Tallaab Al Khalediah was imperious in the 2018-edition of the Dubai Kahayla Classic and his win on the Meydan dirt brooks no discussion. It’s interesting to note that ten French breds came under orders in this race, which in a field of fifteen is considerable. It’s proof positive, too, of the attractiveness of France when it comes to the setting up of big international breeding operations. There is also an increase in the numbers of French breds in this dirt race despite their reputation as turf performers. This also needs to be seen against the backdrop of 2017 when there were five French breds in a field of thirteen; we also need to draw comparisons with 2016 (five from fifteen) and 2015 (eight from 2015). This year Tallaab Al Khalediah became the first winner from Saudi Arabia. It’s a sign that races in this country are becoming more ‘open’ as for a long time they were closed to foreign competition. In April, the Saudis announced their wish to launch the King Abdulaziz Horse Championship on the dirt surface at Riyadh at the end of February. Saleh Al Hammadi, the director general and secretary of the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Club, announced that the top race, for English thoroughbreds, will carry a purse of between $ 15 to $ 20 million. Furthermore, each of 'eight to ten races on the card' will carry minimum purses of $ 1 million. There will also be preceded by a meeting of trial races, which will be based on the Super Saturday model at Meydan. The big events for Purebred Arabians have for a long time been confined to grass, but their development is now embracing dirt; a surface in which certain bloodlines are clearly better suited to than others.
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