UK/UAE. Dubai Duty Free is celebrating the success of the 24th renewal of the Spring Trials Weekend at Newbury Racecourse over the weekend (12-13 April).

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II again supported the event, with four runners. As noted in our Image of the day column, she also greeted Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO Colm McLoughlin in the parade ring.

H.E Sulaiman Hamid Almazroui, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, joins Colm McLoughlin, Salah Tahlak, Sinead El Sibai and Elisa Yana in presenting trophies to the connections of Dandhu.

The two-day meeting represents the launch of the horseracing season for Dubai Duty Free, and featured important trials for the British Classics. His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum recorded a victory in the Group 3 Watership Down Stud Greenham Stakes, a recognised trial for the 2,000 Guineas, with Mohaather. The colt is trained by Marcus Tregoning and was ridden by Jim Crowley.

The feature race for fillies, the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Stakes, provided a thrilling finish with the David Elsworth-trained Dandhu holding off a strong challenge from previous course and distance winner Iconic Choice in the final strides to complete a race double for jockey Gerald Mosse. He also won the opening Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes on local trainer Hughie Morrison’s Marmello.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II meets Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO Colm McLoughlin (shown with his wife Breeda to the right).

His Excellency Sulaiman Hamad Almazroui, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, together with Egypt’s Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Tarek Ahmed Adel, were among Dubai Duty Free’s guests at the event.

“We sponsored our first race at Newbury in April 1996 and we have been delighted to grow our portfolio here to include title sponsorship at two meetings. During that time we have celebrated many milestones,” said McLoughlin.

“The Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend is particularly exciting for us as it represents the launch of our horseracing season and the opportunity to renew our acquaintances with the racing community and media in the UK.”

Colm McLoughlin with former Classic winning jockeys John Reid and Willie Carson.

Complimentary Arabic coffee and dates were served in the Dubai Duty Free Marquee, where visitors could also take advantage of a free foot massage, capture a treasured memory at the #DDFSpringTrials Flower Wall, and enter prize draws to win free entry into the Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire and Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise promotions.

Colm McLoughlin, Salah Tahlak and Sinead El Sibai present trophies to the winning connections of Andrew Balding, Silvestre De Sousa and Alastair Donald, representing King Power Racing.

From left to right: Mohammed Shareef Al Mazooqi; Colm McLoughlin; H.E. Sulaiman Hamid Almazroui, UAE Ambassador to the UK; Salah Tahlak; and H.E. Tarek Ahmed Adel, Egyptian Ambassador to the UK.

Colm and Breeda McLoughlin and Salah Tahlak with Julian Thick, CEO Newbury Racecourse, and Dominic Burke, Board Chairman.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with Colm McLoughlin, Salah Tahlak and Sinead El Sibai in the paddock area.