MIKE and his Dubai team were honoured to have Sheikh Hamdan on course at Meydan for Thursday night’s UAE 2000 Guineas, won by Soft Falling Rain.
“It’s extremely satisfying to train a horse like this for a man like Sheikh Hamdan, who is one of the most respected racehorse owners and breeders in the world. He’s investing millions in the South African racing industry with a view of securing top horses to compete in Dubai and elsewhere. Angus Gold, Jehan Malherbe and I spend hours at sales looking for the plums. To find one like this for Sheikh Hamdan is wonderful,” said Mike.
Mike shares a moment with Sheikh Hamdan.
Sheikh Hamdan, via Angus Gold and Form Bloodstock bought Soft Falling Rain, who is by National Assembly (Danzig) from of the winning Giant’s Causeway mare Gardener’s Delight, for R350,000 at the inaugural Cape Premier Sale in 2011 in Cape Town.
The colt was bred by Highlands Farms Stud, which is owned by the Beck family of Gainesway in Lexington, and is from the family of 1995 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Gal in a Ruckus.
“Soft Falling Rain’s purchase from the first Cape Sale is a feather in the cap for its organisers.Tonight’s win was great for me personally and for South African racing overall,” Mike commented.
On the occasion of his birthday (not 50 yet!), wife Diane and daughter Kirsten flew to Dubai to share the joy with the Valentine boy. Roving celebrity lensman Andrew Watkins, who is working overtime this season, snapped the photos at Meydan on Thursday.