There’s a boutique sector of the thoroughbred market that’s booming amidst the backdrop of depressed global prices for horses, and it’s being fueled by competing Middle Eastern royals. The beneficiaries are owners and breeders in South America, where every week, it seems, yet another stakes horse is sold to either Sheikh Mohammed and his associates or to someone else from the Middle East, like Saudi Arabian Prince Sultan Mohd. bin Saud Al Kabeer, to use a prominent example. And the market has now expanded to include maiden winners, too.
Diego Mitagstein, the editor of Turf Diario, Revista Palermo Blanca in Argentina and a frequent contributor to this blog, reported today that Sheikh Mohammed has just completed the deal to purchase the Southern Hemisphere 2-year-old maiden winner Demostrativo, a son of Editor’s Note. The colt has won one of two starts and was slated to race in the Group 1 Gran Premio Raul and Raul E. Chevalier at San Isidro this weekend before the sale took place. According to Diego, Uruguayan veterinarian Mario Castro and trainer Mubarak bin Shafya were in Buenos Aires to close the deal. Mubarak bin Shafya trained Gladiatorus and Eastern Anthem for Sheikh Mohammed’s sons on Dubai World Cup day.
Just this week Diego reported in this space that champion Argentine sprinter Pryka had been sold to Sheikh Mohammed for racing in UK, and he also reported that Group 2 winner Rugell and Uruguayan 2000 Guineas winner Rossel were sold to Arab interests. Rossel, Diegio said, was headed to Saudi Arabia, and chances are good that he was probably purchased by Prince Sultan Al Kabeer, whose agent is Emmanuel de Seroux.
Meydan’s opening in Dubai, the rising quality of racing in Saudi Arabia, the growth of the sport in Qatar and Bahrain and elsewhere in the Middle East, the affluence of Middle Eastern royalty, and the excellent performances of South American-bred horses in these regions have led to this thriving marketplace, which sees no end in sight. What an anomaly!