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The Maktoums: Legends of the Turf (Second Edition) E-mail



It has been estimated that the sport of racing world-wide would be smaller by one-quarter without the involvement of the Maktoum family. While one could argue the mathematics of such a claim, the facts are that never, in the history of the turf, has any family, or nucleus of individuals, played such an important role in preserving and developing the status of this sport. The Maktoums: Legends of the Turf is a second look at this extraordinary dynasty.

The road from Hatta, Sheikh Mohammed’s first runner in 1977, to Singspiel’s triumphant Dubai World Cup victory in 1997, took over 20 years. In that time, the Maktoum racing empire had experienced all the emotive fortunes which make racehorse ownership as thrilling as it is unpredictable – from that incredible night of jubilation in Dubai when Singspiel beat the world on his owner’s own circuit, to the desperation of Dayjur’s Breeder’s Cup self-destruction.

Wherever top-class racing takes place, the Maktoum family is, or has been, there and there can be no doubt that Sheikhs Maktoum, Hamdan, Mohammed and Ahmed have enriched the spot more than anyone over the last two centuries.

Some, including Sheikh Mohammed, say that the Maktoum family is reclaiming a sport which belongs to the Middle East. This may be true, but today the big picture of their involvement paints a far different story. Already, with the Godolphin project and the $4 million Dubai World Cup in place and succeeding, the Maktoums were revolutionising the sport by breaking down international barriers. Even these achievements, though, could pale into relative significance alongside what is perhaps the biggest development in racing since Byerley Turk, Godolphin Arabian and Darley Arabian made their way westward.

With much of the impetus for the proposed World Series coming from Dubai, the most radical and tangible breakthrough in global racing may be yet to be come.

The Maktoums: Legends of the Turf records the highlights of the Maktoums’ association with racing, focuses on some of the finest thoroughbreds of the modern era and pays tribute to the family’s devotion to the sport.

Media Prima’s first book on the Maktoum family, The Maktoums & Their Horses, was extremely well received, leading to demand for another, more comprehensive, book. In Legends, profiles on many additional champions have been included, with special focus on the world-class stud operations under the Gainsborough, Shadwell and Darley banners.