Emirates Racing Authority Announces Upgrades to UAE Pattern Races

The Emirates Racing Authority is pleased to announce significant upgrades to the UAE stakes schedule for 2012 with the Dubai World Cup meeting bolstered further by the upgrade to Group One of the Al Quoz Sprint and Super Saturday now to host dual Group One events with the rise to the elite level for the Al Maktoum Challenge Round III and the Jebel Hatta.

For the 2011/2012 season, the UAE will host 34 Group races including the following: Group One, seven contests; Group Two, nine events; Group Three, ten races; and Listed contests, eight.

The Al Quoz Sprint, sponsored by Emirates NBD, will now serve as the fifth Group One race to be offered on the Dubai World Cup programme scheduled for March 31 2012.

Super Saturday will now offer Group One competition with two stellar events, the Jebel Hatta and the Al Maktoum Challenge Round III to be contested on March 10 2012. The latter serves as the prep race for the world’s richest race, the US$10 million Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline.

The roster of upgrades displays the ERA’s commitment to horseracing and hosting of quality events that will attract the best competition and draw the eyes of the racing world to the UAE.

“This is another significant step in the development of the sport of horseracing in the UAE,” said Malih Lahej Al Basti, Chairman, Steering Committee for the Emirates Racing Authority.

“The history of horseracing in this region is centuries old, and our efforts to upgrade our stakes is an example of our passion for the sport. This is a great gain for horseracing and all the UAE as this accomplishment will gain positive attention and attract visitors to come and share our enthusiasm for horseracing.”

Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club will offer one Group Three race and two Listed events during their season. They are joined in offering UAE “Black Type” races by Jebel Ali Racecourse that will feature three Listed races during the season.

Meydan Racecourse will also offer three other Dubai World Cup Carnival events that received upgrades. The Al Maktoum Challenge Round II will now be run at Group Two level and the Firebreak Stakes and Nad Al Sheba Trophy will now be run at Group Three level for the first time.