Salem Bin Ghadayer: Headlining The Dubai World Cup Card With Greats
Emarati trainer Salem bin Ghadayer has seen many Dubai World Cups over the years. But the excitement of seeing his star pupils against the world’s best on his home turf offers pure exhilaration.
His highest rated charge, Gronkowski and runner-up in the 2019 Dubai World Cup, is named after retired New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is also a minority owner of the horse.
The 5YO is pointed at the ‘big race’ once again, going head-to-head with stablemate and the Gr.1 Maktoum Challenge R3 winner-Matterhorn, Gr.1 Pegasus World Cup winner-Mucho Gusto, Tacitus, Benbatl and other top-rated international horses.
“He ran a good race in Saudi. He has been training well and is good health. I am happy with his form,” said Ghadayer.
“It’s a very open race and every horse has an equal chance of winning.”
“Cappezano, Alexrod and perhaps Chiefdom will be pointed at the (Gr.2) Godolphin Mile.”
“While Down On Da Bayou will be aimed at the Gr.2 UAE Derby.”
The former top endurance rider speaks with pride about Heavy Metal who means a lot more than just a horse in his yard.
“If you ask me as a trainer, I must see all my horses in the same way. But if you ask me as a person, I consider Heavy Metal and Frankiefourfingers like my family.”
Gr.2 Godolphin Mile winner-Heavy Metal is trained by Bin Ghadayer for Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum.
“Heavy Metal is likely to be retired at the end of this season.”
“He always gave us much more performance than what we have ever asked him (to deliver). He deserves the best.”
“He will be retired to Newmarket. He can relax and enjoy the rest of his life.”
Although this year, the Dubai World Cup will be run without spectators, the top-conditioner, has taken the decision in his stride.
“Many people dream of watching these (classy) horses racing in Dubai. But in these conditions health and safety is very important. Everything will go back to normal soon.”
The wise conditioner speaks about training greatness, “It all comes down to the ability of the person and how much he likes the job he (the trainer) is asked to do.”
With so many accolades and awards lining his trophy cabinet, Bin Ghadayer has already achieved beyond what other conditioners can only dream to achieve in their careers. However, when asked, what did he aspire for by 2030, he candidly says, “I will be happy if I can just give my 100% to the sport.”