This is a historic moment for Dubai’s Godolphin stables.
The Epsom Derby is Britain’s richest horse race and its most prestigious too. Winning at this 239-year-old race in Surrey lands the triumphant team and its owners a permanent spot as one of the all-time greats of horse racing.
That’s exactly what HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, achieved over the weekend. Masar from his Godolphin stables finished first at the race.
The moment was made even more special by the fact that HH Sheikh Mohammed was joined by his family including his wife, Princess Haya, son HH Sheikh Hamdan and 10-year-old daughter 10-year-old Sheikha Al Jalila.
A video posted on Instagram by HH Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai, shows the steely expression of sheer delight on his face at the exact moment that Masar crossed the finish line. The video shows him then removing his top hat as he moves out to the terraced area outside seeking out his father to congratulate him. Obviously, the look on his father’s face as the two embrace is one of utter contentment.
Keep watching the video and you’ll spot HH Sheikh Mohammed doing his famous victory dance when his son meets him again in what appears to be the parking lot.
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) June 2, 2018
A picture tweeted by the Dubai Media Office, shows HH Sheikh Mohammed, Princess Haya and daughter Sheikha Jalila meeting with Queen Elizabeth II on the sidelines of the show. We’re not sure if this was before or after the victory, but what we do know for sure is that both the royals are very fond of horses and horse racing.
HH Sheikh Mohammed also posted a father-daughter image of him with Sheikha Al Jalila, an image that was reposted by Princess Haya. Separately, Princess Haya also posted an image of Sheikh Hamdan with Sheikha Al Jalila at the races.
Congratulatory messages to Dubai’s royal family came in from across the world, including from Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, who tweeted his congratulations a few hours ago as well.
My heartfelt congratulations to my brother Mohammed bin Rashid on winning the Dubai English classic Derby horse race. It’s an honorable achievement for all of us. pic.twitter.com/2uAMRqxCsx
— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) June 2, 2018
This is turning out to be a spectacular few weeks for the Godolphin stables. In April, Godolphin’s Thunder Snow finished first at the high-stakes Dubai World Cup.
Although it was Goldolphin’s seventh victory at the annual world cup, this was its first at the Epsom Derby. Previously, Godolphin has come close to winning the Derby on three occasions finishing second in 1998, 2004 and more recently in 2015.
According to The National, in a post-race television interview following the Derby victory, HH Sheikh Mohammed said, “It is not easy to win the Derby but we have won it.
“This a big race and there is always something special about it. My daughter is here and the horse came from Dubai. I’m very happy. Horses are in my blood. I love horses, and I love racing.”
Congratulations are certainly in order.
Image: Twitter, Instagram