It looks as though a full field of 14 runners will contest the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I)—the world’s richest horse race—March 27 at Meydan Racecourse.
Though entries will not be drawn until next week, the maximum number of starters is expected for the 10-furlong race over the Tapeta surface. The field will be led by Castleton Lyons’ Gio Ponti, a dual Eclipse Award champion in 2009, and Juddmonte Farms’ Twice Over, a multiple group stakes winner in Europe. Those two finished second and third, respectively, in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) last year. Also expected to be among the favorites is Cathay Hong Kong Cup (HK-I) victor and four-time group I winner Vision d'Etat, who makes his 2010 debut.
Besides Gio Ponti, the other American-based horses expected to compete are Pacific Classic (gr. I) winner Richard's Kid, Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) longshot winner Furthest Land, and turf star Take the Points from the barn of Todd Pletcher.
Also expected to take part in a well-matched field are Brazilian-bred Gloria de Campeao, last year’s World Cup runner-up, and English-bred Gitano Hernando, who won the Goodwood Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita in 2009 and enters the race off a convincing prep victory in England last month.
Top European trainer Mike de Kock will saddle a pair, Lizard's Desire and Mr Brock. Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor, a five-time World Cup winner, will go with Allybar, who is twice proven at Meydan, and Mastery.