The first round of nominations to the 2003 Dubai World Cup closed on Nov. 13 with 810 runners representing 23 countries being nominated to the seven races. The 2003 World Cup will be held March 29 at Nad Al Sheba.The 810 horses nominated this year represents an 11% increase over the first round last year and is an 18% increase over 2001. Leading the nominations from the United States is 2002 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Azeri as well as Volponi and Medaglia d'Oro, first and second in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Sarava was also nominated.Nayef, Where or When and the French filly Aquarelliste headline the list of nominations from Europe. South Africa's representation is Ipi Tombe and from Australasia there is the Caulfield Cup and dual W.S. Cox Plate winner Northerly, Defier, Lonhro, as well as Victoria Derby winner Helenus.The Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) received 114 nominations, a 22% increase over this period last year. The Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) is up 10% and the Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) has risen 19%.