Melbourne's premier event for the juveniles, the million dollar
Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday, was a bit of a disappointment for the camp of Sheikh Mohammed Maktoum, a world leader in racing and breeding, including having Darley studs at Aberdeen in the Hunter Valley and near Seymour in Victoria. His exciting young sire Exceed and Excel had three first crop runners in the event, but they did not make the placings. However some solace for Sheikh Mohammed Maktoum was found by the winner Reaan, a Hussonet colt, being owned by his brother Sheikh Hamden Maktoum, for the second time in three years. Hamden also won the Diamond in 2006 with the Redoute's Choice colt Nadeem and the Melbourne Cup back in 1994 and 1986 respectively with Jeune and At Talaq, two overseas gallopers he sent out here who later became successful sires. Like the Blue Diamond winners, they were trained by the Hayes family at Lindsay Park at Angaston in the Barossa valley. David Hayes has trained first and second in each of the last three Blue Diamonds. A secret to his success, and earlier of his father, the late Colin Hayes, could not only be extraordinary judgement in choosing horses, but extra fitness achieved on the undulating training tracks, walking paths and open stabling on Lindsay Park. Lindsay Park was established more than 40 years ago and the training operation has been one of the world's greatest sources of winners.
Hamden Maktoum, the owner of Saturday's Blue Diamond winner under the banner of his international Shadwell Stud operation, and Mohammed Maktoum are members of the ruling family of the oil rich United Arab Emirates, one in Saudi Arabia, a region which is four fifths desert. They are world leaders in breeding and racing and have invested more than a billion dollars.This is being boosted by their spending of nearly that amount alone on the building of a new racing centre near the Emirates capital Dubai due to open in two years.To have a capacity for 60,0000 racegoers, it will be a new city including horse and business park, the racing centre, five star hotel and a residential section. Big feature of the annual racing is the Dubai World Cup, one attracting horses from around the world, including Australia. It is to he held this year on March 29 with total prize money of $21.25million American and includes the richest race in the world, the $6million Dubai World Cup, and two each worth $5million.
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