Tadhg O’Shea is an undisputed champion in the country, racking up a record eight UAE Champion Jockey titles.
However, the amazing achievements wouldn’t have been possible if not for the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, who passed away last week.
Sheikh Hamdan was responsible for bringing O’Shea to Dubai and the Irishman paid tribute to the horse racing pioneer after triumphing in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile with the Satish Seemar-saddled Secret Ambition at the Dubai World Cup.
“The whole racing world sadly lost Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum this week and I want to dedicate this to him,” O’Shea said, moments after the race.
“It was when I was champion apprentice in Ireland in 2001 that Sheikh Hamdan sponsored a trip to Dubai and I've been coming back here ever since. I have been here a long time and it wouldn’t have been possible without him,” added O’Shea, who notched a record 596th winner in the UAE in 4770 runs.
This was also his 43rd winner this season and he is on the cusp of a record ninth UAE Champion Jockey title after championships in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020. His seventh crown saw O’Shea surpass Ted Durcan.
O’Shea had won the Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic, the lone race for Purebred Arabians, onboard AF Maher in the 2019 edition of the event, and on Mizzna, in 2008.