Kadyrov’s Profile Continues To Rise

Ramzan Kadyrov

A Moscow Times article from July 19 reported that Chechnya plans to ban the sale of energy drinks to minors because they are “un-Islamic,” according to Chechen officials. This prompted a frustrated Chechen resident to say, “We are building a small Islamic state in Russia that looks like Dubai.” Aside from religion, there is another link between Chechnya, a republic of Russia, and Dubai, the second-largest after Abu Dhabi of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates horse racing, writes SID FERNANDO.

The leaders of both, President Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechnya and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai, are enthusiastic racehorse owners with global operations, although Sheikh Mohammed’s is significantly larger and farther reaching than Kadyrov’s.
Sheikh Mohammed’s international profile is much better than Kadyrov’s, too. The latter was a one-time Vladimir Putin associate who rules Chechnya with an iron hand. He has been mired in international controversy since he took office in early 2007, notably for alleged human rights violations and high profile assassinations.

By way of Kadyrov’s cousin and right-hand man Adam Delimkhanov, Kadyrov was linked by Dubai police to the daylight murder of rival Sulim Yamadayev in Dubai on Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1) day in 2009, where Kadyrov’s Bankable  raced on the card.
Two were arrested, charged, and sentenced in Dubai for the murder. Delimkhanov was named as the mastermind of the assassination and placed on an Interpol most wanted list by Dubai’s outspoken police chief. One of the men sentenced reportedly was associated with Kadyrov’s Dubai-based stable of South African trainer Herman Brown.

A few weeks ago, however, after two years of behind-the scenes machinations between Moscow, Abu Dhabi, Kadyrov, and Yamadayev’s brother, the two men inexplicably were set free.

Indeed, Kadyrov was spotted in person at Meydan for the 2011 Dubai World Cup day card, and he since has enjoyed his greatest racing victory with the former Team Valor-owned Gitano Hernando (GB) in the Singapore Airlines International Cup (Sin-G1) at Kranji in late May.
In many ways, Kadyrov has patterned his international operation after Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin. His horses winter in Dubai, summer in Britain with Gary Moore, and target international prizes with Herman Brown.

Aside from Gitano Hernando, other notable horses he has purchased internationally include Fort Vogue and Galileo’s Galaxy from South Africa; multiple British Group 2 winner Bronze Cannon; 2009 Argentine Derby winner Storm Chispazo; Mourilyan, who was third for him in the 2009 Emirates Melbourne Cup (Aus-G1); Bankable, who won a Group 3 race in Meydan this spring; Grade 2-placed Racecar Rhapsody, who was fourth for trainer Ken McPeek in the 2008 Preakness Stakes (G1) before running fourth in the Russian Derby a few months later; and Group 3 winner Mikhail Glinka, a former Coolmore colt who was sixth in the Russian Derby last year.

Kadyrov won the Russian Derby last year with the Giant’s Causeway colt North Stream. Later, he sent the colt from Moscow to Gudermes, the capital of Chechnya, where he had built a new racetrack near his palace for the first Chechen Derby, which was held on a day commemorating Adam Delimkhanov’s birthday. North Stream won the race.

– by Sid Fernando

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