Nominations for the $10 million Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) closed Jan. 11 with 136 of the globe's premier Thoroughbreds.
In 2018, nominations for the Dubai World Cup include American champions West Coast and Forever Unbridled, as well as Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1T) winner Talismanic, Japan's Champions Cup (G1) winner Gold Dream, and the previous two winners of the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), Diversify and Hoppertunity. Other group/grade 1-winning nominees of note include Thunder Snow, Apollo Kentucky, and Seeking the Soul, while group/grade 2 winners Gunnevera, Second Summer, and Good Samaritan add significant depth.
International luminaries are abundant in the nominations for the nine-race, $30-million card—the richest day on the global racing calendar. The $6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) over 2,410 meters (about 12 furlongs) on turf is topped by champion Cracksman, the world's top-rated 3-year-old of 2017, as well as top-level winners Cheval Grand and Cloth of Stars, while the $6 million Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World (G1) over 1,800 meters (about nine furlongs) attracted the world's top-rated horse in training, Australian superstar Winx, a daughter of Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry; as well as champion World Approval and last year's winner Vivlos.
Nominees to the card's two sprints showcase some of the fastest horses on the planet. The $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News (G1) over 1,200 meters (about six furlongs) on dirt is topped by defending race winner Mind Your Biscuits and TwinSpires Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) winner Roy H, while the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments (G1T) over 1,200 meters on turf features defending winner The Right Man.
A pair of group 2 events, each worth $1 million, respectively boast strong global intrigue. The Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, a 3,200-meter (about 16 furlongs) turf marathon, attracted three-time top-level winner and two-time defending winner Vazirabad, while the Godolphin Mile sponsored by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City-District One, over 1,600 meters (about one mile) on dirt, includes Cigar Mile Handicap presented by NYRA Bets (G1) winner Sharp Azteca.
The $2 million UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2) sees such rising stars as Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1T) winner Mendelssohn, Japanese stakes winner Don Fortis, and grade 2 winner Untamed Domain, a son of Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom . At 1,900 meters (about 1 3/16 miles) on dirt, the UAE Derby offers its winner 100 Road to the Kentucky Derby points.
Dubai Racing Club received 1,412 nominations for 739 horses from 20 countries.
Malih Al Basti, Meydan vice chairman and chairman of the Meydan Racing Committee, said: "The 2018 Dubai World Cup is a truly global, world-class race day like no other, offering an action-packed meeting with the very best international horses, owners, and trainers being represented in its nominations. It is also very heartening to see 19 countries on the list and we once again look forward to hosting an exceptionally international day of racing on Saturday, March 31.
"While the Dubai World Cup is the world's richest day of racing, it is also an opportunity for the racing community to gather and celebrate the very best the sport has to offer at the magnificent Meydan Racecourse, the perfect stage to host our international and local competitors. When it was created in 1996, it was part of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai's long-term vision for racing, where he saw the event becoming a global highlight on the racing calendar. It is rewarding to see that vision fulfilled year after year."
2018 DUBAI WORLD CUP NOMINATIONS
Total Nominations: 1412
Total Horses: 739
$10m Dubai World Cup (G1), 2000m (dirt): 136
$6m Dubai Sheema Classic (G1T), 2410m (turf): 153
$6m Dubai Turf (G1T), 1800m (turf): 253
$2m Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1), 1200m (dirt): 155
$1m Al Quoz Sprint (G1T), 1200m (turf): 175
$2m UAE Derby (G2), 1900m (dirt): 140
$1m Dubai Gold Cup (G2T), 3200m (turf): 93
$1m Godolphin Mile (G2), 1600m (dirt): 250
$1m Dubai Kahayla Classic (Arabian) 2000m (dirt): 57