Monday, March 30, 2015

Sheikh Hamdan donates World Cup prize money to Dubai Autism Center

Sheikh Hamdan celebrates Prince Bishop's win with Jockey William Buick
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, has donated his $6 million (Dh22 million) prize money for Prince Bishop winning the Dubai World Cup horse race to the Dubai Autism Center.

Sheikh Hamdan joined his father Sheikh Mohammed, Ruler of Dubai, at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday night to watch Prince Bishop romp home on the 20th  anniversary of the world’s richest horse race. 

And he wasted little time in spending his windfall, taking to Twitter to announce that he was pledging the money to a cause close to his heart.

Sheikh Hamdan, known affectionately as Faz3, is the chairman of the Dubai Autism Center. He was optimistic the money will go towards changing young children’s lives.

He also directed that plans and initiatives be launched so that the children in the center will reap the enormous psychological, social and therapeutic benefits as quickly as possible.

The Dubai World Cup, the richest horse race in the world, is held at the Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse on the last Saturday in March.

Sheikh Mo at the races on Saturday
The brainchild of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai World Cup was inaugurated in 1996 as a tribute to his love of horses and horseracing. The total value of the prize money stands at over $35 million, with the annual invitation-only Dubai World Cup, worth $10 million.

On Saturday night (March 28), Prince Bishop pulled away from favorite California Chrome on the home straight and won the $10 million Dubai World Cup by 2 ¾ lengths.

Starting from the inside post, jockey William Buick rode Prince Bishop to his first victory on dirt. It was the fourth attempt for the eight-year-old horse in the world's richest race.

Buick said it would take some time to gather his thoughts after winning the world's richest horse race.

"I can't express what I am feeling right now," he said. "It's very surreal. We were detached last, but ended up traveling very well in the last turn.

"I didn't look back, but I imagine we won well because I could hear the commentator. I feel a bit numb at the moment, but I'm sure when I get home and relax it will sink in."

Prince Bishop was bred in Ireland, but has been trained by Saeed bin Suroor in the Emirates.