All roads lead to Meydan

All roads lead to Meydan

DUBAI — In a week when His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, declared the country a world leader in horse racing, today is set to prove the point succinctly.

By Alex Leach

Published: Fri 29 Mar 2013, 11:33 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:32 AM

The 18th running of the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse here will see world-class horses, jockeys and trainers from across the globe compete in nine races for a prize-money pot totalling a mouth-watering $27.25 million.

Trade Storm (GB) during the morning practice at Meydan race track on Friday. — KT photo by Shihab

Horse owner and Chechen President Ramzan Kayrov, no stranger to Dubai World Cup racing several horses at the event over recent years, will once again be back with newly-purchased French raider Meandre this year wearing the Chechen leader’s silks. Kayrov has previously said the Dubai World Cup is the one race he wants to win.

Headlining the annual event once more is the $10 million Dubai World Cup race itself, where Shaikh Mohammed’s own Al Quoz-based stable Godolphin will be looking to defend the trophy won by Monterosso last year.

Monterosso and the 2012 runner-up Capponi will again line up in the starting stalls for trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni, but it’s his counterpart Saeed bin Suroor’s trio of runners upon whom home hopes are really vested.

Al Maktoum Challenge R2 and R3 winner Hunter’s Light appears the pick of Bin Suroor’s hand that also includes the 2012 Godolphin Mile victor African Story and Kassiano. “Hunter’s Light is unbeaten in his last three races,” said Bin Suroor. “He is improving and a tough performer. He will be there at the end because he has a big heart.

“My three runners in the Dubai World Cup all have a good chance.” American and British-trained runners make up almost half of the field, with English trainer Graham Motion’s 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom arguably the best contender from the United States.

Dullahan and Royal Delta have also made the journey across the Atlantic Ocean, while Planteur — who finished third 12 months ago — is perhaps the best-equipped challenger from the United Kingdom.

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