27/03/10 - Dubai, UAE - Jockey Garrett Gomez rides Kinsale King (USA) , #7, to victory in the Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan Racecourse.   ( Andrew Henderson / The National )
27/03/10 - Dubai, UAE - Jockey Garrett Gomez rides Kinsale King (USA) , #7, to victory in the Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan Racecourse. ( Andrew Henderson / The National )

Horse racing in focus: Let’sgoforit could lead charge of the underdogs at Meydan

David does not often slay Goliath at the Dubai World Cup Carnival but there is a fair chance that the little guys may prevail at Meydan Thursday.

On the opening night of the inaugural Dubai World Cup meeting at Meydan in 2010, the new racecourse was blessed with the ultimate fairy tale when former homeless trainer Carl O’Callaghan struck in the US$2 million (Dh7.3m) Dubai Golden Shaheen with Kinsale King.

Since then there have been precious few results that have rewarded persistence from those in adversity.

Last season was a landmark one, however, as Beat Baby made the breakthrough for Norwegian trainer Niels Petersen. He was soon followed in to the winners’ enclosure by Sweden’s Jessica Long and Volatile, who won the Meydan Classic.

And it is Scandinavia who may cause an upset again Thursday when Sweden’s Bodil Halencreutz saddles the talented Let’sgoforit in what looks an Al Shindagha Sprint for the ages.

“I think he will run a big race as last time it was his first run since October,” she said. “We will see how he goes and if he runs well we will think about putting him in the Golden Shaheen.”

A month ago Let’sgoforit spread panic in the parade ring at Meydan when the eight-year-old grey reared on his hind legs and promptly tried to jump the hedge in front of the grandstand.

Having got stuck on it momentarily, he then demolished a plastic rail and a sponsor’s hoarding. Once passed by the vet as fit to race, Sweden’s Horse of the Year finished third to Thursday’s favourite Reynaldothewizard and Cool Cowboy.

Reynaldothewizard reopposes and will break from Gate 8, flanked by Hong Kong raider Rich Tapestry on his outside, and Muarrab, who suffered a laceration to his right-hind coronet last time, on his inner.

They are the three highest-rated horses in the 10-runner Group 3 contest, but are likely to be challenged by Godolphin’s Marking from Gate 2.

Hallencreutz has only 21 boxes at her base near Jagersro Racecourse outside Malmo to the south west of Sweden but is unfazed at taking on the big boys, provided her charge stays calm.

“I have taken many steps to take care that it does not happen again,” Hallencreutz said. “I will saddle him in the international barn before he comes to the parade ring, and he will go around there only once.

“He doesn’t like the tunnel but we have to go through there so I have decided to take off the blinkers so he can see.”

Godolphin only hit top gear last week at the Carnival as they won four times last week.

And in the UAE 2,000 Guineas they hold the colt’s Classic in an iron grip with Saeed bin Suroor’s Steady Pace and Charlie Appleby’s Rouleau primed to share the spoils.

Waiting in the wings to pounce, however, is Simon Dow, a small-time trainer from Epsom in England who hopes Hombre Rojo has the mojo to down his more celebrated rivals, with front-running tactics in his past three races having brought three victories.

Dow has just three Group 3 wins to his name during a career spanning nearly 30 years, so a victory Thursday with his first runner in Dubai would be a momentous occasion.

“His style of running would suit the dirt perfectly as he breaks from the gates so quickly,” Dow said.

“If he were to run very well or even win he could well stay out there until the UAE Derby on World Cup night.”

At least Meydan offers the opportunity to dream.

Trainer Doug Watson confident of Polar River’s prospects

Polar River could continue her career in America if she is successful in the UAE 1,000 Guineas at Meydan Thursday.

The filly scorched the dirt when she ran out an easy winner of the UAE 1,000 Guineas Trial last month. Her time was 1.29 seconds faster than UAE 2,000 Guineas favourite Steady Pace in his prep on the same night over the same course and distance.

It was the first time she had faced kickback, and she clearly still has a lot to learn but once she was extricated from her pocket behind horses by jockey Pat Dobbs the race was over in a matter of strides.

That was only her second run and such is her reputation at Doug Watson’s Red Stables that the US-bred filly has scared off almost all of the opposition in the US$250,000 (Dh918,200) fillies’ Classic.

Godolphin’s Promising Run, Kabaw and Dolly Dagger were all left trailing in her wake last time, and the only newcomer is the twice-raced Dubai Fashion, trained at Al Quoz by Saeed bin Suroor.

“I would hope we win the Guineas, but I am taking it step by step,” Watson said. “I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves.

“I am sure she will take the mile in the Guineas in her stride and should handle the step up to 1,900 metres for the UAE Oaks.

“I would love her to race in America, but we will see what the owners think after she runs in the Guineas.”

Polar River is not currently entered for the Kentucky Oaks on May 6, but there is an early payment deadline at the end of the month.

Entry to the Churchill Downs Classic is based on a points system, with the UAE Oaks carrying 50 points to the winner.

Jerry Hollendorfer’s unbeaten Songbird has pole position in the Kentucky Oaks at this stage, having torn apart the Grade 2 Lad Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita last week, her sixth victory in succession that includes the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

“Hopefully she is up to racing in America, but whether I want to run her in the Kentucky Oaks against Songbird I don’t know. She looked great the other day,” Watson added.

“I would hate to see Polar River stop at the end of the UAE season in March, her career should really go on.”

Five to look out for at Meydan

Frankie Dettori

The Italian remains the leading jockey of all time at the Dubai World Cup with 19 wins from his time at Godolphin, and warmed up for Meydan by winning the Crown Prince Cup, Bahrain’s big race, aboard Bartack last week. Dettori has four rides Thursday, his first of the season, starting with Greatest Hits in the dirt handicap over a mile.


8.10pm, Conditions, 1,400m Charlie Appleby still awaits his first winner on dirt at the Carnival but surely Comicas is it in the Meydan Classic Trial. Comicas secured his only career success when he won his maiden on his third start in July. Doncaster's turf course has all-weather properties and as a son of US sire Distorted Humour the mount of William Buick is likely to relish the surface.

Gerald Mosse

8.45pm, Group 3, 1,200m Rich Tapestry's name was initially left off this race due to a clerical error. Frenchman Gerald Mosse must have wondered what was going on as he is booked to ride the Hong Kong raider for all three runs in Dubai to include the Golden Shaheen. Rich Tapestry will be Mosse's first ride on the Meydan dirt and his first at the course since he was sixth in the World Cup on Red Cadeaux in 2014.


9.55pm, Group 3, 1,600m Steady Pace and Rouleau almost crossed the line in unison when first and second in the UAE 2,000 Guineas Trial last month. Neither looked great dirt performers, however, and they could be vulnerable. Step forward unbeaten Qurbaan.


10.30pm, Handicap, 1,800m Internationally renown trainer Dermot Weld does not have runners at Meydan for fun. The Irish handler has run just one horse at Meydan, and that was Princess Taylor in 2010. Tandem has a sharp turn of foot and is an interesting runner.

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Key findings
  • Over a period of seven years, a team of scientists analysed dietary data from 50,000 North American adults.
  • Eating one or two meals a day was associated with a relative decrease in BMI, compared with three meals. Snacks count as a meal. Likewise, participants who ate more than three meals a day experienced an increase in BMI: the more meals a day, the greater the increase.
  • People who ate breakfast experienced a relative decrease in their BMI compared with “breakfast-skippers”.
  • Those who turned the eating day on its head to make breakfast the biggest meal of the day, did even better.
  • But scrapping dinner altogether gave the best results. The study found that the BMI of subjects who had a long overnight fast (of 18 hours or more) decreased when compared even with those who had a medium overnight fast, of between 12 and 17 hours.

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Apple Mac through the years

1984 - Apple unveiled the Macintosh on January 24
1985 - Steve Jobs departed from Apple and established NeXT
1986 - Apple introduced the Macintosh Plus, featuring enhanced memory
1987 - Apple launched the Macintosh II, equipped with colour capabilities
1989 - The widely acclaimed Macintosh SE/30 made its debut
1994 - Apple presented the Power Macintosh
1996 - The Macintosh System Software OS underwent a rebranding as Mac OS
2001 - Apple introduced Mac OS X, marrying Unix stability with a user-friendly interface
2006 - Apple adopted Intel processors in MacBook Pro laptops
2008 - Apple introduced the MacBook Air, a lightweight laptop
2012 - Apple launched the MacBook Pro with a retina display
2016 - The Mac operating system underwent rebranding as macOS
2020 - Apple introduced the M1 chip for Macs, combining high performance and energy efficiency
2022 - The M2 chip was announced
2023 -The M3 line-up of chip was announced to improve performance and add new capabilities for Mac.


Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

'Cheb Khaled'

Artist: Khaled
Label: Believe
Rating: 4/5

Who is Mohammed Al Halbousi?

The new speaker of Iraq’s parliament Mohammed Al Halbousi is the youngest person ever to serve in the role.

The 37-year-old was born in Al Garmah in Anbar and studied civil engineering in Baghdad before going into business. His development company Al Hadeed undertook reconstruction contracts rebuilding parts of Fallujah’s infrastructure.

He entered parliament in 2014 and served as a member of the human rights and finance committees until 2017. In August last year he was appointed governor of Anbar, a role in which he has struggled to secure funding to provide services in the war-damaged province and to secure the withdrawal of Shia militias. He relinquished the post when he was sworn in as a member of parliament on September 3.

He is a member of the Al Hal Sunni-based political party and the Sunni-led Coalition of Iraqi Forces, which is Iraq’s largest Sunni alliance with 37 seats from the May 12 election.

He maintains good relations with former Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki’s State of Law Coaliton, Hadi Al Amiri’s Badr Organisation and Iranian officials.


Punjabi Legends Owners: Inzamam-ul-Haq and Intizar-ul-Haq; Key player: Misbah-ul-Haq

Pakhtoons Owners: Habib Khan and Tajuddin Khan; Key player: Shahid Afridi

Maratha Arabians Owners: Sohail Khan, Ali Tumbi, Parvez Khan; Key player: Virender Sehwag

Bangla Tigers Owners: Shirajuddin Alam, Yasin Choudhary, Neelesh Bhatnager, Anis and Rizwan Sajan; Key player: TBC

Colombo Lions Owners: Sri Lanka Cricket; Key player: TBC

Kerala Kings Owners: Hussain Adam Ali and Shafi Ul Mulk; Key player: Eoin Morgan

Venue Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Format 10 overs per side, matches last for 90 minutes

Timeline October 25: Around 120 players to be entered into a draft, to be held in Dubai; December 21: Matches start; December 24: Finals


1 Esha Oza, age 26, 79 matches

2 Theertha Satish, age 20, 66 matches

3 Khushi Sharma, age 21, 65 matches

4 Kavisha Kumari, age 21, 79 matches

5 Heena Hotchandani, age 23, 16 matches

6 Rinitha Rajith, age 18, 34 matches

7 Samaira Dharnidharka, age 17, 53 matches

8 Vaishnave Mahesh, age 17, 68 matches

9 Lavanya Keny, age 17, 33 matches

10 Siya Gokhale, age 18, 33 matches

11 Indhuja Nandakumar, age 18, 46 matches

Fines for littering

In Dubai:

Dh200 for littering or spitting in the Dubai Metro

Dh500 for throwing cigarette butts or chewing gum on the floor, or littering from a vehicle. 
Dh1,000 for littering on a beach, spitting in public places, throwing a cigarette butt from a vehicle

In Sharjah and other emirates
Dh500 for littering - including cigarette butts and chewing gum - in public places and beaches in Sharjah
Dh2,000 for littering in Sharjah deserts
Dh500 for littering from a vehicle in Ras Al Khaimah
Dh1,000 for littering from a car in Abu Dhabi
Dh1,000 to Dh100,000 for dumping waste in residential or public areas in Al Ain
Dh10,000 for littering at Ajman's beaches 


Her family: She has four sons, aged 29, 27, 25 and 24 and is a grandmother-of-nine

Favourite book: Flashes of Thought by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid

Favourite drink: Water

Her hobbies: Reading and volunteer work

Favourite music: Classical music

Her motto: I don't wait, I initiate






Terminator: Dark Fate

Director: Tim Miller

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis 

Rating: 3/5


Director: Paul King

Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Olivia Colman, Hugh Grant

Rating: 2/5


Director: Sally El-Hosaini

Stars: Nathalie Issa, Manal Issa, Ahmed Malek and Ali Suliman 

Rating: 4/5


Age: 50

Known as the UAE’s strongest man

Favourite dish: “Everything and sea food”

Hobbies: Drawing, basketball and poetry

Favourite car: Any classic car

Favourite superhero: The Hulk original

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

Abaya trends

The utilitarian robe held dear by Arab women is undergoing a change that reveals it as an elegant and graceful garment available in a range of colours and fabrics, while retaining its traditional appeal.

The specs

Engine: 4.0-litre, six-cylinder

Transmission: six-speed manual

Power: 395bhp

Torque: 420Nm

Price: from Dh321,200

On sale: now

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
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Engine: 3.5-litre V6
Transmission: six-speed manual
Power: 325bhp
Torque: 370Nm
Speed: 0-100km/h 3.9 seconds
Price: Dh230,000
On sale: now

The years Ramadan fell in May






Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat


Company name: Terra
Started: 2021
Based: Dubai
Founder: Hussam Zammar
Sector: Mobility
Investment stage: Pre-seed funding of $1 million


Director: Tamer Ruggli

Starring: Nadine Labaki, Fanny Ardant

Rating: 3.5/5

The biog

Favourite colour: Brown

Favourite Movie: Resident Evil

Hobbies: Painting, Cooking, Imitating Voices

Favourite food: Pizza

Trivia: Was the voice of three characters in the Emirati animation, Shaabiyat Al Cartoon


Name: Yango Deli Tech
Based: UAE
Launch year: 2022
Sector: Retail SaaS
Funding: Self funded

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets

Director: Ali Abbas Zafar

Starring: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Sunil Grover

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars


Founders: Sebastian Stefan, Sebastian Morar and Claudia Pacurar

Based: Dubai, UAE

Founded: 2014

Number of employees: 36

Sector: Logistics

Raised: $2.5 million

Investors: DP World, Prime Venture Partners and family offices in Saudi Arabia and the UAE


Engine: 3-litre V6 turbo (standard model, E-hybrid); 4-litre V8 biturbo (S)
Power: 350hp (standard); 463hp (E-hybrid); 467hp (S)
Torque: 500Nm (standard); 650Nm (E-hybrid); 600Nm (S)
Price: From Dh368,500
On sale: Now


Engine: 3-litre V6

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 424hp

Torque: 580 Nm

Price: From Dh399,000

On sale: Now


Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.


Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

The biog

From: Upper Egypt

Age: 78

Family: a daughter in Egypt; a son in Dubai and his wife, Nabila

Favourite Abu Dhabi activity: walking near to Emirates Palace

Favourite building in Abu Dhabi: Emirates Palace

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