Youth Spirit owner relishes Derby after quarantine ends in two countries | Horse racing news
“title =” Youth Spirit (white): race in the Cazoo Derby on Saturday for Ahmad Al Shaikh “class =” js-imageLoader “data-at-xn =” https://www.rp-assets.com/images/ news /2021/05/05/92166-medium.jpeg “data-br-n =” https://www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2021/05/05/92166-medium.jpeg “data – br-m = “https://www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2021/05/05/92166-large.jpeg” data-br-w = “https: //www.rp-assets. com / images / news / 2021/05/05/92166-large.jpeg “data-br-xw =” https://www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2021/05/05/92166- large .jpeg “onclick =” return false; “>
Youth Spirit (white): runs in the Cazoo Derby on Saturday for Ahmad Al Shaikh
By Peter Scargill
The prospect of seeing Youth Spirit wearing their colors in the Cazoo Derby on Saturday will be all the sweeter for owner Ahmad Al Shaikh, who is nearing the end of an extended quarantine period in two different countries to ensure he can be at Epsom.
For Al Shaikh, who lives in Dubai, the time, money and effort he put into being present at the Classic is well worth it because of his love of racing and the Derby itself.
“I have been in Greece for 12 days because from Dubai you cannot come directly to the UK, and I also have to quarantine my home in England until Friday,” he said. “But if you want to come and see the Derby you put in the effort and you have to spend a lot of money, but I love racing. It’s the only thing that matters to me this week and you have to do a lot if you like sports.
Al Shaikh had been part of Maktoum’s entourage for Derby victories of Nashwan and Lammtarra, among others, and has had full horses for 15 years, achieving success with Emaraaty Ana and Classic places with 150-1 shot Glory Expects in the 2,000 Guineas and Khalifa Sat 50-1 chance in last year’s derby.
“It was a surprise to me last year, it’s the truth,” he said. “When he came in second last year, it was like I won the Derby. When you go with a stranger, you never expect them to be as good as them. I had dreamed that he would be fifth or sixth, so I was very happy and hope to be able to be again this year.
“title =” Khalifa Sat: second in last year’s Derby “class =” js-imageLoader “data-at-xn =” https://www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2020/07/ 02/80102 -medium.jpeg “data-br-n =” https://www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2020/07/02/80102-medium.jpeg “data-br-m =” https: / /www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2020/07/02/80102-large.jpeg “data-br-w =” https://www.rp-assets.com/images/news / 2020/07/02/80102-large.jpeg “data-br-xw =” https://www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2020/07/02/80102-large.jpeg “onclick = “return false;”>
Khalifa Sat: second in last year’s Derby
In Youth Spirit, Al Shaikh, coach Andrew Balding and jockey Tom Marquand have a stronger contender than Khalifa Sat, the three-year-old having impressed by winning Group 3 Chester Vase last month.
The performance prompted a change of plan from the Prix du Jockey Club to the Cazoo Derby, and Al Shaikh believes the Classic is a more open race than the bet suggests and his 25-1 shot shouldn’t be overlooked. .
He said: “I think I have a chance to win like everyone else – I have a lot of faith in my horse. When I saw the last entries I think ten of them are the same. level, it’s not like betting, I’m sure.
“I don’t think there should be a lower odds horse and I think someone with higher odds will win the Derby this year. Anyone can win the Derby and I have a lot of hope because my horse will go the distance, we are not at all worried about that. I am excited.”
He added: “I leave all racing plans and tactics to Mr. Balding. He is very happy with the horse and what he told me and I trust them all. It’s the best race in the world and the best race in the world.
“title =” Glory Awaits (blinking blue) continues the approach of dawn in the 2000 Guineas 2013 “class =” js-imageLoader “data-at-xn =” https://www.rp-assets.com/ images / news / 2017/07/26/26325-medium.jpeg “data-br-n =” https://www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2017/07/26/26325-medium.jpeg “data-br -m =” https://www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2017/07/26/26325-large.jpeg “data-br-w =” https: //www.rp -assets.com /images/news/2017/07/26/26325-large.jpeg “data-br-xw =” https://www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2017/07/26/ 26325-large. jpeg “onclick =” return false; “>
Glory Awaits (blinking blue) continues the approach of dawn at home in the 2000 Guineas 2013
UK races have come under scrutiny this year with owners’ unrest over prize money, the prospect of more races being tied to future financial deals and potential over-reliance on investment foreigners on the Flat.
However, Al Shaikh, who has 15 horses in training with Balding, David Simcock and Karl Burke, remains passionate about British racing, believing that the prestige of the competition softens the blow of insufficient staffing.
“If we are talking about the prize money, it is not at all the best, it is very true,” he said. “But the quality of the races and the opposition make you feel like you are racing with the best.
“Yes, the prize money is important because we have to be able to cover ourselves. We don’t have a slot machine to keep paying over and over again. So we have to set aside less money for spending. I have already sold a lot of horses and with this money I was able to cover myself.
“We can race our horses anywhere in the world, but in England we feel right at home and that’s a big reason why we love being here. We don’t feel like a stranger, the people are welcoming and support us by coming to run here.
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