Dubai World Cup Definitely Will Be Run; Vienna Horses Out

With claims in recent days that the $6 million Dubai World Cup will be cancelled or postponed due to the impending war in Iraq, World Cup Committee chairman Les Benton has assured that the race will be held as scheduled.

"The Dubai World Cup will go ahead, there is absolutely no doubt," Benton said. "Recent reports are totally inaccurate and incorrect. All systems are go for March 29 and we are looking forward to staging the most successful Dubai World Cup to date. We are anticipating record number of overseas runners and the highest number of American entries for the event."

Two of America's top stars, Medaglia d'Oro and Xtra Heat, are headed for the Dubai World Cup and the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen, respectively. Also possible for the World Cup are two of Europe's leading horses of 2002, Grandera and Sulamani. In Saturday's Maktoum Challenge Round III, Grandera was hard-pressed to defeat Grundlefoot, and it is possible he could run instead in the Dubai Duty Free, where he would face South African filly champion Ipi Tombe, winner of Saturday's Jebel Hatta.

Meanwhile, Darrell Vienna has ruled out the Golden Shaheen for Disturbingthepeace, Echo Eddie and/or Nuclear Debate. "One of them will go to Japan (for the Japan Cup Sprint on March 30)," Vienna said.