Two horses owned by Sheikh Mohammed are to start their stud careers in China next year.

Jalil – a seven-year-old son of Storm Cat – will stand at the Lisui Farm in Beijing. Jalil cost $9.7m ( £6.1m) as a yearling and went on to win the Group Two Maktoum Challenge in Dubai.

And six-year-old Sousa – who is by Galileo and won the Australian Group One Spring Champion Stakes – will stand at Ordos Farm in Inner Mongolia.

Each stallion is expected to cover around 75 mares. Their stud fees will be free to approved mares.

John Ferguson, the sheikh’s bloodstock advisor, said: “Sheikh Mohammed is eager to support the emergence of the Chinese thoroughbred industry.

“He has selected these two, as they are both exceptional physical specimens, boast stellar Classic bloodlines and both performed with great credit at the highest level.”

In the1930s Shanghai had one of the largest racetracks in the world, but racing was banned in China for almost 60 years after the communist takeover in 1949.

It was legalised in 2008, but gambling is still banned.

Last year plans were announced to build a £2.6bn international racing complex near Tianjin to support the growing interest in the sport.

H&H bloodstock writer Sue Montgomery said: “It’s a nice gesture to support a burgeoning industry.

“They are nicely bred, which may be a significant move for the future of racing in the country.”

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (27 October, 2011)