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Farooq Racing happy to be running on home turf

Author: Duane Fonseca

30/11/2017
123

Their first full season of racing in the UAE may not have started with a bang, but Farooq Racing are not at all disappointed with the way things have panned out in the month that has elapsed since the 2017/18 season began at Jebel Ali on 3 November. Formerly, an operation based in Malaysia, Farooq Racing describe themselves as ‘a family owned racing syndicate’ on their Facebook page, with Ali Faisal Farooq at the helm of racing affairs. Until last week, the Al Ain-based operation with just 12 horses currently at their disposal, had just a third and fourth place finish to show, but racing manager Ali expects things to pick up over the next few months. In an interview with Al Adiyat, Ali says Farooq Racing are particularly happy to be competing on their home turf after years spent mainly in Malaysia.

Q: This isn’t the first time Farooq Racing are here to compete, but it is the first time I believe you are here at the start. What made you want to test your horses on the UAE circuit?

A: Firstly, this is home. It is our city and our country, and as an Emirati nothing would make me happier than to compete on my home ground in front of my family. Therefore, we decided to set up base here in the UAE.

Q: How would you assess your start to the season, are things going according to plan?

A: We have just recently reinitiated in the UAE, so it’s a relatively new operation compared to our competition and I am not disappointed at all. This is a sport and that too a very competitive one; it’s all about patience and we have some promising horses and hopefully they will prove themselves well as the season progresses.

Q: Can you compare racing in Malaysia to what it is in the UAE: organisation of races, prize money, etc? How has your operation fared in Malaysia?

A: You can’t really compare Dubai to Malaysia; the racing in the UAE is top class with truly amazing facilities, great competition as well as enticing prize money. While in Malaysia, we won a lot of races with first Adi Selvaratnam as the trainer and then Daniel Murphy.

Q: Your association with trainer Danny Murphy.

A: We have been working together as a team ever since he started training for us. He is a great horseman with a vast knowledge supported by extensive experience in his field. I believe he will prove to be very successful in the UAE. Danny and myself work as a team, he is the trainer and I am the racing manager, which is how it has always been. We have just started off here but hope to make an impact as time goes by and as we learn from our mistakes.

Q: Who are the other riders in your team. How big is your team?

A: At the moment, we have a string of 12 Thoroughbreds, with another flying down from the USA in December. He is Champion Argentinian Miler Eragon, winner of three Group Ones and one of the runners in the Pegasus World Cup. We have big plans for him and hope to compete at the highest level with him

Q: Yours seems a family with very strong roots in racing. Can you tell us more?

A: My father, Faisal Abdul Karim Farooq started racing in the late 60s in Pakistan, UK and then later on in Australia, India, Malaysia as well as the UAE. My career in the horse business began at the age of 19 by completing a course in horse business management followed by a two year apprenticeship at Emirates Park Australia. Since then, I have handled my father’s horses everywhere he has raced. Everyone in our family is into horses from the eldest to the youngest who is three years old. Everyone knows pedigrees and everyone thinks of themselves as a trainer.

Q: Can you name some of your stable stars for the season?

A: We expect Emirates Warrior, Zaharat Jumeirah, Rostam, General Marshall and Eragon when he arrives towards the end of the year to be highly competitive in the coming days.

 

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