Prince Khalid Abdullah’s famous green, pink and white silks have been carried by some of the greats of the turf. Here we look back at just a handful of his spectacular performers:
Dancing Brave (Guy Harwood)
Dancing Brave was quite simply one of the greatest horses of all time. He won two low-key races at two, but victory in the Craven Stakes launched him into the big time and he then justified favouritism in the 2000 Guineas. He was favourite for the Derby, too, and much has been written about his defeat at Epsom, where he devoured the ground in the straight and just failed to reel in Shahrastani. Dancing Brave went on to win the Eclipse, King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes and, after a warm up at Goodwood, produced an amazing performance to sweep down the outside and beat one of the best fields ever assembled in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Enable (John Gosden)
It is not difficult to argue a case that Enable is the best racemare Abdullah has ever owned. A 12-race unbeaten run, kicking off in May 2017 and running through to October 2019, encompassing 10 Group One victories, really is the stuff of dreams. Her haul includes the English-Irish Oaks double in 2017, the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf and, of course, back-to-back wins in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. She also became the first three-time winner of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot last summer.
Frankel (Sir Henry Cecil)
A 14-race career that had not a blemish, and included 10 Group Ones, there is not much new that can be said about Frankel, who might have been the late, great Sir Henry Cecil’s finest work. While possibly not his best performance on the book, his 2000 Guineas demolition job, perfectly accompanied by astonished commentator Ian Bartlett screaming “he’s 15 lengths clear”, will live long in the memory. Having carried all before him at a mile, he stepped up to 10 furlongs and was just as effective, leaving a host of Group One winners in his wake at York in the Juddmonte International, sponsored by his owner.
Zafonic (Andre Fabre)
His spell of brilliance did not last as long as some, but on his day Zafonic was right up with the best. Unfortunately for his connections he was a precocious type and would never hit the heights once promised, but he did win the 2000 Guineas. Unbeaten at two, he won three Group Ones in the Prix Morny, Prix de la Salamandre and the Dewhurst at Newmarket. He lost his unbeaten record first time out at three to Kingmambo, but bolted up back at Newmarket, breaking a long-standing course record. On his only other start he burst a blood vessel in the Sussex Stakes and was subsequently retired.
Commander In Chief (Sir Henry Cecil)
A typical late bloomer. Unraced at two, Commander In Chief even ran in Abdullah’s second colours for his finest hour, when winning the Derby in 1993. Having won three small races, Cecil opted to go for the Derby, a race in which he already had the Abdullah-owned odds-on favourite Tenby. However, the market leader could finish only 10th as Commander In Chief and Mick Kinane charged to an impressive victory. He went on to follow up in the Irish Derby.
Midday (Sir Henry Cecil)
The majestic Midday won just one of her four juvenile outings, but really came into her own as she got older, finishing second in the Oaks at Epsom and third in the Irish equivalent, before bagging her first Group One in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood. Another six top-level successes were to follow, including two more wins in the Nassau and a day to remember in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita.
Arrogate (Bob Baffert)
Abdullah’s success is far from confined to Europe – and his colours have been carried to many big-race victories in America, where undoubtedly his best performer has been Arrogate. Despite failing to run in any of the Triple Crown races, he was champion three-year-old in 2016 – courtesy of a five-race winning streak culminating in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He then went on to win the inaugural Pegasus World Cup before winning the Dubai World Cup, taking his career earnings to more than £13.5million.