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Sheikh Fahad acclaims Dunaden as 'My horse of a lifetime!'

The explosion of Qatari investment in horseracing is largely due to the excitement generated in the Al Thani family by Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden. So says the stallion's owner Sheikh Fahad, in an interview for www.ovstud.co.uk

The Sheikh describes telling his brothers that he had a horse for the Melbourne Cup: 'They thought I was crazy! A lot of them stayed up till four in the morning and watched the race, and cheered him on. I think a lot of their investment in racing worldwide has come about because of Dunaden.' The film shows Sheikh Fahad's delight at winning the trophy. 'All of my family have seen Dunaden do what he has done, and they all want a piece of that and are trying to find a piece of that.' 

In the interview, Sheikh Fahad describes winning the Melbourne Cup as 'one of the most thrilling days of my life' and announces his ambition to make Dunaden 'the greatest stallion possible'. 'He's not just a horse,' he says, 'he's part of the family. It's a great love affair!' He reveals he has been buying mares to send to Dunaden and sums up his appeal: 'He has the physique, the temperament and the racing record. He's shown he can win top class races, and to have fun running consistently. It's very hard to find a horse to do that, and I think he has the perfect attributes to make a great stallion.'
All winning offspring by Dunaden qualify for Dunaden Owners & Breeders' Premiums, modelled on the French 'primes'. 'In the stallion business, you've got to be innovative, and the Dunaden Breeders Club is the best idea I've seen,' says Sheikh Fahad. 'It's a great way to spread the fun around. Horses are a great way to make new networks and partnerships and the Club is made for that. The idea is that the enjoyment I had with Dunaden spreads to the breeders.'
Sheikh Fahad describes Dunaden as, at heart, a mile-and-a-half horse; 'If you look at the ratings, his best trip is a mile-and-half. Over two miles, his class got him there.' The Sheikh reckons Dunaden's best performance came in the 12-furlong G1 Caulfield Cup. 'Winning the Caulfield Cup with top-weight and the outside draw is something that had not been done before. He's run the best race of his life there – and he's done it with ease.'
Dunaden is standing his first season at Overbury Stud at £3,000 Oct 1, SLF.