'If a horse is able to run his race, he can turn out to be quite competitive'
It is that time of the year again, the last Saturday of March, the traditional date of the Dubai World Cup, and it will be a special and yet a poignant occasion, at the Meydan Racecourse.
This year’s event marks the landmark 25th running of the Dubai World Cup and it will also be a fitting tribute to horse racing pioneer Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, who passed away on Wednesday.
It is a well-stacked card with a generous prize purse of $26.5 million across the nine races — six Group 1 affairs and three Group 2 contests and a total of 117 horses from 11 countries will compete across a spectacular night of racing.
The piece de resistance, or rather, the jewel in the crown, is undoubtedly the $12 million Dubai World Cup, which will bring the curtain down on the night. A full bouquet of 14 top contenders, with a combined Group 1 or Grade 1 victories between them at the top level, makes up the stellar cast. And it is headlined by the favourite Mystic Guide, the multiple Group-winning American raider.
The others are Gifts Of Gold, saddled by Emirati Saeed bin Suroor, who, with a record nine wins, is the most successful trainer at the World Cup, Salute The Soldier, Military Law, Chuwa Wizard, Ajuste Fiscal, to name a few.
Other races on the night include the Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic, the lone race for Purebred Arabians, Group 2 Godolphin Mile, Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup, Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint, Group 2 UAE Derby, Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen, Group 1 Dubai Turf and the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic.
The event, though, will be held behind closed doors but racing fans can catch the action with it being showcased to a worldwide audience by 40 broadcasters.