For its fourth event at Newmarket Racecourse, Dubai Future Champions Day sought to saw the next crop of racehorses battle it out to the winning post further strengthen the ties between horseracing and the local community
More than ten thousand people savoured the action at the fourth Dubai Future Champions Day at The Rowley Mile, the first to be held on a Friday as part of the Weekend of Champions.
On the tracks, the Roger Varian-trained Belardo established himself as a colt with quality, giving an impressive performance in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes, while other high-flyers included Godolphin’s Charming Thought, winner of the vision.ae Middle Park Stakes, and Together Forever, who landed the Dubai Fillies’ Mile for Aidan O’Brien.
There was a wonderful atmosphere and buzz about The Rowley Mile
However, Dubai Future Champions Day was not just about heralding champion riders and racehorses. In keeping with the day’s theme, it was also about developing ‘future champions’, by providing opportunities for students and school children to engage with and learn more about the racing industry.
Newmarket Racecourses and Newmarket Academy staged the inaugural Future Champions Education Week, supported by sponsorship from Dubai. Developed to work alongside the ‘Newmarket Vision’, its objective was to ensure that each student participating would not only gain a greater understanding of the racing industry, but also the history and heritage of the community and town they live in.
Matthew Hancock, Conservative MP for West Suffolk, said: “Newmarket is the global headquarters of horseracing, creating 9,000 jobs locally so I wholeheartedly support the work undertaken by Newmarket Racecourse in partnership with Dubai, for Future Champions Education Week. It’s a great education programme that teaches local students what makes their town so unique. This programme will further strengthen the ties between horseracing and the local community and we thank Dubai for their generous support of the event.”
One of the most popular attractions on the day was a special exhibition that explored the development story of Dubai and its horse racing heritage, driven by the pioneering spirit of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Containing interactive digital touch screens and horse racing memorabilia, the exhibition attracted over 3,000 visitors.
Amy Starkey, Regional Director in the East for Jockey Club Racecourses, said that the mission of the day – and the week as a whole – was to showcase the next generation of talent and to build and maintain a legacy.
“From the students taking part in the inaugural Future Champions Education Week and the best two-year-olds in Europe on show on Dubai Future Champions Day, it is all about stars of the future. I think we achieved that with the new initiatives we introduced. There was a wonderful atmosphere and buzz about The Rowley Mile and we thank Dubai for their continued active support and partnership of this event.”