Dubai Millennium

Dubai Millennium (1996–2001) was a Thoroughbred racehorse and sire, trained in the United Kingdom and Dubai during his racing career which ran from 1998 and 2000. He is notable for winning a series of major races in 1999 and 2000 including the Dubai World Cup. He died after contracting grass sickness at the age of five.

Dubai Millennium
Racing silks of Godolphin.svg
Racing colours of Godolphin
SireSeeking The Gold
GrandsireMr. Prospector
DamColorado Dancer
DamsireShareef Dancer
Foaled(1996-03-02)2 March 1996
Died29 April 2001(2001-04-29) (aged 5)
CountryGreat Britain
BreederSheikh Mohammed
OwnerGodolphin Stables
TrainerDavid Loder
Saeed bin Suroor
Record10: 9-0-0
Major wins
Predominate Stakes (1999)
Prix Eugène Adam (1999)
Prix Jacques Le Marois (1999)
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (1999)
Al Maktoum Challenge, Round 3 (2000)
Dubai World Cup (2000)
Prince of Wales's Stakes (2000)
Timeform rating: 140
Last updated on December 9, 2006


Dubai Millennium was foaled on 20 March 1996 at the Dalham Hall Stud.[1] He was by the Mr. Prospector stallion Seeking The Gold, out of the Prix de Pomone winner Colorado Dancer.[2] Apart from Dubai Millennium, Seeking the Gold sired the winners of 27 Group One/Grade I races including Pleasant Home, Jazil, and Bob and John[3] Colorado Dancer was a daughter of Fall Aspen, a highly successful broodmare who produced eight winners of Group/Graded races including Preakness Stakes winner Timber Country.[4]

Dubai Millennium was originally sent into training with David Loder at Newmarket and was ridden in all but one of his races by Frankie Dettori.

He was initially named Yaazer1 (meaning "white gazelle"[5]), but Sheikh Mohammed, owner of Godolphin, renamed the colt Dubai Millennium after he was identified2 as the most promising of his two-year-old colts.[6]

Racing careerEdit

1998: two-year-old seasonEdit

Dubai Millennium made his debut as a two-year-old at Yarmouth in October 1998. He started odds-on favourite and won by five lengths despite being eased down by jockey Frankie Dettori in the closing stages.[7]

At the end of the year, Dubai Millennium was transferred to the stable of Saeed Bin Suroor and wintered at the Godolphin training facility in Dubai.

During the winter, he began to appear in the betting list for the following year's Derby, although some felt that his name was the main reason for the attention.[8]

1999: three-year-old seasonEdit

Dubai Millennium began his three-year-old season at Doncaster in May, where he was "impressive" in leading from the start and winning by nine lengths.[9] On his next start, he was moved up in class and distance for the Listed Predominate Stakes over a mile and a quarter at Goodwood, a recognised trial for the Derby.[10] Accompanied by a large Godolphin entourage and looking "magnificent",[8] he started at odds of 4/11. In the race, he moved to take the lead two furlongs from home and went clear to win by three and a half lengths.[11] Immediately afterwards, his connections expressed no worries about the Derby distance, although some concern was expressed about the possibility of firm ground, which was felt to be unsuitable for such a big, heavily built horse.[8]

Dubai Millennium was reported to have thrived after Goodwood[12] and was sent to Epsom for the Derby, where he was made favourite, although his starting price of 5/1 reflected the open nature of a race in which many lightly raced, untested colts were entered. He pulled hard early on, and after making a brief effort early in the straight, finished ninth of the sixteen runners, beaten just over nine lengths by Oath.[13] It was his only defeat and the only time he was tried over the mile and a half distance.

Following the Derby, Dubai Millennium was campaigned over shorter races for the rest of the season. In July, he was sent to France for the Group Two Prix Eugène Adam at Maisons-Laffitte and led from the start to win "unchallenged" by three lengths.[14]

Hopes that he would be matched against Royal Anthem in the International Stakes[15] were not fulfilled as he was instead brought back to one mile for the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville. On heavy, rain-softened ground he once again led all the way and "surged" clear in the closing stages to beat the Grand Prix de Paris winner Slickly by two and a half lengths. The leading French colt Sendawar was withdrawn because of the soft ground. After the race, Dettori called Dubai Millennium "a champion".[16]

On his final start of the year, in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, he took the lead two furlongs from the finish and pulled clear to win by six lengths. After the race, Sheikh Mohammed made clear his view that Dubai Millennium was the best horse ever prepared by his Godolphin organisation and that he would be aimed at the following year's Dubai World Cup.[5]

2000: four-year-old seasonEdit

Dubai Millennium once again wintered in the Persian Gulf and warmed up for the Dubai World Cup with a four and a half length win over the Prince of Wales's Stakes winner Lear Spear in a round of the Listed Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum Challenge in which he raced on dirt for the first time.[17]

In the World Cup three weeks later, he led after a furlong and pulled steadily away from the field in the closing stages to win in "devastating fashion"[18] beating Behrens by six lengths with the rest of the opposition at least five lengths further back.[19] His performance in winning the world's most valuable horse race in track-record time was acclaimed as an "awesome display", and Dettori called the colt "the best I've ever ridden... absolutely unbelievable".[20]

On his return to Europe, Dubai Millennium contested the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot, in which he was ridden by Jerry Bailey, Dettori having been injured in a plane crash.[21] In this race, he was finally matched against Sendawar, who by now had won four Group One races and was unbeaten for more than a year. Such was the reputation of the French colt that, for the only time in his career, Dubai Millennium was not the favourite, starting at odds of 5/4 behind Sendawar at 6/5. The challenge did not materialise, however, with Dubai Millennium leading from the start and finishing eight lengths clear of the German challenger Sumitas, with Sendawar, who had attempted to track the winner throughout the race, fading into fourth. When Bailey was asked to compare Dubai Millennium with the American champion Cigar, he described him as "equally impressive."[22]

Sheikh Mohammed clearly considered Dubai Millennium the greatest racehorse in the world and sought to race him against Michael Tabor's Arc and King George winner Montjeu, offering to pay Montjeu's entry fee to the Breeders' Cup.[23] Tabor resisted the challenge but told the media he wanted the two horses to be pitted against each other. A media circus erupted, culminating in Sheikh Mohammed proposing a one:one meeting between the two horses and putting down $6 million to back Dubai Millennium to win. Tabor was to match the wager if he took up the challenge. On the morning of Saturday, August 5, as copies of Racing Post bearing the challenge to Tabor from Sheikh Mohammed were distributed, Dubai Millennium suffered a broken leg (a "lateral condylar fracture") in training.[24] His life was saved by an operation, but his racing career was over.[25]

Race recordEdit

Date Race Dist (f) Course Class Prize (£K) Odds Runners Placing Margin Time Jockey Trainer
28 October 1998 South Norfolk Caterers Maiden Stakes 8 Yarmouth M 3 4/9 18 1 5 1:43.30 Frankie Dettori David Loder
3 May 1999 Doncaster Sponsorship Club Stakes 8 Doncaster 5 4/6 4 1 9 1:36.60 Frankie Dettori Saeed Bin Suroor
3 May 1999 Predominate Stakes 10 Goodwood L 20 4/11 6 1 3.5 2:07.54 Frankie Dettori Saeed Bin Suroor
18 May 1999 Derby 12 Epsom 1 611 5/1 16 9 9.25 2:37.43 Frankie Dettori Saeed Bin Suroor
18 July 1999 Prix Eugene Adam 10 Maisons-Laffitte 2 32 7/10 5 1 3 2:03.60 Frankie Dettori Saeed Bin Suroor
15 August 1999 Prix Jacques le Marois 8 Deauville 1 107 4/1 5 1 2.5 1:44.30 Frankie Dettori Saeed Bin Suroor
26 September 1999 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes 8 Ascot 1 195 4/9 4 1 6 1:46.24 Frankie Dettori Saeed Bin Suroor
2 March 2000 Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum Challenge 10 Nad Al Sheba L 6 1 4.5 Frankie Dettori Saeed Bin Suroor
25 March 2000 Dubai World Cup 10 Nad Al Sheba 1 2195 1/2 13 1 6 Frankie Dettori Saeed Bin Suroor
21 June 2000 Prince of Wales's Stakes 10 Ascot 1 156 5/4 6 1 8 2.07.48 Jerry Bailey Saeed Bin Suroor



In the International Classification (the forerunner of the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings) Dubai Millennium was named the best racehorse in the world in 2000 with a rating of 134, ahead of Sinndar (132) and Montjeu (130).[26] The rating was considered rather disappointing for those who had considered him a true "great".[27] He had previously been awarded a rating of 127 for his 1999 performances.[28]

Dubai Millennium was given a Timeform rating of 140— the highest since Dancing Brave in 1986, and the eighth highest since the organisation was founded in 1948.[29]

Dalham, where Dubai Millennium was born and died

Dubai Millennium never won a Cartier Racing Award. In 1999 he was beaten to the titles of Champion Three-Year-Old Colt and Horse of the Year by Montjeu and Daylami respectively. A year later Giant's Causeway was Horse of the Year, with Kalanisi being named Champion Older Horse.

Stud careerEdit

Dubai Millennium was retired to the Dalham Hall Stud, part of the Darley Stud organisation. His stallion fee in his first season was set at £100,000.[30]

In April 2001, the horse became gravely ill with what was quickly diagnosed as grass sickness. Intensive veterinary treatment and three operations were not sufficient to save Dubai Millennium, and he was euthanized whilst still under anaesthetic on 30 April. He was buried at the Dalham Hall Stud.[1]

His only crop of foals produced several winners including the Prix Daniel Wildenstein winner, Echo of Light and, most notably Dubawi.[31] Dubawi won National Stakes, the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the Prix Jacques Le Marois and went on to sire the 2,000 Guineas winner Makfi and many other important winners.[32]


Pedigree of Dubai Millennium (GB), bay stallion, 1996
Seeking The Gold (USA)
Mr. Prospector (USA)
Raise a Native Native Dancer
Raise You
Gold Digger Nashua
Con Game (USA)
Buckpasser Tom Fool
Broadway Hasty Road
Colorado Dancer (IRE)
Shareef Dancer (USA)
Northern Dancer Nearctic
Sweet Alliance Sir Ivor
Mrs Peterkin
Fall Aspen (USA)
Pretense Endeavour II
Change Water Swaps

See alsoEdit


1 The colt's original name has also been reported as "Yazzer", "Yazaar" and "Yareek".

2 Sources differ as to whether the colt was identified by David Loder or Sheikh Mohammed.


  1. ^ a b "Dubai Millennium dead". The Independent. 2001-05-01. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  2. ^ "Dubai Millennium pedigree". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  3. ^ "Seeking The Gold Stud Record". Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2011-09-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b Edmondson, Richard (1999-09-27). "Racing: Sheikh sends Millennium on treasure trail - Sport". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  6. ^ "Loder to quit over health fears". BBC News. 2005-08-02. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  7. ^ "South Norfolk Caterers Maiden Stakes". Timeform. Archived from the original on 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  8. ^ a b c Edmondson, Richard (1999-05-19). "Millennium dominates Predominate". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  9. ^ "Doncaster Racecourse Sponsorship Club Conditions Stakes". Timeform. Archived from the original on 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  10. ^ "Espom Derby Trial Races". Archived from the original on 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  11. ^ "Predominate Stakes". Timeform. Archived from the original on 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  12. ^ Montgomery, Sue (1999-05-30). "Dubai Millennium the class act". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  13. ^ "Epsom Derby". Timeform. Archived from the original on 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  14. ^ "Dubai in return to form in France". The Independent. 1999-07-19. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  15. ^ Edmondson, Richard (1999-08-13). "Dubai's pride heads to York". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  16. ^ Edmondson, Richard (1999-08-16). "Millennium makes all in the mud". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  17. ^ "Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum Challenge". Timeform. Archived from the original on 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  18. ^ "Dubai comes and goes like a dream". The Independent. 2000-03-27. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  19. ^ "Dubai World Cup". Timeform. Archived from the original on 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  20. ^ "Millennium meets date with destiny". The Independent. 2000-03-26. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  21. ^ "Dettori set to be released today". Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  22. ^ J A McGrath (2000-06-22). "Royal Ascot: Dubai the destroyer on top of the world". Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  23. ^ "Clash with Dubai Millennium will have to wait". Telegraph. 2000-07-30. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  24. ^ Pagones, Rachel (2007). Dubai Millennium: A Vision Realised, A Dream Lost. UK: Highdown. pp. 112–118. ISBN 9781905156320.
  25. ^ Wallace, Sam (2000-08-07). "Hero of the Turf goes off to stud". Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  26. ^ "EndMaterial2001.qxd" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  27. ^ "Millennium is an also ran in greatest race". The Independent.
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Dosage". Archived from the original on 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  30. ^ Armytage, Marcus (2000-11-29). "Dubai stud fee set at £100,000". Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  31. ^ "Dubai Millennium Stud Record". Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  32. ^ "Dubawi Stud Record". Retrieved 2011-09-12.