Racing returns to Dubai

We take a look at what not to miss from now until the end of December

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Racing returns to Meydan for a third season on Thursday November 10, with a total of five race meetings taking place from now until the end of December. Racing at Meydan is part of the lead up to the Dubai World Cup Carnival, which officially gets underway on Thursday January 5, 2012, and concludes with the famous Dubai World Cup race on Saturday March 31, 2012.

Each of the five races taking place up until the end of the year will feature the best of regional talent, with stables looking to develop their horses and move forward to compete in the World Cup. We take a look at what you need to know about this year’s racing season.

Race dates

Over the next two months, the five race dates are Thursday November 10, Friday November 25, Thursday December 8, Friday December 23 and Saturday December 31. The beginning of the season features early post times on three of these five dates, including an early start on New Year’s Eve. Races on November 25 and December 23 start at 3pm, while December 31’s race starts at 4.30pm. The races on November 10 and December 8 will start at 6.30pm.

Competing trainers

While most jockeys and some trainers are still yet to be confirmed, there are a few faces who are widely expected to compete this season. Ali Rashid Al Raihe An Emirati trainer who has achieved great success in the UAE. In 2010 he won the US$1 million (Dhs3,673,100) Dubai Duty Free race with Al Shemali. In recent years he has been among the top trainers with UAE wins.

Doug Watson: A US-born trainer who has been an active member of Dubai’s racing community since the early 90s and was a leading trainer in the UAE in 2005-6, again in 2007-8 and in the following year 2008-9.

Erwan Charpy: A French trainer with international connections, Charpy has also worked with horses in the US and England. He was the leading UAE trainer in the 2001-2 season.

Musabah Al Muhairi: An Emarati trainer who has achieved great wins in recent years with Snaafy in the 2011 Jebel Ali Mile and Instant Recall in the Al Quoz Sprint II in 2008.

Hassan Al Bloushi: A well-known Emarati horseman who has worked with a large number and variety of horses, in both flat racing and endurance riding scenarios. Gillian Duffield A leading trainer of Arabian race horses, the British born Ms Duffield won the prestigious Khayala Classic across four consecutive years from 2005 to 2009.

Satish Seemar: An India-born trainer who has so far competed in races in England, France, Japan, Argentina and America.

Hospitality packages

There are two dining packages available, with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, at Silks and Tiered Restaurant, with prices starting at Dhs295 per person. There are also 72 hospitality suites, perfect for private parties and corporate entertainment, with spectacular views of the course. Each suite has a private buffet station, with afternoon tea, soft drinks and house beverages included in the price. Packages will be served for four hours during Racing at Meydan and five hours during the Carnival races. For private suites, prices per head start at Dhs295, with a minimum group size of 10. General admission is free within a designated section of the Meydan Grandstand, while premium seating positioned directly across from the finish line is Dhs50 per person November to December and Dhs100 per person January to March.

Stable tours

Until April 15, Meydan is offering stable tours with a package that includes breakfast. Tours run three days a week – Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday – and start with a buffet from 8am at Farrier’s Restaurant, before guests board a shuttle bus at 9.15am for a group tour of the stables, a short 10-minute drive away. On the day of the tour, guests will be given a brief background on the horses stabled in the facility, and one of the animals will be brought out to allow guests a close-up look. As well as visiting the tack room and Farrier’s room, guests will also have the chance to see a horse swimming in the centre’s equine pool, or getting some light exercise on a treadmill.
Breakfast buffet and stable tour Dhs250 for adults, Dhs200 for children aged four to 12. Under fours are not permitted. To book call 04 381 3375. To book tickets for races or for enquiries regarding hospitality packages, call the ticket sales office on 04 327 2110.

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