In an exciting new initiative, Justin Vermaak is thrilled to be involved in the Gulf Racing Club, a racing ownership group based in Dubai.

Set to be based in Europe during the flat racing period and auction sales season, Vermaak will then be based in the UAE for the winter months, when Dubai has its Carnival.

With the Middle East already well established within the global racing community, the numerous plans to further increase its presence, coupled with the significant increases in prizemoney, they the foundations for a very exciting future, one that is open to all to be involved in.

“I was approached by the team a few months back and I am very excited to get cracking on sourcing racing stock for this initiative.”

“The Middle East is already a well-established, but high stakes racing programmes and innovations are constantly being announced and the region will be a high stakes powerhouse for years to come.”


Already one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting horse-racing venues, Dubai’s racing hub recently received a handsome boost with the announcement of a new series of races set to be run at the 2021-2022 Dubai Racing Carnival.

The enhanced racing calendar for the 2021/22 season will now include a four-race ‘Jumeirah Series’ on turf launched for the Classic generation, plus an exciting new race for Super Saturday, with the addition of new races increasing the total prizemoney for the racing season to over US$40 million.

Meanwhile, the prize money for the world’s most spectacular race day, the Dubai World Cup, which boasts a dazzling card of six Group 1s and three Group 2 contests, has been enhanced to a value of US$30.5 million.

South Africa is no stranger to enjoying success on Dubai World Cup night, with champion trainer Mike de Kock’s stellar record on that night seeing him win with such South African bred charges as Victory Moon, Shea Shea, and Soft Falling Rain while also saddling the South African bred and raced Lizard’s Desire to finish a nose second in the G1 Dubai World Cup of 2010.


The Gulf Racing Club recently acquired an exciting addition when Justin purchased the very smart Celtic Voyager.

The latter had been carded to continue his career in Singapore but with Singapore racing severely impacted by the COVID19 pandemic, it was decided to aim the classy gelding at the 2021-2022 Dubai Carnival instead.

“We have already teamed with the existing owners of Celtic Voyager, to race in Dubai with Mick De Kock, targeting the early carnival handicap sprints.”

The stakes-winning gelding is likely to make his first start in Chantilly, France later this month, before travelling on to Dubai.


Qatar has a long association with horses and a fervent desire to be a first-class horse racing nation. So, equestrian events and activities run throughout most of the year.

Over the last few decades, Thoroughbred racing has become as important to the nation as rearing purebred Arabians. Indeed, championed by the Qatari Royal family, Qatar has become an important player in this global sport.

Their success at international races; their world-class breeding and training facilities; their sponsorship of some of the most prestigious racing events; and, the internationally renowned HH Amir Sword Cup held in Doha, have all helped propel them on to the international racing scene.


In 2020, Saudi Arabia unveiled a spectacular new horse-race, the Saudi Cup. Run over 1800m at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack, the first race was run for the staggering purse of $20m.

The quality of the race is underscored by the winners of the first two Saudi Cups. In 2020, the inaugural Saudi Cup went the way of the US star Maximum Security, while in 2021 the race went to the outstanding Mishriff. Now standing at Ashford Stud, Maximum Security was North America’s Champion 3YO Colt of 2019. First past the post in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, Maximum Security won 10 of 14 starts, including four G1 races.

Mishriff, who defeated top-class US gallopers Charlatan and Knicks Go when victorious in the 2021 Saudi Cup, has earned in excess of 11 million pounds and last time out captured the G1 Juddmonte International by a decisive six lengths.

Saudi Cup day also hosts a number of other lucrative feature races, namely: the Saudi International Handicap, International Jockey Challenge Cup, the Neom Turf Cup, the 1351 Turf Sprint, the Red Sea Turf Handicap, the Riyadh Dirt Sprint and the Saudi Derby.

In 2021, Saudi Cup day hosted races worth a total of $30.5 million in prize money.


Persian Gulf hub Bahrain is fast establishing itself as an extremely attractive horse-racing destination.

The Bahrain Turf Club hosts one of the finest grass tracks in the Middle East, which is overlooked by an exquisite grandstand.

The 2021 Bahrain International Trophy, which has been cited to be run for purse of 500 000 pounds over 2000m, will be run on November 21st, and is open to horses who have achieved a rating of 95 plus in their various racing jurisdictions.

Three races offer an automatic invitation to the respective winners to this year’s Bahrain International Trophy namely –the G3 Fitzdares Royal Whip Stakes, G3 The Sky Bet And Symphony Group Strensall Stakes, and the G3 Darley Stakes.

Following the success of the Bahrain International Trophy, a new turf series is set to begin in Bahrain in December 2021. Ten new races have been introduced to the Bahrain race programme specifically targeting international horses rated 85-100.

For further information on the Gulf Racing Club, and how you to cane be involved, contact Justin Vermaak by clicking HERE.

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©2021 by Vermaak Equine.

Designed and developed by Keyweb.