x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Meydan doubles race schedule for the new season

The new Racecourse has taken the lead in the schedule for the forthcoming year with 20 race days, 10 more than it staged last season.

The new Meydan Racecourse has taken the lead in the schedule for the forthcoming season with 20 race days, 10 more than it staged last season as builders rushed to complete the Dubai track. Abu Dhabi Golf and Equestrian Club and Jebel Ali Racecourse in Dubai each have three fewer race days than a year ago, with 15 and 11, respectively. Jebel Ali is taking advantage of the UAE's biggest racing event, the US$10 million Dubai World Cup on March 26, by staging a meeting on March 25.

Dhruba Selvaratnam, a trainer and the designer of the Jebel Ali course, welcomes the idea. "The Dubai World Cup draws international visitors and the media alike, just for the one race meeting and now those who travel all the way will get an opportunity to visit another racecourse and another part of Dubai," Selvaratnam, who trains at Jebel Ali for Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid, said. "The Dubai World Cup has grown in stature and is well-followed. It has given Dubai a great image among the racing fraternity. So why not explore those opportunities further and get them to visit other parts of Dubai?"

Four days of racing are scheduled in Sharjah. The season opens on November 5 at Jebel Ali, and ends with the Dubai World Cup at Meydan. Racing will usually be held on Thursdays and Fridays at Meydan; on Fridays at Jebel Ali, on Saturdays at Sharjah and Sundays at Abu Dhabi. The total 50 race days represents a gain of four over last season. Other big events at Meydan include the Dubai International Racing Festival and the Meydan Masters. @Email:apassela@thenational.ae