Nominations for the $10,000,000 Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) closed on January 11th with 136 of the globe’s premier Thoroughbreds. Scheduled for March 31st, 2018, the 2000m dirt fixture has been won by such superstar champions as Cigar, Dubai Millennium, Invasor, Curlin, California Chrome and Arrogate.
In 2018, nominations for the Dubai World Cup include American champions West Coast and Forever Unbridled, as well as Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) 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 G1-winning nominees of note include Thunder Snow, Apollo Kentucky and Seeking the Soul, while top-class G2-winning athletes 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 $6,000,000 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) over 2410m on turf is topped by champion Cracksman, the world’s top-rated 3-year-old of 2017, as well as Japan Cup (G1) winner Cheval Grand and G1 winner Cloth of Stars, while the $6,000,000 Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World (G1) over 1800m 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.
The card’s two sprints showcase some of the fastest horses on the planet. The $2,000,000 Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News (G1) over 1200m on dirt is topped by defending champion Mind Your Biscuits, Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner Roy H and Centenary Sprint Cup (G1) winner D B Pin, while the $1,000,000 Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments (G1) over 1200m on turf features defending champion The Right Man, British Champions Sprint (G1) winner Librisa Breeze and UAE’s top-rated horse, Ertijaal.
A pair of Group 2 events, each worth $1,000,000, respectively boast strong global intrigue. The Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, a 3200m turf marathon, attracted three-time G1 winner and two-time defending champion Vazirabad, as well as Big Orange and Torcedor, while the Godolphin Mile sponsored by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City – District One, over a 1600m on the dirt, includes Cigar Mile (G1) winner Sharp Azteca, as well as Kafuji Take and Accelerate.
The $2,000,000 UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2) sees such rising stars as Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner Mendelssohn, Japanese stakes winner Don Fortis and G2 winner Untamed Domain, a son of Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom. At 1900m on dirt, the UAE Derby offers its winner 100 Road to the Kentucky Derby points, which can lead to a start in that American classic.
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 31st.
“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.”