Qatar buys stake in Derby winner ahead of World Cup tilt

Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:26pm EDT
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By Martin Dokoupil

DUBAI (Reuters) - Qatar's ruling family member Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani bought a last minute ticket to win Saturday's $10 million Dubai World Cup by buying a 50 percent stake in Ruler Of The World, last season's English Derby winner.

"It is very exciting. We managed to get it done as of this morning. The horse vetted so that the deal would take place in time so Sheikh Joaan could run in the World Cup," racing advisor Harry Herbert told reporters in Dubai.

"This is a very rare occasion to get something done very very late on," he said after the post position draw for the world's richest race, declining to reveal the price.

Sheikh Joaan's Al Shaqab Racing stable, aspiring to compete at the top level, will now partner the colt's original owner, Coolmore Ireland, a family stud built into a multi-million euro operation by Irish business magnate John Magnier.

"The son of Galileo will run in the colors of Al Shaqab Racing in partnership with the Coolmore triumvirate of (Michael)Tabor/(Derrick) Smith/(John) Magnier," the stud said on its website

"He will remain in training with Aidan O'Brien at Ballydoyle and will continue to be ridden by Joseph O'Brien," it said.

The four-year colt last ran in the 10 furlong Champion Stakes at Ascot in October when he finished third.

"We very much looked into that he will hopefully potentially improve with age so he ticks an awful lot of boxes," said Herbert, hired by Sheikh Joaan late last year.   Continued...