Dubai Racing Club will join the series with the Garhoud Sprint race taking place at the Meydan Racecourse in December.
“Emirates Sprint Series forms a link between the Dubai Racing Club and the other participating clubs, and we wish everyone involved in the series luck as strong completion among top owners is expected,” he added.
Mohamed Al Ahmed, Executive Director of Emirates Sprint Series and General Manager of Jebel Ali Racecourse, also thanked Sheikh Ahmed for launching the series for the second year in a row.
“The first edition of the Emirates Sprint Series achieved great success and contributed towards creating a new platform for competitions in the racing season by drawing a sizable number of owners, trainers, and riders to fight for the championship crown, which was applauded by all,” he said.
Road Bloc, in the colours of Sayed Hashish and Hana Refai, made his maiden trip to Jebel Ali Racecourse a special one by taking home his biggest career prize – the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint – in the final meeting of the last season.
Following a perfect start at the 250-metre mark, the five-year-old Street Sense gelding, trained by Osama Rafai and ridden by Oscar Chavez, prevailed over Meshakel and Story Of Light.
He doubled his tally, winning the Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup, the opening race of the Emirates Sprint Series, over 1,200 metres in Sharjah. Since Jebel Ali Sprint was the second of the series, the winning connections received a bonus of Dhs250,000 for taking both races in addition to the first prize of Dhs300,000. Sultan Mohammed Sultan Al Yahyaee, Director of Sharjah Longines Racecourse, welcomed the Dubai Racing Club’s inclusion in the Emirates Sprint Series.
“Iconic Meydan Racecourse is one of the most acclaimed local and international tracks. Their participation in the series will make it more compelling and exciting,” he said.
He praised Sheikh Ahmed for launching the second edition of the Emirates Sprint Speed Series.
Yahyaee stated that the return of the series at the Sharjah Racecourse is an honour they are proud of, especially since the first round of the Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup, held last season, saw strong participation from the top horses in the country.
“The series had brought about a qualitative shift in horse racing, which was demonstrated by the remarkable success it attained, and turned it into a goal for owners and trainers,” he added.
Yasir Mabrouk, the Director of Race Development at the Emirates Racing Authority, affirmed that the return of the series for its second edition, introduced by Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is a significant indicator of the success attained in its inaugural season, which saw the participation of the most renowned horses in its races.
Mabrouk hailed the Dubai Racing Club’s inclusion in the second season of the series and mentioned that they had been working on growing the championship since the end of the previous season.
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