13 U. S. Horses Contest Dubai World Cup

By Richard Griffiths
The U.S. will field a team of 13 horses at the Dubai World Cup meeting on Saturday, March 29.

All the intended runners, including Harlan's Holiday and Blue Burner in the World Cup, have now arrived in Dubai. All but Xtra Heat, who shipped in a week early, landed in Dubai late on Sunday March 16.

And despite the continuing uncertainty in the Gulf, Les Benton, chairman of the Dubai World Cup committee, insisted that the lucrative meeting would go ahead.

"Dubai s the safest place in the world," he told the Blood Horse. "There is no possibility at all of the meeting not going ahead. Everything is all systems go."

He declined to comment on reports on published reports that that American nationals had been advised to leave Yemen and the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a member state. "All I can comment on is the Dubai World Cup, which is going ahead as planned. It is a massive international meeting and the entries are unbelievably good," he said.

In addition to Harlan's Holiday, Blue Burner, and Xtra Heat, American runners at the meeting will be: Grey Memo, Easyfromthegitgo, Mr. John, and Lusty Latin, all in the Godolphin Mile; Avanzado, My Cousin Matt, Captain Squire, and Cayoke in the Dubai Golden Shaheen; and Byzantium and Outta Here in the UAE Derby.

The meeting will feature 14 runners from Europe, two from Japan and South America, and one each from South Africa, Australia, and Turkey. The home Godolphin team looks likely to dominate the World Cup with Moon Ballad, Grandera, and Sulamani all scheduled for the main event, which will also be contested by top French filly Aquarelliste.

The organizers are said to be delighted with the American turnout.

Medaglia d'Oro will not make the trip to Dubai for the World Cup due to a virus and not the threat of war with Iraq, trainer Bobby Frankel said.