By the Numbers, World Cup Could be Just That

Representatives from South Africa and Norway are expected to join horses from at least 18 other countries for the 2002 Dubai World Cup program March 23.

The $6-million Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline, highlights a $15.25-million night of racing at Nad Al Sheba racecourse. Dubai World Cup chairman Les Benton has dubbed the program the "Olympic Games of Horse Racing."

Three horses from South Africa -- Ingleside, Trademark, and Nhlavini -- have been invited to compete, as has Sagittarius from Norway. Indications are that connections of all four will accept the invitations.

The horses were among those nominated at the second entry stage for the Dubai World Cup meet. The committee received 1,181 entries for the seven races, an increase of 12% from 2001.

"It is very rewarding to see the amount of entries and from where they have come, and our aim for the 2002 Dubai World Cup to be the best ever is a step
closer to being achieved," Benton said. "We have horses from 25 different countries entered, and we envisage that we will have representatives from at least 20 of them."

Sakhee, second in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic, is expected for the group I World Cup. The committee has received positive responses from the connections of top sprinters Caller One, Squirtle Squirt, and Xtra Heat. Other horses who may compete in races on the World Cup program are Val Royale, Jim and Tonic, Nayef, Dash for Cash, Captain Rio, and Cacique Bar.

"Cacique Bar is the leading sprinter in Brazil -- she has won seven out of eight races, and her connections have accepted our invitation for the filly to run in the Dubai Golden Shaheen," Benton said.

Here's the breakdown on the numbers for the races:

$6-million Dubai World Cup (group I), 140 horses from 15 countries

$2-million Dubai Duty Free (group I), 213 horses from 17 countries

$2-million Dubai Sheema Classic (group I), 179 horses from 18 countries

$2-million Dubai Golden Shaheen (group I), 142 horses from 19 countries

$2-million UAE Derby (group II), 251 horses from 14 countries

$1-million Godolphin Mile (group II), 190 horses from 16 countries

$250,000 Dubai Kahayla Classic (group I-Arabian), 66 horses from six countries