Dubai World Cup Carnival: Super Saturday to bring together some of world's best horses, jockeys and owners

Races to serve as official dress rehearsal for the $30.5 million prize money Dubai World Cup

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Published: Fri 3 Mar 2023, 10:41 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Mar 2023, 11:13 PM

The nine-week Dubai World Cup Carnival will reach its crescendo on March 4 at Meydan Racecourse, with the Super Saturday event that brings together some of the world’s best horses, jockeys and owners. The event’s nine-race card includes three Group 1s, the highest level of racing.

Millions of horse racing enthusiasts all over the world will be tuning in to the broadcast of Super Saturday, which serves as the official dress rehearsal for the $30.5 million prize money Dubai World Cup, one of the globe’s biggest horse races, to be held on 25 March.

Saturday's event is a fitting culmination of the Dubai World Cup Carnival, one in a series of annual events that have reinforced the emirate’s reputation for setting the gold standard for flat racing. The Carnival’s 21 Group races for thoroughbreds, as well as 23 handicaps, across dirt and turf tracks, have attracted over 60,000 spectators.

The Super Saturday races will serve as trial races for the Dubai World Cup meeting, including the G1 Maktoum Challenge R3 for Thoroughbreds, run over 2,000 metres on dirt, and the one for Purebred Arabians that serves as a prep for the Kahayla Classic. The Group 1 Jebel Hatta race, held over 1,800 metres on turf, is a prep race for the Dubai World Cup’s Group 1 Dubai Turf. Super Saturday also features the Group 2 Dubai City of Gold and three Group 3s, the Burj Nahaar, Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint and Mahab Al Shimaal, in addition to the second running of the Ras Al Khor Stakes.

Super Saturday also encompasses the sixth edition of the prestigious His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Horseracing Excellence Awards that will honour top performances across seven categories.

Sheikh Rashed bin Dalmook Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Racing Club, said: “The extensive programme of races held during Dubai’s 2022-23 horse racing season reflects our constant efforts to introduce initiatives to develop the global equestrian sector and vitalise the worldwide community of horse owners, trainers and other equestrian professionals. With deeply-rooted traditions in horse riding, racing, breeding and various equestrian activities, Dubai is a prominent focal point for the global equestrian fraternity and a key hub for racing and equine professionals. With the expansion of the racing season and a significant increase in prizemoney, in addition to other initiatives, Dubai is playing a major role in the recovery of the equestrian industry from the impact of global challenges.”

The 2023 Dubai World Cup Carnival features horses trained in 16 different countries. A total of 147 horses were accepted from overseas, including nine individual Group/Grade 1 winners, adding to the strong teams fielded by Godolphin and UAE-based trainers. The meeting features some of the equestrian world’s stars including US-based trainer Doug O’Neill, based in California, USA, who has already notched up two winners at the Carnival, including the G3 UAE 2000 Guineas with Tall Boy. The current favourite for the $12million Dubai World Cup is Algiers, who won the G2 Maktoum Challenge R1 and R2 for trainer Simon Crisford.

This year’s Carnival introduced a variety of new activities to enhance the racing experience, including the Meydan Racecourse’s first dedicated Ladies’ Night - three special events aimed at bringing together horses, hats and high fashion. The 2023 Carnival also saw Faces at the Races, a competition introduced to engage the audience at the Racecourse.

The Dubai World Cup Carnival is accessible to all sections of society with spectators able to watch the races by paying just Dh2 on a regular race night. They can choose from a range of viewing options catering to diverse budgets from simple seating to five-star, all-inclusive dining.

The Carnival features six to seven races on regular nights. Apart from watching the races, fans can enjoy a close-up view of the horses in the Parade Ring before and after the race.

Dubai's action-packed three-month horse racing season will see a spectacular climax at the Dubai World Cup, the world’s most anticipated race day. Featuring six Group 1 and three Group 2 fixtures, the meeting has received more than 1,600 entries, including 892 individual horses from 21 countries.


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