June 8, 2023
Dubai's 'Media Lover' Sibelius

“You are quick, you are good, you are unbelievable.”

It was a mantra that I silently repeated Sibelius We felt it for the one hundredth time as we stepped onto the saddle paddock for the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1).

“You are quick, you are good, you are unbelievable, you are going to win,” I muttered, and Sibelius gave me a cheeky look by means of the rim of her blinders—as she typically did—virtually saying, “Oh, after all we will win.”

Because the solar’s rays started to slip into the golden night gentle, we reached the daylight of the Saddled Paddock. The phrases of Ricardo, Sibelius’ groom and Jeremiah (Jerry) O’Dwyer Racing’s foreman, echo in my thoughts, “Chelsie, you possibly can’t be nervous. It’s important to be calm for him so he can keep comfy.” Irrespective of how quiet Sibelius could appear, she may be very delicate and in concord together with her folks. “You are quick. You are good, you are unbelievable. You are going to win,” I repeat to Ricardo as I stroll.

Our final moments of solidarity felt like without end as we walked across the colosseum, which kinds the saddle pasture of Meydan Racecourse. Dubai’s racing practices are stylized after European racing traditions, and sagging the Sibelius is completely different from what I am used to in America. Jerry went to take the counter and there’s no jockey butler to work offside, so I did the standard butler’s job as a substitute.


The house owners of Sibelius, Delia Nash, watched with enthusiasm by Jun Park and the connections. After saddle up and stretching, I bought Sibelius again and we proceed our stroll. All of a sudden, the saddle paddock full of folks, cameramen, and reporters. The air was stuffed with expectation.

As we observe the trail to the observe, Sibelius and I think about every little thing collectively – the crowds, the fantastic thing about the stands, and the magnitude of the second. All of the nerves I suppressed are gone. All I can really feel in these moments is pleasure. Our little barn in South Florida represents the USA on the world stage. We run the Golden Shaheen on Dubai World Cup day and owe all of it to Sibelius, a small chestnut tree with an enormous coronary heart.

Photograph: Mathea Kelley

Sibelius (far proper) wins at Dubai Golden Shaheen

Lastly, Jerry backs jockey Ryan Moore and we hit the observe. I hand over Sibelius and Moore to the horse and watch him cross the turf as they head in direction of the grime highway. As I depart the sector with the remainder of the race day officers, I really feel misplaced with out my pal. I seemed up on the enormous tribune of the Sq. and burst into tears stuffed with emotion. It doesn’t matter what, all of us got here to the top of the world collectively; a small group of people that consider in horses.

Different grooms begin asking if I am okay. Robert, one in every of Bob Baffert’s grooms who shares the barn with us, solutions for me: “He is superb, first time right here,” whereas the group nods in understanding.

The problem is in contrast to some other racecourse on the earth. Grass is the outer observe and the soil is the internal observe. I really feel like I am dreaming whereas watching the screens. I am not used to the race that develops this far. The following minute and 10 seconds, the longest six-length race of my life.

The race is on and Sibelius hasn’t damaged out as shortly as he has in his previous few races. To my dismay, he returns to the center pack, away from his typical entrance operating place. Coming from behind, by means of visitors, was traditionally not his means of operating, and for a second I need to get right into a ditch.

Ryan was using laborious, and Sibelius out of the blue started to stage the bottom with each step. As if he would hear me, I started to shout: “Go! Stroll! Stroll! You’ll be able to! Stand up there!” Seconds handed and the wire got here nearer.

Tucked behind a wall of horses, a slender opening within the observe opens sufficient and Sibelius flows by means of it. as he passes gunite And hopkins final yr’s winner Switzerland it comes from the clouds, it covers the center of the observe. They hit the wire on the identical time. From the place I stand, I am undecided who put the nostril in entrance of me; I am simply attempting to get the air again into my lungs.

“Your horse has gained,” stated Robert.

I am in shock, tears are flowing once more.

Sibelius, 2023 Golden Shaheen wins Meydan Racecourse
Photograph: Erika Rasmussen {Photograph}

Chelsie Raabe meets Sibelius and Ryan Moore after their victory.

I stood up and waited for my pal coming in direction of me in the course of the observe and the photographers/media lined up as they waited for his or her hero to strategy. Nonetheless crying and having hassle focusing, I join with Sibelius and Ryan. “He was very courageous,” she says as Ryan and I had a quiet second away from the gang. As we approached the media gateway, photographers started to encourage me to smile.

By way of the lights, the gang, the noise, “my” horse stands proudly within the winner’s compartment with me and the remainder of his folks, quiet and mild as all the time within the frenzy of those moments.


Every part about our Dubai journey was fascinating, as if it was written earlier than the story even unfolded. Each step of the journey was simple, it felt like all we needed to do was present up. The staff behind Dubai Racing Membership took care of all the main points concerning the horse’s journey, folks and lodging and no element was spared.

On the Dubai World Cup quarantine space, we shared a secure with different American groups and have become a close-knit unit all through the journey; Though half of our barn was operating in Altın Şahin, everybody supplied a serving to hand to one another. We had been solely allowed to coach the horses at sure time intervals and the rumors are true – Really a 30-minute stroll from the quarantine stables to the Meydan oval and one other 30-minute stroll dwelling.

Sibelius is claimed to be essentially the most photographed horse in Dubai this yr; She was first generally known as “Media Lover” and later as a social media star. In his morning observe, this bought a lot of the consideration. It doesn’t matter what observe it’s, there’s a custom of standing nonetheless for a couple of minutes earlier than coaching to look at its environment.

Successful the race was unbelievable, however so was assembly friends from all over the world and touring round Dubai. After the race I bought a whole bunch of congratulatory messages and tales of individuals saying they had been cheering for him to win. In these remaining moments that day, it appeared as if the entire world had helped push him to the wire.

As I write this, Sibelius is on a flight to America. My airplane will quickly take off after him and he’ll really feel able to embark on our subsequent huge journey.

Chelsie Raabe is the present assistant coach of Jerry O’Dwyer. Breeders’ Cup runners are professionals in all equine sports activities, having ridden elite occasion horses in addition to Grand Prix present jumpers and dressage horses. Passionate in regards to the racing business and Thoroughbred aftercare. In his spare time he works as a contract photographer for Coglianese Images and in addition owns a small social media improvement firm. His busy schedule is led by corgis, Max and Blueberry.

#Dubais #Media #Lover #Sibelius

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