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Royal family buys family-owned stud farm

An Australian family firm is selling part of its horse training and breeding business to Middle Eastern royalty. Through his global thoroughbred breeding operation Darley, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, has purchased the Bloodstock operation of Inghams Enterprises for an undisclosed sum. The sale includes all the Bloodstock training stables in southern Australia.

"I have long admired the love Australians have for the horse and for racing," said Sheikh Mohammed, who trained Dubai World Cup winner Dubai Millennium. "The Ingham family have made a significant contribution to Australian racing and to the thoroughbred and I am looking forward to building on their success. I am delighted to be making this commitment."

Bob Ingham, who set up the company with his late brother, Jack, said this was a "win-win" situation for both parties. "Not only is it in the long-term interest of the company, it also secures the continuation of the bloodstock business and the employment of the team," he said.

Sheikh Mohammed purchased Darley in 1981 when it had just one horse. The firm has since bred many champions and has stables all over the world. Darley also manages the racing interests of Sheikh Mohammed and various members of the Maktoum family.

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