By Neeraj Gangal
Dubai’s landmark grandstand and racecourse, Meydan opens for business on Thursday.
Meydan glory for Campeao
No Risk Al Maury, owned by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum won the first ever race at Meydan, the Group 1 Maktoum Challenge for Purebred Arabians.
The winner was trained by Gill Duffield, while the same owner was also responsible for the runner-up Santhal, as well as the fourth Kandar Du Falgas, a press release from the Dubai Racing Club said on Thursday.
The owner's retained jockey, Richard Hills, was aboard the winner and, coincidentally, partnering his 450th UAE winner in the process.
"Of course it is great to ride the first winner here and extra special now you have told me it was my 450th. This is a nice horse though and one we thought would love this new track," Hills said in the release.
The Thoroughbred equivalent was won by Dubai International Racing Carnival regular Gloria De Campeao who battled bravely to land the spoils in the 1600m feature. Never far off the pace, he had to fight off several challenges, and was actually headed turning for home, but fought back to regain the advantage inside the final 100m.
His trainer Pascal Bary said: "This horse loves Dubai and never runs a bad race. We will be aiming him for the World Cup in which he was an excellent second last year."
Dubai’s landmark racecourse, Meydan opened for business on Thursday to coincide with the opening of the Dubai International Racing Carnival.
At an estimated cost of $2.7bn, the grandstand and racecourse combine to form the largest integrated racing facility in the world.
The grandstand alone is 1.6 kilometres long and can seat a capacity crowd of 60,000.