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National Day fervour sweeps up new records and exciting racing

Author: Duane Fonseca

07/12/2017
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NATIONAL DAY fervour swept across the UAE last week and with the country celebrating 46 years of its existence as the United Arab Emirates careful planning led to moments of sheer joy both on and off the track. Records were smashed off the racetracks, new ones set in the process and on the UAE’s dirt and turf courses a few inspiring performances added to the momentousness of the week turning it into a good one of racing as well. Meydan did not play host to any racing last week but its name will be inscribed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the ‘state of the art’ racecourse served as the backdrop for the cavalry unit of the Dubai Police to put together a world record setting feat.

Dubai Police made it into the Guinness Book of World Records twice last week: first for the largest synchronised car dance and then for the largest assembly of parade horses. Despite being ignorant of the thousands of records that exist and frankly indifferent towards the whole idea since childhood, it still had me thinking that perhaps the fact that two records were broken by the same entity in a matter of days could be a record in itself. No? The setting of the record is testimony to the meticulous planning on part of the Dubai Police, who despite the mind boggling number of cars in the UAE, make sure that traffic flows systematically and smoothly nearly all of the time.

Coming back to the records and the more pertinent equine one witnessed a total of 116 horses from the Dubai Police stables line up in a parade with riders bearing UAE flags aboard. The feat eclipsed the 14yo previous best figure of 105 set in Spain in 2004. The record involving equines followed up on their motorised counterparts where the Dubai Police again set a record for the largest synchronised car performance, which saw 143 vehicles bearing UAE flags move in choreographed order to portray an animated smiley emoticon.

The record at Meydan was broken during a ceremony inspired by the spirit of the founding fathers of the UAE and was attended by a number of top dignitaries and government officials including Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander of Dubai Police, Saeed bin Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman and CEO of Meydan Group, Major General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commandant of Dubai Police for Criminal Investigation Affairs, Major General Ahmed bin Thani and Mohammed Issa Al Adeb, Director of the Department of Cavalry at the Dubai Police General Command.

Major General Al Marri said: “It is a community police whose aim is to spread the feeling of security and safety among its members. We are here to tell people that we are part of them, that we are always present among them and that we are here for their safety.” Major General Al Marri and Al Tayer, also signed a Dubai Police shirt that will be on display at Meydan. “We wanted to achieve something new on National Day,” Al Marri added. Dubai Police have been one of the top law enforcement agencies worldwide too when it comes to achievements and setting records is nothing new to the unit, which earlier this year set two new benchmarks: one for the heaviest aircraft pulled when 56 cops teamed together to lug a 302.68 ton A380 for 100 metres breaking the former record set in 2011 where a 218.56 ton Boeing 747 aircraft was pulled by 100 people at Hong Kong International Airport.

Dubai Police also hold the distinction of employing the fastest patrol car, a 1000hp Bugatti Veyron; no ones getting away definitely! Getting back to horses and a number of close contests were fought both at Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi, with Connor Beasley getting the Ahmad bin Harmash-trained Brabbham to make a successful bid up the hill in the feature event of the Jebel Ali card, a rated conditions event over 1950m. Beasley was thrilled as Brabbham shifted gears going up the hill to comfortably snatch glory from Resonant. The rider said: “I only sat on him for the first time at home the other day but the form book shows he likes it here at Jebel Ali.I was niggling away for a long time but once he hit that steep hill he has just galloped on resolutely.”

While Doug Watson turned up with another set of multiple winners, Satish Seemar’s Ejbaar produced the best ride on the card under Mullen when he beat stablemate Hammurabi by a short head, with Raafid from Ali Rashid Al Rayhi’s yard galloping home third, back by a similar margin in a handicap. There were even better tidings in store for Seemar in Abu Dhabi, which hosted the main National Day card on Sunday night. Only thing is the trainer was not present first hand to witness Hawkesbury win the feature for Thoroughbreds and then Extra Hope land a handicap for Purebred Arabians.

For all his disappointment of having lost the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown in controversial fashion last month, Eric Lemartinel’s runners filled the top three spots in the feature Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup with Darius Du Paon, RB Burn and Hamza crossing the line in that order by the narrowest of margins. As far as Lemartinel was concerned, he still seemed miffed about controversies of the past.

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