UAE-based du LaLiga High Performance Centre (HPC) under-14 and under-16 teams enjoyed a week to remember during a recent scouting and tournament camp in Spain.
HPC’s 14 and under side – in their first overseas tour – delivered a stellar defensive and tactically astute display to beat La Liga youth Cadiz 1-0 on their own patch while the older age group, who are still on a high from winning the UAE FAAL and TTD Super Cup in Dubai, secured an emphatic and crushing 4-0 victory over Granada.
After a goalless opening 45 minutes, Mohammad Shabrawy was quick to capitalize on an error from the opposition to put the UAE under-16 side ahead before Fabio Rollano quickly doubled their advantage with a fine left-footed piledriver into the top corner.
Barbod Mazloumian then laid on a second of the game for Shabrawy before rounding off the scoring himself on the stroke of the final whistle.
Both victories were secured in front of watchful La Liga scouts on the lookout for talented UAE footballers, with the rewards for those that impress potentially contract opportunities.
The under-14s are now due to return home to the UAE, however, the duLaLiga HPC under-16 and under-18 squads have three more fixtures each to contest this coming week against Spanish heavyweights Real Betis, Malaga and UD Almeria.
Commenting on the results following the first week, Fernando Sanz, the General Director of LaLiga, MENA, said: “We are very proud of our HPC teams and their performance this week. The level of football in LaLiga is very high and the fact that these young men have the level to compete and win at Spanish standards reflects on our professional development program we have for in place for them in the UAE delivered by the finest LaLiga coaches.”
Former Real Madrid defender Sanz added: “The LaLiga youth clubs now look forward to these summer matches and are giving us very positive on some of our top players. And this year, we are delighted that the U14 team is joining the LaLiga scouting camp for the first time, and they are already making their mark!”
This latest du LaLiga HPC trip to Spain is the academy’s third in succession, with some 48 youngsters across various age groups making the trip.
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.
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.
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.”
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).