Horse racing

2020 Dubai World Cup Carnival starts today

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on January 2, 2020 | Last updated on January 2, 2020 at 06.34 am
Dubai World Cup Carnival

(KT file)

Top-class horses from around the globe will be part of the carnival.

The 2020 Dubai World Cup Carnival commences on Thursday with a flourish of top-class horses from around the globe. A total of $960,000 in prize money will be up for grabs and Dubai World Cup implications will be aplenty, including the featured the Dubawi Stakes (G3) for Dubai Golden Shaheen.

GROUP 3 $200,000 DUBAWI STAKES (1200m)

This looks a strong renewal of the Dubawi Stakes, a race first contested in 2010 and in which Satish Seemar has a fantastic record, having saddled half of the previous nine winners (including the Reynaldothewizard, who landed four). The master of Zabeel Stables also took the prize last year with Raven's Corner and has two chances this time: homegrown talent Lavaspin and new recruit Gladiator King. Both must take on the king of UAE sprinters from last season, Drafted, as he makes his belated seasonal bow.

"We are really looking forward to running them both," Seemar said. "Gladiator King arrived at a good time in the summer, has acclimatised well and settled into our routine. Lavaspin is a horse we have always really liked, but has not always been straightforward to train. We think he is worthy of his place in this company and hope he can prove it on Thursday."

Also doubly represented is the UAE season's leading handler thus far, Doug Watson, who saddles both Drafted and Waady. The latter is one of nine runners owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prnce of Dubai, in action on Thursday evening. Red Stables rider Pat Dobbs will be aboard Drafted, second in this last year, a late-running type who has won half of his ten starts for current connections, including the aforementioned 2019 Mahaab Al Shimaal and Al Shindagha Sprint (G3).

France will be represented by Tour to Paris, a fascinating 11-time winner from 15 starts from the yard of Pia Brandt who began his career a perfect 8-for-8 in Hungary.


The Meydan Challenge sponsored by Emirates NBD Asset Management, formerly a standard handicap, has attracted a competitive field of 11 headed by international warrior Suedois.

Trained by David O'Meara for George Turner & Clipper Logistics, the dark bay charge counts the 2017 Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (G1) at Keeneland among his five career victories.O'Meara said: "He likes seven furlongs to a mile. This is the obvious start point and then we will look at those good handicaps for him. Later on, we'll look at a race like the Group 2 Zabeel Mile."


Also upgraded this year, the Dubai Racing Club Classic sponsored by Emirates NBD Wholesale Banking will be contested by 12 runners, including Mountain Hunter, winner of the equivalent race last year. Saeed bin Suroor and Christophe Soumillon team up again with the last-out Listed winner at Newmarket. 

"We are excited to be back at Meydan for the Dubai World Cup Carnival and looking forward to the next few months," Bin Suroor said. "Mountain Hunter is in good form and we obviously know the conditions suit him."

$100,000 UAE 1000 GUINEAS TRIAL

The young fillies clash in a maximum field of 16, where post position and racing luck will make as much difference as any level of talent. Kicking off the six-race card, the 1400m affair is topped by UAE's top-rated juvenile thus far, Doug Watson-trained Rio Angie, super-impressive local winner (just two weeks ago on Dec. 21) Down on Da Bayou, hard-trying Simon Crisford pupil Last Surprise and Royal Ascot-placed Godolphin colour-bearer Final Song.

$175,000 1900m DIRT HANDICAP (90+)

Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) alumnus New Trails tops the field for the 1900m handicap, but must pass front-running G1 winner Saltarin Dubai and G2 UAE Derby-placed Manguzi in order to get it done this time. Patrick Wahl-trained Swedish import Red Hot Chili seeks his 10th victory from 37 starts, while trainer Doug Watson sends out the capable duo of Grand Argentier and Tried and True.

$135,000 1000m TURF HANDICAP (90-105)

Phoenix Thoroughbreds' Pocket Dynamo dips in class after facing the likes of Calyx and Battaash last season and shares top weight with Hot Scot Racing and Mike Quinn's gritty sprinter Riflescope.

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