Maftool, ridden by Paul Hanagan, wins the UAE 2,000 Guineas at the Meydan Racecourse in Dubai on February 12, 2015. Pawan Singh / The National
Maftool, ridden by Paul Hanagan, wins the UAE 2,000 Guineas at the Meydan Racecourse in Dubai on February 12, 2015. Pawan Singh / The National

Godolphin’s Maftool following familiar footsteps in return to turf at French 2,000 Guineas



It is 15 years since Godolphin’s Bachir, having used Nad Al Sheba as a training ground, made his mark on the European stage, and Maftool is set on the same path at Longchamp on Sunday.

Having run three times on the Meydan dirt this winter, Maftool makes his return to turf on Sunday in the Poule d’Essai Des Poulains, which is the French 2,000 ­Guineas.

In 2000, Saeed bin Suroor saddled Bachir to win the UAE 2,000 Guineas on the dirt of Nad Al Sheba, before the colt was defeated in the UAE Derby at the hands of stablemate China Visit.

Bachir then returned to Newmarket in England, from where Bin Suroor dispatched his charge to France, where he denied 15 others to win the French classic on his return to turf.

Maftool beat Mubtaahij by a head in the UAE 2,000 Guineas but was eight lengths behind Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa's runner in the Derby.

Maftool’s turf form as a juvenile extended to a win in the Group 2 Somerville Tattersall Stakes at Newmarket in September before he was derailed by soft ground in the Group 1 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes on his final start in Europe.

The going at Longchamp is good to soft, and there is no further rain forecast Sunday ­afternoon.

“Maftool ran well out in Dubai and we decided to miss the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and aim him at this race,” Bin Suroor said on the Godolphin ­website.

“He has been working well and I am looking to see a good run from him. Good ground would be ideal, but he should be fine on good to soft.”

Much like Bachir did, Maftool faces a large field, with 17 rivals also engaged in the 1,600-metre contest.

Maftool will be ridden by Dane O'Neill as, although the American-bred colt races in the Godolphin blue, he is owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid.

The Minister of Finance also runs Muhaarar, the mount of his retained rider Paul ­Hanagan.

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IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people.

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

SPECS

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

BACK TO ALEXANDRIA

Director: Tamer Ruggli

Starring: Nadine Labaki, Fanny Ardant

Rating: 3.5/5

Past winners of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

2016 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-GP)

2015 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes-GP)

2014 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-GP)

2013 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)

2012 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)

2011 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)

2010 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)

2009 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)

 

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

The specs: 2018 BMW X2 and X3

Price, as tested: Dh255,150 (X2); Dh383,250 (X3)

Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged inline four-cylinder (X2); 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline six-cylinder (X3)

Power 192hp @ 5,000rpm (X2); 355hp @ 5,500rpm (X3)

Torque: 280Nm @ 1,350rpm (X2); 500Nm @ 1,520rpm (X3)

Transmission: Seven-speed automatic (X2); Eight-speed automatic (X3)

Fuel consumption, combined: 5.7L / 100km (X2); 8.3L / 100km (X3)

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

TO CATCH A KILLER

Director: Damian Szifron

Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ben Mendelsohn, Ralph Ineson

Rating: 2/5

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-final, second leg
Real Madrid (2) v Bayern Munich (1)

Where: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
When: 10.45pm, Tuesday
Watch Live: beIN Sports HD

BUNDESLIGA FIXTURES

Friday (all kick-offs UAE time)

Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin (10.30pm)

Saturday

Freiburg v Werder Bremen (5.30pm)

Paderborn v Hoffenheim (5.30pm)

Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund (5.30pm)

Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen (5.30pm)

Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt (5.30pm)

Sunday

Schalke v Augsburg (3.30pm)

Mainz v RB Leipzig (5.30pm)

Cologne v Fortuna Dusseldorf (8pm)

 

 

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

The National selections

6pm: Barakka
6.35pm: Dhahabi
7.10pm: Mouheeb
7.45pm: With The Moonlight
8.20pm: Remorse
8.55pm: Ottoman Fleet
9.30pm: Tranquil Night

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

$1,000 award for 1,000 days on madrasa portal

Daily cash awards of $1,000 dollars will sweeten the Madrasa e-learning project by tempting more pupils to an education portal to deepen their understanding of math and sciences.

School children are required to watch an educational video each day and answer a question related to it. They then enter into a raffle draw for the $1,000 prize.

“We are targeting everyone who wants to learn. This will be $1,000 for 1,000 days so there will be a winner every day for 1,000 days,” said Sara Al Nuaimi, project manager of the Madrasa e-learning platform that was launched on Tuesday by the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, to reach Arab pupils from kindergarten to grade 12 with educational videos.  

“The objective of the Madrasa is to become the number one reference for all Arab students in the world. The 5,000 videos we have online is just the beginning, we have big ambitions. Today in the Arab world there are 50 million students. We want to reach everyone who is willing to learn.”

Sukuk explained

Sukuk are Sharia-compliant financial certificates issued by governments, corporates and other entities. While as an asset class they resemble conventional bonds, there are some significant differences. As interest is prohibited under Sharia, sukuk must contain an underlying transaction, for example a leaseback agreement, and the income that is paid to investors is generated by the underlying asset. Investors must also be prepared to share in both the profits and losses of an enterprise. Nevertheless, sukuk are similar to conventional bonds in that they provide regular payments, and are considered less risky than equities. Most investors would not buy sukuk directly due to high minimum subscriptions, but invest via funds.

Getting there

Given its remote location, getting to Borneo can feel daunting even for the most seasoned traveller. But you can fly directly from Kuala Lumpur to Sandakan and Sepilok is only half an hour away by taxi. Sandakan has plenty of accommodation options, while Sepilok has a few nature lodges close to the main attractions.


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