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« Melbourne Sales – Mission Accomplished! | Main | DUBAI: NO MORE REHEARSALS »
Saturday
Mar072009

REFLECTIONS OF A SHEIKH

sheikh mohammed bin khalifa al maktoumHis Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Matoum
(Photo : Summerhill Sires Brochure 2008/2009)

It’s a strange marvel of human behaviour that racing induces such incredible emotions in us. When all is said and done, true racing people are made of the same stuff, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifah Al Maktoum is no different. Speaking to his right-hand man, Mohammed Khaleel, in the wake of Thursday evening’s events in Dubai, he spoke of the Sheikh’s ecstasy at Asiatic Boy’s grand run, but he was no less complimentary about the efforts of Art Of War and Imbongi.

You’d think their thoughts were riveted solely on racing’s big night at the end of March, yet it’s a measure of Sheikh Mohammed and his team that, at times like this, they have the grace to think of the origins of these horses. Sheikh Mohammed was quick to recall that all of Imbongi and Art of War, Galant Gagnant and Umngazi were graduates of the Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Sale, and he wished us long life with the sale henceforward. In his view, this is a prime source of top thoroughbreds, and he was quick to add the hope that this year’s crop would be comparable with the class of 2007. No doubt, music to the ears of Bob Yearham and his merry team at Emperors Palace.

It seems Imbongi is not the only one who might’ve booked his ticket for World Cup night. It’s possible little Art Of War gets his moment in the sunshine (or should we say the moonshine, too) in the Dubai World Cup itself.

No doubt, the likes of Barry Clements, Rodney Thorpe and Roger Zeeman had little inkling that the matings of their respective mares to Russian Revival and Kahal that year, would yield results which would one day have their names in lights at the richest racing spectacle on earth.

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