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Dubai World Cup: Exciting battles on the cards

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on March 20, 2020 | Last updated on March 20, 2020 at 07.22 am
Ghaiyyath is a strong contender in the $6 million Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic.

The night, in entirety, features six Group 1 and three Group 2 races, that is sure to whet the appetite of horse racing fans around the world

The show is on and the centrepiece for the historic and landmark 25th running of the $35 million Dubai World Cup is undoubtedly the $12 million Dubai World Cup affair.

But as has been the case over the past two decades, the race night which has traditionally been held on the last Saturday of March, has eight other contests that oozes class and dollops of quality.

The night, in entirety, features six Group 1 and three Group 2 races, that is sure to whet the appetite of horse racing fans around the world.

Sadly, avid racegoers in Dubai and the country as a whole, won't be able to witness it but circumstances are such. Action will be behind closed doors at the magnificent Meydan Racecourse but fans can still get a glimpse in the comfort of their living rooms, with the races streamed live on television.

The other eight races on the card are headlined by the Group 1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic, which precedes the main race on the night - the Dubai World Cup.

And there are 11 strong runners in the 2,410 metres contest to be run on turf and which carries a generous prize purse of $6 million.

Flying the flag for the UAE is the impressive Ghaiyyath, owned by Godolphin.

Saddled by Englishman Charlie Appleby, Ghaiyyath, the son of two Irish classic winners, had made a sensational Dubai debut in the eighth horse race meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival last month.

The five-year-old son of Dubawi, Ghaiyyath, showed why he was rated 126, towering over the rest of the field to land the Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes at the Meydan Racecourse.

Ghaiyyath had led from start to finish, under jockey William Buick, to win the 10-furlong affair by a whopping 8.5 lengths over last year's Millennium Stakes winner Spotify.

The Japanese have Hong Kong Vase Group 1 winner Glory Vase, Current Bouquetd'Or and Loves Only You.

The UK too have a trio of runners in Defoe, Desert Encounter and Star Catcher with Ireland double-handed with two in Fleeting and Mount Everest. The lone American entry is the Richard Mandella-conditioned United.

The Group 1 Dubai Turf, worth $6 million, has also drawn a stellar field with Almond Eye looking to defend her title.

Almond Eye, the Japanese mare goes up against the likes of Jebel Hatta Group 1 champion Barney Roy, conditioned by Appleby, and Hong Kong Cup G) winner Win Bright, among others.

Appleby has another runner in Magic Lily. There is also the Fawzi Nass-trained Port Lions, who had created history last month by winning the first ever turf race to be staged in Saudi Arabia, during the Saudi Cup at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh.

The $1.5 million Dubai Gold Cup G2 has attracted superb stayers as Melbourne Cup G1 winner Cross Counter and St Leger (G1) winner Kew Gardens.

Meanwhile, the world's richest dirt sprint, the $2.5 million Dubai Golden Shaheen has drawn one of the top dirt sprinters in the world Imperial Hint.

The $1.5 million Godolphin Mile G2 features a clash between dominant milers Capezzano and Salute The Soldier.

The world's richest race night begins with the $1 million Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic, the only contest for Purebred Arabians in the world and AF Maher will look to defend his title.


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