Dubai ruler spends nearly $19m at US thoroughbred auction

Sheikh Mohammed invests in 22 yearling thoroughbred horses at the world's biggest auction in Kentucky
The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, reappeared this week at the world’s biggest thoroughbred auction in Lexington, Kentucky, after a decade-long hiatus.

And he wasted little time in investing the kind of cash that made him the king of the racehorse market for years.

After day one of the auction at Keeneland Association, he had spent $6.9 million. By the end of day four, the tab had swelled to $18.9 million. That was enough to score him 22 yearling thoroughbreds.

One of those is a son of American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown winner, that set him back a cool $2.2 million. Five others also carried price tags above $1 million.

All of which has made Sheikh Mohammed by far the biggest buyer at the auction. The runner-up? His brother, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He’s spent $12.3 million so far on 19 horses.

The sale resumes Saturday after a one-day break and runs through September 23.

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