Dubai World Cup: Defending champion Ushba Tesoro among 200-strong Japanese nominations

A total of 1,423 nominations from 19 countries have been received by the Dubai Racing Club for the $30.5million extravaganza

by

Leslie Wilson Jr

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Ushba Tesoro will defend his Dubai World Cup title. — Reuters
Ushba Tesoro will defend his Dubai World Cup title. — Reuters

Published: Tue 30 Jan 2024, 7:51 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 Jan 2024, 9:09 PM

Japan’s Ushba Tesoro, a sensational winner of the 2023 Dubai World Cup (Group 1) at Meydan racecourse, is among a star-studded field of major race winners who have been nominated for the 28th running of the 2,000 metre contest on March 30.

Recent Pegasus World Cup hero National Treasure, Breeders Cup Classic (G1) scorer White Abarrio and runner-up Derma Sotogake also figure among the 1,423 nominations received by the Dubai Racing Club.

In total, 868 horses from 19 countries have been nominated across the nine races, which includes the Purebred Arabian $1 million Dubai Kahayla Classic.

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Japan, who have enjoyed sweeping successes in the Middle East, including the Saudi Cup, have nominated 200-strong army of gallopers for the Meydan show piece.

In addition American-trained gallopers will be out in force with 150 nominations from the country who have won the Dubai World Cup no less than 13 times since its inception in 1996.

Other US hopefuls include Pennsylvania Derby (G1) winner Saudi Crown , recent San Pasqual Stakes (G2) scorer Newgrange in addition to the Pegasus World Cup second- and third-place finishers Senor Buscador and Crupi .

The local challenge is headed by Kazakistan’s dual Meydan hero Kabirkhan.

The $6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic, (G1), voted one of the top five races run last year, is the target of top Japanese filly Liberty Island, while Ireland are represented by Irish Derby, Irish Champion Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Auguste Rodin.

Shahryar, who won the race in 2022 and finished a game fifth last year, is back for the third time.

The $5 million Dubai Turf sees crowd-favourite Lord North attempting to win it for an unprecedented fourth time but the veteran gallopers will face a strong challenge from Japan’s Arima Kinen winner Do Deuce and the Godolphin trained Master Of The Seas. The Breeders’ Cup Mile winner could give big-race winning handler Charlie Appleby a maiden victory in the race.

The nominations also included several returning champions like 2023 Dubai Golden Shaheen hero Sibelius while G1 Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by Azizi Developments has also attracted defending champion Danyah.

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