Kentucky Derby chiefs reject human rights plea to ban Sheikh Mohammed and his horse Essential Quality from £2.2m race

KENTUCKY DERBY chiefs have thrown out a human rights complaint seeking to ban Sheikh Mohammed and stop his horse from running.

The billionaire ruler of Dubai owns Essential Quality, the 2-1 favourite for the £2.2million race.

But earlier this week human rights lawyers filed a complaint with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission seeking to bar the racing tycoon.


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A group of lawyers and students at the University of Louisville lodged a complaint with the commission concerning Sheikh Mohammed's alleged human rights abuses against two of his daughters.

Sheikh Mohammed was ruled by the British High Court in March last year to have 'ordered and orchestrated' the abduction of Princess Shamsa in 2000 and her sister Princess Latifa twice, in 2002 and in 2018.

Professor Sam Marcosson, one of those behind the complaint, said: "Now we believe there is credible evidence for the Kentucky Racing Commission to take action or hold a hearing to determine whether these allegations are credible.

"The commission has in the past suspended people or barred them for their actions.

"We think since they have acted on other issues, they should do so when someone is involved in gross human rights violations."

However, KHRC Executive Director Marc A. Guilfoil said in a statement addressing the complaint: "The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) received a complaint against licensee Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum on April 28, 2021.

"In consultation with counsel, and according to Kentucky regulations, the KHRC has determined the complaint does not articulate a violation of KHRC regulations."

The decision – the second in as many years to reject a call of this nature – means Sheikh Mohammed can finally realise his goal of winning America's most famous race at the 12th attempt.

The Godolphin owner and racing powerhouse has won pretty much everything else there is to win in the lucrative, money-spinning world of Flat racing – except this one.

But standing in his way in the Run for the Roses will be Tyson Fury.

The heavyweight champ has put $2,000 – just under £1,500 – on King Fury, the horse named after him, winning the race.


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