Dubai World Cup 2019, the pinnacle of the UAE season and the world's richest day of horseracing, returns on Saturday with $35 million prize purse on offer for top jockeys at Meydan Racecourse.
Bringing together the world's horse owners, top jockeys, trainers and thoroughbreds, the Dubai World Cup meeting features nine high-class races that run both on dirt and turf and over a variety of distances from 1200 metres to 3,200 metres.
Created through the long-term vision for racing by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and owner of Goldophin, the biggest sporting and social event on the Dubai calendar attracts the very best of the equine world and provides a truly global stage upon which the best horses in the world come to compete every year. The event wraps up with a spectacular entertainment show and this year's headliner is world-renowned ‘Hollaback Girl’, Gwen Stefani.
On March 30, 2019, the Dubai World Cup meeting is set to enhance its status as the world’s richest day of horse racing. Total purses for the card, which will feature six Group 1 and three Group 2 fixtures, was increased from USD$30 million to $35 million. Its namesake race, the Group 1 Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline, receives a $2 million boost to $12 million and boasts a $7.2 million purse to the winner; the highest first-place prize in global thoroughbred racing.
The accumulative purse for the prize money on offer is a staggering $35 million – the highest anywhere in the world eclipsing major racing events like the Epsom Derby Festival, Royal Ascot, The Breeders’ Cup and Melbourne Cup.
More importantly the nine races, highlighted by the $12 million Dubai World Cup, have attracted some of the world’s best race horses to Dubai.
The inaugural run of the Dubai World Cup was held in 1996 at the Nad Al Sheba Racecourse. The total prize money was around $3.41 million - a tenth of the prize money 23 years later in 2019.
Dubai Racing Club said in January 2019 that a host of global thoroughbred racing stars from 20 countries had been nominated for the Dubai World Cup card at Meydan Racecourse.
International luminaries Almond Eye, Beauty Generation, Thunder Snow, Magical, McKinzie, Santa Ana Lane and Roy H headline the nominations for the $35-million day, the world’s richest day in horseracing featuring the world’s richest race, the $12 million Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1).
Defending champion Thunder Snow and his local Group 1-winning rival North America lead the UAE-based nominations for the race, while American Grade 1 winners McKinzie, Leofric, Seeking the Soul, Audible, Yoshida and star mare Elate are also among the nominations to the 2000m affair. Outstanding Japanese dirt runners like Champions Cup (G1) runner-up Westerlund and 2017 February Stakes (G1) winner Gold Dream add serious intrigue, as does Hong Kong’s popular Pakistan Star.
Dubai Racing Club received 1,440 nominations for 739 horses from 20 countries, including Australia, France, Japan, Hong Kong, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom, for the 2019 Dubai World Cup day.
The Meydan Racing Committee has said: "The 2019 Dubai World Cup, with a world-leading $35 million in purses and the world’s richest race, promises a brilliant global race day, offering the very best racing in the world on both turf and dirt, including the exceptional international champion horses, trainers, jockeys and owners. This is evident in the Dubai World Cup day nominations, in which we see 19 nations represented, creating unprecedented excitement for Saturday, March 30th at Meydan Racecourse." The eyes of the racing world will be on Meydan Racecourse in Dubai on Saturday for World Cup Night - the richest race meeting on the planet, Racing.com reported.
The nine-race card features four Group 1 races, including the world's richest horse race - the Dubai World Cup (2000m), where North America is the current favourite.
All eyes will be on boom Japanese galloper Almond Eye, who will have her first start on foreign soil when she tackles the Dubai Turf over 1800m (Race 7).
Three Australians - Brave Smash, Illustrious Lad and Viddora - will be out to emulate the deeds of Buffering and Ortensia when they tackle the 1200-metre Al Quoz Sprint.
They will need to produce something special to knock off Godolphin's brilliant speedster Blue Point, who has taken all before him in successive Dubai wins and the Charlie Appleby-trained galloper will lay claims to being the world's best sprinter if he wins on Saturday night.
Godolphin’s Thunder Snow won $10m Dubai World Cup 2018. The Dubai stable took home most of the prize money at the event.
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