If ever a horse had 'the look of eagles' about him, it was this beautiful colt by Seeking The Gold who was trained for Sheikh Mohammed by David Loder.
Dubai Millennium was born at Dalham Hall Stud in 1996 and the handsome son of Seeking The Gold impressed from an early stage. Originally named Yaazer, meaning ‘White Gazelle’, he was given his now legendary name after being quickly identified as one of the most promising two-year-olds of his year, if not ever.
Trained by David Loder as a juvenile, Dubai Millennium made just one start at two but it was a performance to remember as he won his one-mile maiden at Yarmouth by five lengths, eased down in the closing stages.
Dubai Millennium was then transferred to Godolphin and Saeed bin Suroor’s stable and made his three-year-old debut in early May, romping to a nine-length victory in a Doncaster conditions race. A swift return 15 days later saw him gain his first Stakes win, flying from last to first to win the Predominate Stakes at Goodwood by three and a half lengths.
Allowed to take his chance in the Derby, things did not go his way that day but that was to be his one and only taste of defeat during his illustrious career. He bounced back to form in the G2 Prix Eugene Adam before gaining his first G1 victory in the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville, finishing ahead of future Godolphin runner and previous G1 winner Slickly.
Dubai Millennium rounded off his campaign with a massive six-length win in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot and travelled to winter in Dubai full of the promise that his best was yet to come.
As the new millennium began, so did Dubai Millennium’s preparations for a race that had been earmarked for him two years previously - the 2000 Dubai World Cup. On his debut at Nad Al Sheba, he eased to a four-and-a-half-length win in the Listed Al Maktoum Challenge R3, setting him up perfectly for the world’s richest race a few weeks later.
On the big night, Dubai Millennium could not have been more impressive. Taking the lead after a furlong, he pulled further and further clear of his rivals in the home straight and eventually won by six lengths, with second-placed Behren five lengths ahead of the rest of the field. It was a truly spectacular performance and one that broke the track record by nearly half a second.
Dubai Millennium then returned to Europe and in his typical front-running style, trounced the field in the G1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, winning by no fewer than six lengths.
Sadly, that victory was to be his last appearance on the racecourse, as a serious injury sustained on the gallops meant he was to return to his birthplace to start his new career as a stallion at Dalham Hall Stud.
He retired with a Timeform rating of 140, the highest since Dancing Brave and the eighth highest awarded since the organisation was founded.
Tragically, in April 2001, Dubai Millennium contracted grass sickness and despite every effort from his expert veterinary team, he could not be saved.
His legacy, however, continues as his small first crop of just 56 foals included none other than Dubawi, who is now one of the most successful stallions in the world.
Like his sire, Dubawi got off the mark on his very first visit to the racecourse, easily winning over six furlongs at Goodwood. A win in the G2 Superlative Stakes followed, before he rounded off an unbeaten juvenile campaign with a three-length victory in the G1 National Stakes.
Dubawi went on to win the Irish 2,000 Guineas at three, before the 12 furlongs of the Derby proved a bridge too far, although he still ran with huge credit to finish third. He then followed in his magnificent father’s footsteps, winning an outstanding renewal of the G1 Prix Jacques Le Marois.
Dubawi retired to Dalham Hall Stud at the conclusion of his three-year-old campaign and covered his first book of mares in 2006.
Since that first crop of foals appeared on the racecourse, Dubawi has never looked back. He was leading first-season sire by number of winners in 2009, with Sand Vixen and Poet’s Voice both taking G2 contests that year.
A 2,000 Guineas winner in the form of Makfi followed a year later, while Poet’s Voice (who would go on to become a G1 sire himself) gained a well-deserved top-flight success in the Queen Elizabeth II.
The G1 winners have kept coming ever since: Dubai World Cup-winning duo Monterosso and Prince Bishop, globetrotter Benbatl, New Bay, Nezwaah, Quorto, Too Darn Hot, Wild Illusion and Wuheida, to name but a few.
Four of Dubawi’s G1-winning sons now stand as Darley stallions themselves.
Night Of Thunder, winner of the best renewal of the English Guineas for over 40 years, and four-time G1 winner Postponed stand alongside their sire at Dalham Hall Stud. Hunter’s Light heads up the young stallion roster at Haras du Logis in France, while the aforementioned Monterosso is proving a consistent source of winners in Japan.
Dubai Millennium may have sired just 56 foals in his only crop, yet his descendents include no fewer than 50 G1 winners to date. And with Dubawi and his sons here to carry the flag for him, this is a number that is set to grow and grow in the years to come.