Edited from a Dubai Racing Club report
Including four U.S.-based runners, 15 horses have been entered for the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse March 28.
In addition to the World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airlines, the Dubai Racing Club March 17 released the likely fields for the seven races with purses totaling $21.25 million, the world’s richest race day of racing. The final fields will be declared March 23, and then released at the post position draw ceremony March 25.
The 14th renewal of the Dubai World Cup will be the final meeting to be staged at the flagship Nad Al Sheba Racecourse, before racing is moved to Meydan, the complex under construction in Dubai.
The U.S.-based contingent consists of Albertus Maximus , trained by Kiaran McLaughlin; Anak Nakal (Nick Zito); Arson Squad (Richard Dutrow); and Well Armed (Eoin Harty). The rest of the field for the 1 1/4-mile race, with countries where they are based in parenthesis, consists of: Asiatic Boy (South Africa), Casino Drive (Japan), Gloria de Campeo (France), Happy Boy (United Arab Emirates), Honour Devil (South Africa), Joe Louis (KSA), Muhannak (United Kingdom), Muller (KSA), My Indy (United Arab Emirates), Paris Perfect (KSA), and Snaafy (United Arab Emirates).
The chief supporting races are the $5-million Dubai Sheema Classic Sponsored by Nakheel (UAE-I) and the $5-million Dubai Duty Free Sponsored by Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I). Both are run on the turf, and each has so far attracted their maximum fields of 16.
The Sheema Classic will see two U.S.-based horses--Red Rocks and Marsh Side--take on the likes of Dr Dino, the 2007 and 2008 Hong Kong Vase Cup winner, and take on Youmzain, who ran fifth in last year’s edition.
The Duty Free, the second leg of the 2009 Asian Mile Challenge, contains 10 individual group or grade I winners, including 2008 winner Jay Peg, who bids to be the first horse to have two Dubai Duty Free wins under his belt. The field also includes Kip Deville and Hyperbaric from the U.S.; as well as Archipenko and Niconero; and classy mares Tuesday Joy and Vodka–a pair the boys should watch out for.
The $2-million Dubai Golden Shaheen, a group I dirt race sponsored by Gulf News, sees a handful of 2009 Dubai International Racing Carnival graduates bid to make their mark against the strong American contingent. Balthazaar’s Gift, Big City Man, Change Alley, and Force Freeze have each earned at least one win each over the last two months, but Indian Blessing appears the star of this year’s raiding party of sprinters, she was champion 2-year-old filly of 2007 and is the reigning champion female sprinter of the USA. Also representing the U.S. is Black Seventeen.
The group II, $2-million UAE Derby, sponsored by Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group, features a strong Dubai-based field. Godolphin’s Desert Party will try to emulate the last two winner’s form, by cinching the Dubai Two Thousand Guineas–Derby double, and to give Godolphin a return to the winner’s list in the Derby. Soy Libriano, fresh from his win on Super Thursday, could upset.
The other Thoroughbred race on the card is the group II, $1-million Godolphin Mile Sponsored by Etisalat, which also features a strong home team, with Dubai-based runners occupying 11 potential fields. Godolphin’s Two Step Salsa and Gayego have both won their last and only starts here in Dubai. The sole U.S. entrant in the race is Informed.