The Emirates Racing Authority has approved the calendar for the 2011-2012 racing seasons at Jebel Ali Racecourse, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Meydan Racecourse, and Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club.
According to a release, ERA chairman Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is deputy prime minister of UAE and minister of presidential affairs, has approved an increase of three days from 50 to 53 in the United Arab Emirates. There will be two additional fixtures at Sharjah and one at Meydan. Last year four fixtures were added to increase the total number from 46 in 2009-2010 to 50 for the 2010-2011 season.
The racing season will once again begin at Jebel Ali, with 11 fixtures to be run from Nov. 4 until the season concludes March 23, 2012. The Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club will begin its season Nov. 6 and continue until closing day, March 18, 2012, with a total of 15 scheduled fixtures. Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club will feature six fixtures, with the opening scheduled for Nov. 26 and the finale on Feb. 18, 2012.
Meydan Racecourse will open for its third season Nov. 10, with a total of five fixtures to be offered during November and December. Special afternoon post times will be scheduled for Nov. 25 and Dec. 23, with racing to begin at 3 p.m. New Year’ Eve, Dec. 31, will also feature an afternoon start with racing to begin at 4:30 p.m. In addition, Meydan will hold five race fixtures through January, February and March. .
The Dubai International Racing Carnival, first held in 2004, has been renamed the Dubai World Cup Carnival, a change that will further align the event with the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I). Although offering a new name, this will mark the ninth season for the carnival that will begin Jan. 5, 2012. A total of 10 meetings will be held during the Dubai World Cup Carnival with an early post time schedule of 3 p.m. on two Friday dates—Jan. 20 and Feb. 3.
The start of the DWC Carnival will be teamed in the coming season with the third Meydan Masters Jockey Challenge series, to be held Jan. 5-6.
This season will also see Super Thursday moved to the weekend and now serve as Super Saturday. The event will be scheduled on March 10, with an early post time of 4:30 p.m. and will conclude the Dubai World Cup Carnival season. Super Saturday is a major prep event for the March 31 Dubai World Cup.
The March 31 closing day of the UAE season will feature the 17th running of the $26.25 million Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest race. The eight race card begins with an Arabian race and concludes with the $10 million World Cup.