Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Dubawi at Dalham Hall in Newmarket. Photo courtesy Darley
Dubawi at Dalham Hall in Newmarket. Photo courtesy Darley

Racing poet's salute to an annual spectacle

Business of sport: Henry Birtles, aka The Racing Poet, writes an ode to the Dubai World Cup exclusively for The National.

The United Kingdom has produced many celebrated figures to grace the sport of kings. But outside racing circles, one of the most creative of them is not so well known.

Henry Birtles has created a niche for writing and delivering bespoke racing poems in the UK and abroad.

His work Best Mate has become an essential part of the UK's Cheltenham Gold Cup Day when he recites the piece beside the statue of the great horse after whom the poem is titled.

Another poem, The Derby, recited to the British Queen and a crowd of 150,000 by the famous Shakespearean actor Brian Blessed, has also been well used by the BBC during their coverage of Cheltenham.

Here, exclusively printed in The National, is his poem dedicated to the Dubai World Cup and the sporting heritage it represents.

The Return

The Desert summons back the few to where it all began

From whence 'The Three' of noble blood set forth to foreign lands

'The Three' who sired the swiftest breed and gave this world our sport

A spectacle that levels all from Street to Royal Court

It took a Prince, now Ruler, of this land known as Dubai

To bring their sons and daughters back and raise the bar this high

To offer prizes never seen and force the hand of those

Who say they own the finest horse, to prove, not just suppose

And so again we'll feel the heat that feeds our hearts desire

To see the best the world can throw from Racing's blazing fire

That lures us from four corners, where gathered as one clan

We'll hail the horse who rules this course and sets alight Meydan

So thank you Sheikh Mohammed for another World Cup Feast

Your home Dubai has proved once more that wonders never cease


© Henry Birtles


The writer has become known in racing circles as "The Racing Poet". He also runs HBA, a sports media consultancy specialising in television rights. HBA works with international sports federations and major television networks. In the Middle East, Mr Birtles is closely involved with the UAE media industry and the coverage of international horse racing. He also manages the racing interests of Elizabeth Hurley and her fiancé, Shane Warne, whom he introduced to racehorse ownership through Highclere Thoroughbred Racing.

For more information visit: www.hba1.co.uk, www.racingpoems.co.uk and www.highclereracing.co.uk



Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Would you like it in blue? An Afghan shopkeeper shows a burqa to a customer at a bazaar in Herat. (Aref Karimi / AFP /  April 13, 2014)

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 24, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 24, 2014.

 That's asking a lot: this four-bedroom duplex penthouse apartment  at Marina Residence in Dubai is for sale with an asking price of Dh15.7 million. (Courtesy Better Homes / April 2014)

In pictures: Palm Jumeirah penthouse listed for Dh15.7 million

A four-bedroom duplex penthouse in Marina Residence 3 on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah is on the market for Dh15.7 million.

 Room with a view from one of the 21 duplex penthouses located in the Gate Towers sky-bridge. The sports courts and swimming pools can be seen below. Courtesy Alda

In pictures: Aldar’s Gate Towers Penthouse Collection on Reem Island

Aldar launched its Gate Towers Penthouse Collection at Cityscape Abu Dhabi. The launch features 21 penthouses spanning the skybridge, with each having a private indoor pool and incredible views.

 Marina Square apartments Reem Island: Q1 2% rise. Studio - Dh65-68,000. 1BR - Dh75-95,000. 2BR - Dh110-145,000. 3BR - Dh170-190,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 no change. Sammy Dallal / The National

In pictures: Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Abu Dhabi have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National