UAE

Godolphin claims historic 5,000th winner with Expecting To Fly in France

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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Godolphin stable has chalked up its 5,000th winner worldwide.

The memorable milestone was reached when Expecting To Fly, trained by Henri-Alex Pantall and ridden by Hugo Journiac, landed a one-mile maiden race win at La Teste de Buch in France last Thursday (August 16).

The feat comes 25 years and eight months after Sheikh Mohammed created an elite stable of around 60 of his homebreds and a collection of his best horses already with established trainers in Europe.

Since its inception in 1992, Godolphin has won races in 14 countries on four continents.

Godolphin’s first winner came in a six-furlong maiden on dirt at Nad Al Sheba in Dubai on December 24, 1992.

The history-making debut winner was Cutwater, trained by Hilal Ibrahim and ridden by jockey Dennis Batteate.

13 years later, Godolphin reached 1,000 winners courtesy of Cherry Mix, the horse trained by Saeed bin Suroor and with Frankie Dettori in the saddle, sauntered to success at the G1 Gran Premio Del Jockey Club E Coppa d’Oro at San Siro in Italy (October 2005).

While the first 1,000 winners took over a decade, only seven years was need for Godolphin to reach 2,000 race wins — when the very smart Certify (later a G1 Fillies’ Mile winner) won a six-furlong turf maiden at Newmarket on 12 July, 2012.

Certify was ridden that day by Godolphin’s retained jockey Mickael Barzalona, who holds a unique place in the stable’s history, as he would also partner the Godolphin’s 3,000th and 4,000th landmark winners.

The memorable 3,000th victory was chalked up by the Andre Fabre-trained Manatee, ridden by Barzalona, in the G2 Grand Prix de Chantilly in May 2015.

The 4,000th was delivered by the Charlie Appleby-trained Fly At Dawn, again with Barzalona, in the 2,000 Guineas at Meydan in January 2017.

Perhaps Godolphin’s most stunning victory in America in recent years came in the 2016 G1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park when stable flagship Frosted annihilated his opposition, winning by 14 and a quarter lengths in track record time.

Among the most recent winners was arguably the most noteworthy — the brilliant Masar, ridden by William Buick and trained by Appleby, who triumphed in the G1 Derby at Epsom in June 2018.

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UAE

Ras Al Khaimah's Jebel Jais Flight zipline can now be enjoyed in London thanks to latest AR technology

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Star UAE jiu-jitsu athlete Faisal Al Ketbi (r) tries out the Jebel Jais Zipline.

Imagine standing 1,680m above sea level with mountain views as far as the eye can see and setting off on a 100mph zipline where you will fly like a falcon for 2.83 kilometers.

Now imagine experiencing all of this while still being within a few hundred metres of the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye.

Anyone visiting London can now experience a taster of the record breaking world’s longest zipline – recently opened in Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE, thanks to the launch of the world’s first augmented reality (AR) zipline experience, dubbed The Jebel Jais Flight London at Zip Now London.

Created in partnership between the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and Zip Now London, visitors will get the physical thrill of riding the world’s longest and fastest urban zipline, situated in Waterloo, while enjoying the views from the Guinness World Record setting Jebel Jais Flight zipline thanks to the latest AR technology.

The Jebel Jais Flight London will see thrill seekers use the latest headsets to virtually transport themselves to the top of the world’s longest zipline.

Riding on a dedicated line with specially trained instructors, anyone riding will first enjoy the original Zip Now London experience and will then ride for a second time using the virtual reality headset when they will immerse themselves in the 360 degree views of the Jebel Jais Flight.

The  Jebel Jais Flight zipline in RAK.

The Jebel Jais Flight zipline in RAK.

Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority which is actively promoting Ras Al Khaimah in the UK market, said of the new experience: “With world leading experiences such as the Jebel Jais Flight we’re transforming Ras Al Khaimah from an undiscovered Emirate to the adventure hub of the middle east, making our stunning mountain range accessible and enjoyable for the first time.

“The Jebel Jais Flight London is giving adventure seekers a completely unique way to experience riding a record-setting attraction from an undiscovered part of the globe, but from right here in the heart of the city.

“By combining the fantastic ride of Zip Now London and the latest 360 video and augmented reality technologies, we’ve created a world first experience people can enjoy all summer long.”

Barry Shevarin, CEO of Zip Now added: “This amazing partnership has enabled the most exciting and innovative urban ziplining experience ever.

“Not only are our lines carrying more people further and faster than before, but now visitors can transport themselves to the top of Jebel Jais Mountain in Ras Al Khaimah and experience the attraction that everyone in adventure tourism is talking about.”

The Jebel Jais Flight London at Zip Now London.

The Jebel Jais Flight London at Zip Now London.

Located on Jebel Jais, the highest mountain in the UAE, Jebel Jais Flight is the world’s longest zipline at 2.83km, propelling adventure seekers at speeds between 120 and 150kph from a height of 1,683m above sea level.

Participants ride the line on special ‘superhero’ style horizontal harnesses with the longest flight itself taking between two and three minutes. Guests finish the bucket list flight on a stunning, glass-bottomed suspended landing platform where they are transferred to a second line to complete their journey.

The Jebel Jais Flight London can be booked at https://zip-now.co/, with tickets available from £49 (Dh236).

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UAE

Hafthor Bjornsson to headline World’s Ultimate Strongman in Dubai

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The world’s strongest men are coming to Dubai – for an event the likes of which has never been seen before.

World’s Ultimate Strongman will be held in the spectacular Bab Al Shams Arena in October – but is far more than just a strongman event.

Organisers are creating a sports and entertainment extravaganza more akin to a music festival – with a day of events, activities, entertainment shows and competition – topped off by some of the most incredible feats of strength the world has ever seen.

The headline strongman event promises to rival and surpass any strongman event to date, with a who’s who line-up.

Leading light will be Hafthor Bjornsson, known to many as ‘The Mountain’ from Game of Thrones. The six foot nine, 195kg monster, lifted the World’s Strongest Man crown earlier this year and will be one of the main contenders for the top prize on the day – the biggest the sport of strongman has ever seen.

Alongside Bjornsson will be two former World’s Strongest Man winners in American Brian Shaw and Zydrunas Savickas, from Lithuania. The pair have eight WSM titles between them.

Add to this some of the sport’s brightest young talents in Iron Biby, Mateusz Kieliszkowski and Tom Stoltman, and the level of competition is clear.

Other competitors battling it out for the WUS title are JF Caron, Terry Hollands, Martins Licis, Laurence Shahlaei, Robert Oberst, Matjaz Belsak, Luke Stoltman and Konstantine Janashia.

Brian Shaw

The jaw-dropping events they will take part in include a truck pull, log press, deadlift and the famous atlas stones – all in the middle of the Bab Al Shams Arena, a spectacular setting which will only add to the gladiatorial drama of the competition.

The event is supported by Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Tourism and Bab Al Shams, with more big name partnerships to be announced soon.

Already involved are local organisations Desert Barbell and Fitness in DXB who will both be running competitions on the day – one to find Dubai’s bench press king – the other to discover the city’s fittest human.

There will be a host of other activities for crowds to enjoy, all in a festival-style atmosphere with live music and food and beverage packages. This will include Shaolin Monk performances, Hawaiian fire dancers, obstacle courses, a UFC experience, Capoeira fighters and a spectacular fireworks display.

Don Idrees and Mark Boyd, founders and producers of World’s Ultimate Strongman – Beasts in the Middle East, say crowds are going to enjoy a truly unique experience. “This is so much more than your average sporting event,” they said.

“We want people to leave on the day thoroughly enthralled and entertained by what they have both witnessed and taken part in.

“We have brought in a host of features to give us a family-friendly festival feel with great events, entertainment, attractions and activities that would be a great day out in their own right – the only difference here is we have the spectacle of the world’s strongest man competing as the headline act.

“We are delighted to have athletes of this magnitude competing and are looking forward to welcoming spectators from all over the world.”

Tickets for the event start at Dh249, with children under 12 going free. For more information and to buy tickets or international travel packages, visit www.worldsultimatestrongman.com

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