Last Dubai World Cup day, March 28, 2009, Sulim Yamadayev was assassinated in Dubai while the city was preoccupied with horse racing. Mr. Yamadayev was a part of a Chechen clan that was on the outs with Ramzan Kadyrov, the Moscow-installed president of Chechnya and an international racehorse owner. In fact, on the day Mr. Yamadayev was gunned down, Mr. Kadyrov’s Bankable ran at Nad Al Sheda, and an Iranian interpreter was at the track in the company of Mr. Kadyrov’s trainers to convey the results of the race via phone to Mr. Kadyrov back home. That man, Mahdi Lorniya, has been in custody since April and is one of two men on trial in Dubai for the assassination. Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, the Dubai police chief, has accused the high-ranking Chechen official Adam Delimkhanov, Mr. Kadyrov’s cousin and confidant, as being the mastermind of the assassination and has placed him on Interpol’s wanted list.
Mr. Delimkhanov has dismissed the allegations and has dissed the Dubai chief as a bumpkin. This, in turn, has led to plenty of mudslinging back and forth among Mr. Kadyrov’s and Sheikh Mohammed’s people while they’ve raced horses against each other on the international stage. In fact, the finish of the Goodwood Cup in England was almost surreal as Godolphin’s Schiaparelli and Mr. Kadyrov’s Mourilyan, in the racecourse version of the duel between Dubai and Chechnya, hooked up in a dandy, with Schiaparelli prevailing.
Attempts by Dubai to have Mr. Delimkhanov extradited to stand trial have failed, but the trial did begin late last year before it was postponed from Dec. 19 to today, when it was again postponed until Feb. 1 because an officer, Mohammed Hassan al Mutawa, failed to appear for a cross-examination, according to The National. At this rate, the trial may be full blown by the time the Dubai World Cup comes around again. In the meantime, Mr. Kadyrov has a string in Dubai ready for the carnival, including recent purchase Storm Chispazo, the Argentine Derby winner.