Dubai Future Champions Festival

The Dewhurst and Fillies’ Mile will be the most valuable juvenile races in Europe.

Berkshire and Jim Crowley win the CheshamA new two-day Dubai Future Champions Festival, worth more than £2 million, has been approved by the British Horseracing Authority for 2015 and onward and will take place at the Rowley Mile in Newmarket on October 9 and 10.

Friday’s card will feature the £500,000 Gr1 Dubai Fillies’ Mile for juvenile fillies (up from £200,000 last year), while Saturday’s card will host the Gr1 Dubai Dewhurst S. for the same pot (an increase of £100,000 from last year), as well as the £250,000 Betfred Cesarewitch H. With the prize money boosts, the Dewhurst and Fillies’ Mile will be the most valuable juvenile races in Europe.

The support of Dubai has enabled Jockey Club Racecourses to boost the prize money for the festival by more than £500,000. Yesterday’s unveiling follows the news several weeks ago that the G1 Middle Park S.–also for juveniles and run on the same card as the Dewhurst the last few years–would be moved to late September.

Newmarket TrackThe Dubai Future Champions Festival will also focus on the local community, fashion and education. The Friday will be promoted as Newmarket Racecourses’ Autumn Ladies Day, while the Spa at Bedford Lodge Hotel in Newmarket will become the Official Fashion Partner for the two-day festival. The Dubai Education week will be repeated and culminate with racing on the Friday. Both days of the festival will offer free entry to students, with an after-racing party held on the Saturday.

“The Dubai Future Champions Festival brings together world-class 2-year-old races with premier older age contests, including two high value handicaps, with more than £2 million on offer,” said Amy Starkey, East Regional Director for Jockey Club Racecourses. “It is all about the development and celebration of the Thoroughbred, fantastic racing for the public and participants, and enhances the autumn and 2-year-old race program in the best long-term interests of our sport, which is always our motive as part of The Jockey Club.”

Twice Over, StallionJohn Ferguson, bloodstock advisor to Sheikh Mohamed, added, “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed does an enormous amount to support British horse racing, and the creation of the Dubai Future Champions Festival is yet another example of Sheikh Mohammed’s continued commitment to Newmarket and the horse racing industry at large. The new format builds on the success of last year’s Dubai Future Champions Day and creates a stunning weekend for racegoers to enjoy the highest caliber sporting action and the very best of British flat racing.”

Newmarket trainers William Haggas and John Gosden were outspoken in their support of the new concept last week:

2014 Qipco 2000 Guineas“This is terrific news, not only for the entire racing community in Newmarket but also for our sport in general,” said Haggas. “This festival helps reaffirm Newmarket’s unique place at the heart of horse racing in Britain. These are two fabulous days of the highest quality of flat racing, held between Book 1 and Book 2 of Tattersalls Sales. Well done to Newmarket Racecourses and Dubai. Huge thanks, once again to Sheikh Mohammed, who continues to stoically support our industry.”

Gosden added, “Newmarket Racecourse has experienced a lot of changes to its racing program over the last four years, and it’s now extremely pleasing that they have been able, in partnership with Dubai, to put together two fantastic days of racing which suits both the racing and sales calendars. This is a program that will create a solid foundation which can be built upon for the future.

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