The Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend returns to Newbury Racecourse on April 16-18, when seven of the meeting’s 14 scheduled races will be sponsored by the UAE airport retailer.
These races include two of the Group 3 contests on Friday and Sunday — the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes and the Dubai Duty Free Stakes.
The meeting has again attracted the support of many of the sport’s leading owners, with the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II, Shadwell Estate Co., Dubai’s Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and Godolphin all represented among the entries for Dubai Duty Free (DDF) sponsored races.
Traditionally staged over two consecutive days, the second day of the meeting has been delayed by 24 hours as a mark of respect for Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose funeral takes place in Windsor on Saturday afternoon.
“We are fully supportive of the Newbury executive’s decision to transfer Saturday’s racing to Sunday, and offer our sincere condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the British Royal family at this very sad time,” said Colm McLoughlin, executive vice president and CEO of DDF.
Horse racing in the UK continues behind closed doors until May 17 at the earliest, denying the DDF senior management team the opportunity to attend for only the second time in the company’s 26-year history of sponsorship at the Berkshire course.
“We were sad not to be able to attend the DDF International Weekend last September due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions, but once again we will be watching from Dubai and wish all owners and trainers success with their horses at this year’s renewal of the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend,” added McLoughlin.
Newbury Racecourse CEO Julian Thick said: “The Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend heralds the start another exciting season of Flat racing at Newbury and we are very grateful to (DDF) for their continued support.
“It’s disappointing not to be able welcome (their) team to Newbury this time, but through our broadcast partners ITV and RacingTV, we hope they will be able to enjoy a spectacular weekend of racing.”