The Dubai World Cup takes centre stage as the region gears for a spectacular display of horse racing.
The most prized race horses come to the Meydan Racecourse, at Dubai, each year to make their owners, trainers, jockeys and their breeding heritages proud. From November to March, the event – which is a distinctive fête by itself – showcases before the world, heightened panoply of horse racing, unmatched and peerless in its splendour.
The final culmination of Dubai’s Racing Calendar − which includes the Dubai World Cup Carnival, featuring 11-races and Racing at Meydan, featuring nine race events, held between November and March − then takes place on the last Saturday in the month of March, quite appropriately called the Dubai World Cup.
To many who don’t really know much about horse racing, the prize money seems like the biggest point of attraction.
But while the prize money is indeed lucrative at US$ 27.25 million, making the event the richest horse racing event in the world, to lovers of the sport of horse racing, it’s the prospect of watching illustrious pure-bred and Arabian steeds bidding to race away into glory that is the most significant magnetic pull about the event. The Dubai World Cup hasn’t lost any of its luminescence, but has only added to its sheen and allure in its almost 20-years of existence. The event which enjoys the generous and overwhelming patronage of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the event’s Chairman and UAE’s Presidential Affairs Minister, has truly become yet another jewel in the highly bright achievements’ panorama of not just Dubai, but also of the entire United Arab Emirates.
Taking place on the 29th March this year, the Dubai World Cup will feature nine races, three of which – the Dubai Sheema Classic, sponsored by Longines; Dubai Duty Free sponsored by Dubai Duty Free and Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airlines – are Group I race events. In totality, these three events carry prize purse of US$ 20 million of the aforementioned U$ 27.25 million, the remainder of which will be awarded and bifurcated in the remaining six race events.
Even before the start of the World Cup, betting favourites have already been drawn with famous owner Godolphin’s trainer Saeed bin Suroor expected to replicate the successes of his previous years. It however has to be noted that the event is one that invites the stiffest of competitions, which makes it an event worth catching up, despite the count of favouritisms and betting odds being placed on respected and prominent names before its start.