Last week, luxury watchmakers Longines hosted the kickoff to the world’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup Carnival. The racing season culminates in the prestigious Dubai World Cup 2013, which will take place on March 30th at the Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse in Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, UAE. The prize for last year’s race was $5 million, making this one of the richest contests run on turf.
Longines helped the 11-programme Carnival racing season get underway in style with three races; the Group 2 US$250,000 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 (a 1600 metre race on for thoroughbreds), the Purebred Arabian version of the race, the Group 1 US$55,000 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 and finally the US$125,000 Al Rashidiya Trial over 1800m.
Mahlih Al Basti, the chairman of the Meydan Racing Committee, told us; “As we begin the Dubai World Cup Carnival season we are most pleased to welcome and thank Longines for their support in presenting tonight’s racing. Longines commitment to racing is international and reflects the dedication and passion that is shared by the Dubai Racing Club and Meydan. We not only thank them for their participation with the opening night of the Dubai World Cup Carnival but also recognise their valued support for events such as HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup, the Dubai Show Jumping Championship, and the Dubai Sheema Classic, a prized race on the Dubai World Cup programme.”
Meanwhile, Charles Villoz, the vice president of sales at Longines, told us; “We are proud to be again the official timekeeper for the Dubai World Cup Carnival, culminating in the famous day of racing, the Dubai World Cup. In the framework of our partnership with Meydan Group, we are excited to experience the thrill of the races at the amazing Meydan Racecourse.”
Longines has a long tradition of timekeeping in the equestrian world, which can be traced back to the manufacture’s first pocket chronographs. Should you ever visit the Longines Museum in Saint-Imier, Switzerland, you will see an elegant jockey and his mount hand-engraved on the caseback of a vintage Longines pocket chronograph.
Source courtesy the Dubai Racing Club. Photo courtesy Longines.