During his time studying in the UK, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Deputy Ruler of Dubai, United Arab Emirates), developed a love of racing. With understandably very deep pockets he set up his first stables here in 1981. As they say ‘the rest is history’ and his involvement in the sport has branched out in all directions since, with 8 stud farms (Nunnery Stud, Beech House Stud, Shadwell Farm in the US etc) and countless top mares and stallions. The operation as a whole is called Shadwell Racing.
His successes in the sport are in no short supply, and first came in a big way with Nashwan in the 80s (who was based at the Nunnery Stud). American-bred, British-trained Nashwan had major wins in the 2000 Guineas, Autumn Stakes, Epsom Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Champion jockey Willie Carson no doubt had a hand in these successes during that period of time.
Major wins at home and abroad soon followed as did Champion Owner titles, with British flat racing Champion Owner titles no less than four times. This should come as no surprise considering Al Maktoum’s operation has now has over 50 group one wins in Europe. With hundreds of horses in training in the UK trained by many of the top trainers of the day (Michael Stoure, Ed Dunlop, John Gosden etc) it’s no wonder that the wins just keep on coming.
Outside of Europe one of the biggest successes for Shadwell Racing has to be their purchase of Invasor who won US horse of the year and several major races including the Breeder’s Cup Classic in 2006.