Sheikh Hamdan al-Maktoum, owner of Dayjur and Nashwan, dies aged 75

Sheikh Hamdan al-Maktoum, owner of Dayjur and Nashwan, dies aged 75

Sheikh Hamdan al-Maktoum, one of the most significant owners in British horse racing who had a string of Classic and Royal Ascot winners for more than 30 years, has died aged 75.

The death of the United Arab Emirates finance minister and the deputy ruler of the emirate of Dubai was announced on Wednesday morning in a notice on Twitter by his brother Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, who said: “We belong to God and to Him we shall return … May God have mercy on you, my brother, my support and my companion.” Sheikh Hamdan had been unwell for some months and had surgery abroad in October.

The sheikh, whose horses ran in his famous blue and white colours, established his worldwide Shadwell breeding empire in 1981 and was champion Flat owner in Britain eight times (1990, 1994, 1995, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2014 and 2020). He came to prominence in Britain after he bought the Shadwell estate, near Thetford in Norfolk, in 1984. His other equine operations included the Derrinstown stud near in County Kildare in Ireland and the Shadwell farm in Lexington, Kentucky.

His leading horses have ranged from sprinting greats such as Dayjur and Hamas and the champion milers Lahib and Bahri to champion middle-distance runners such as Nashwan, Unfuwain, Haafhd, Nayef, Jazil and Invasor.

Dubai announced 10 days of mourning with flags to be flown at half-mast as of Wednesday and a closure of government institutions in the emirate for three days as of Thursday.

“Funeral prayers will be restricted to family members due to the Covid pandemic,” the Dubai media office tweeted.

In 2008, Dubai’s ruler established the line of succession in the emirate by naming his son Hamdan, 38, as crown prince. His other son, Sheikh Maktoum, is also a deputy ruler of Dubai.

The emirate, part of the UAE federation, is the Middle East’s business, trade and tourism hub.