Huge opportunity for young thoroughbred enthusiasts

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Masar Godolphin, an academic and experiential scholarship programme targeting Emiratis, was announced yesterday at the Godolphin Stables in Al Quoz.

Operating under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Masar Godolphin will provide UAE nationals with a unique opportunity to embrace their equestrian heritage and become business leaders of the future.

The opportunity will be given to eight outstanding and ambitiousyoungsters aged between 23 and 30, who demonstrate a genuine passion for equestrianism, and who have the ambition to develop personally and professionally.

The programme will take place over 10 months, in Dubai, the UK and Ireland, and will comprise of various modules that include horse husbandry for breeding and performance, racehorse trainer placements (shadowing Team Godolphin trainers Saeed bin Suroor and Charlie Appleby and their senior team during their daily routines) and business management.









Masar (which is Arabic for ‘journey’) Godolphin will be run by Ali Al Ali, who is keen on unearthing the next leaders of this industry.


“The love of horses is in the DNA of Dubai and the same pioneering spirit that you see in modern Dubai is felt in Godolphin, constantly looking forward, relentlessly innovating,” said Al Ali. “This is an extremely exciting time to be involved in thoroughbred horse breeding and racing and thanks to the ongoing support and guidance of His Highness, we are privileged to be able to extend this opportunity to the next generation of Emiratis.”


Asked about the selection criteria for the applicants, Al Ali said they are looking for people with third degree level education and two or more years of experience in the thoroughbred industry or any equestrian-related field.


Information and applications are available on www.godolphin.com.



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Melbourne Cup: The race that stops the world

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Melbourne Cup.

In a global sense, the famous two-mile handicap, run on the first Tuesday every November, has really taken off. European stayers now flock to the race, owners from every corner of the globe get involved, and the race remains a fascination to virtually everybody inhabiting the huge continent sandwiched between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Godolphin have never been more widely represented. John O’Shea saddles the well-fancied Hartnell, fresh from his fighting second to Winx in the G1 Cox Plate, Saeed bin Suroor sends out Secret Number and Beautiful Romance, while Charlie Appleby, who has been mopping up the country cups, has Oceanographer and Qewy.

Local form analysts face a conundrum in Oceanographer. Can he endure his third race in 13 days? It is very unusual for a European stayer to cram in so many races in such a short period.

Oceanographer, meanwhile, appears to be thriving. Appleby reported: “He lost 5kg in body weight during his Lexus win, but (Monday morning) he has put 3kg back on. He looks well and he has eaten well. He has not left an oat since the race.”

Oceanographer turned in one of the best trials seen to win his way into the Cup field. His sectional times in Saturday’s Lexus were exceptional. He is a powerful stayer, just hitting his peak after 11 career starts. With a light weight of 52kg, he can win Godolphin its first Melbourne Cup.

Appleby also has a very healthy regard for Qewy, his Geelong Cup winner. “He is an old favourite in the yard, and is a very good horse on his day. He seems in great form, which he showed at Geelong,” he said.

Qewy, a gelding, is impeccably bred. He is by Street Cry from a half-sister to super stallion Dubawi. He is expected to take up a prominent position early in the race, though it is not imperative that he makes the running.

The Michael Bell-trained Big Orange, fifth in the Cup last year, seems a better and stronger horse this year. He has enjoyed a very good preparation and will be up near the front all the way.

Saeed bin Suroor astutely observed: “There will be pace on all the way this year. If the Europeans are prominent early, they will not take a ‘pull’ and slow the field down. They will keep galloping on.”

Ballydoyle runner Bondi Beach, the mount of Ryan Moore, is expected to run a big race. He will be more mature this year, which will stand him in good stead.

O’Shea believes Hartnell also to be in better form this year. His G1 Turnbull Stakes run was a beauty and very hard to forget. If he reproduces that effort, he can clinch it.

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Sheikh Hamdan misses out on FEI crown

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Sheikh Hamdan won the title in 2014.

Spanish riders, Jaume Punti Dachs and Alex Moral Luque landed a 1-2 at the 2016 renewal of the Longines FEI World Endurance Championship held at the Samorin Equestrian Centre in Slovakia on Saturday.

Hopes had been high for a UAE victory for the 2014 defending champion, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, who had been the long-term leader of the 160km ride.

But it was not to be as his horse, Ramaah, was vetted out at the fourth vet check having displayed an uneven gait during the trot up.

The UAE’s Saif Al Mazroui then took up the running in the final loop but was to be denied when his mount, Napoli Del Ma did not pass the final vet check, leaving the way clear for the Spanish riders.

Winner Dachs, who partnered the grey gelding Twyst Maison Blanche, is a familiar figure in UAE endurance riding having been a long-term competitor and trainer in the emirates.

Dachs crossed the line in 6:46:42, 50 seconds ahead of Luque on Calandria PH.

Bahrain’s HH Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa and his horse, Waterlea Dawn Treader, who stopped the clock at 6:49:47, were third in the prestigious race.

More than 130 horse and rider combinations, representing a record 42 countries, entered the competition.

The ride was contested in five loops, running alongside the River Danube and covering distances of 40km, 35km, 35km, 30km and 20km.

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