Dubai World Cup 2023
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The Dubai World Cup, held at Meydan Racecourse, is the world's richest horse racing event, featuring a massive purse of $30.5 million. Wager on this exciting annual event online with OTB!
When was the 2023 Dubai World Cup?
On Saturday March 25, 2023.
Where is the Dubai World Cup raced?
The Dubai World Cup is raced at Meydan Racecourse, Dubai, UAE.
Dubai World Cup 2023
1 1/4 m (Dirt) | Total race value: $30,500,000
- 2023 Location: Meydan Racecourse; Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Inaugural Race: 1996
- Distance: 2,000 metres (about 10 furlongs)
- Track Type: Left-handed, Dirt
- Age Qualifications: Northern Hemisphere 4yo+ & Southern Hemisphere 3yo+
- 2023 Purse: $30.5 million.
- 2023 Race Date: Saturday, March 25
- Where to Watch: NBC Sports and online at OffTrackBetting.com
2023 Dubai World Cup Nominations
Nominations are open for the 2023 edition of the Dubai World Cup meeting, set for Meydan Racecourse on Saturday, March 25.
With millions in prizemoney up for grabs, the Dubai World Cup is one of the most prestigious race meetings in the world and celebrates its 27th anniversary this year. The Group 1 Dubai World Cup itself, over 2000 metres on dirt, has an illustrious role of honour, with such equine greats as Cigar, Dubai Millennium, Curlin and Arrogate having won it since its inception in 1996.
The feature race is supported by some of the most competitive races on the planet on both turf and dirt tracks. The G1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic, over 2410 metres on turf, regularly attracts the best grass performers from Japan and Europe, while the G1 Dubai Turf, which last year produced a thrilling dead heat between Panthalassa and Lord North, takes place over the somewhat unusual distance of 1800 metres.
The sprinters have their chance on both surfaces too; in the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen, over 1200 metres on dirt, and in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint, over 1200 metres on turf.
The card also celebrates stayers, with the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup, over 3200 metres on turf, one of the most popular races of the afternoon, while the three-year-olds clash in the G2 UAE Derby, which also offers 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner.
The G2 Godolphin Mile, over 1600 metres on dirt, is the first Thoroughbred race on the card, while the day's traditional curtain raiser is the G1 Dubai Kahayla Classic, for Purebred Arabians, over 2000 metres on dirt.
"As ever, we are so excited about welcoming the best horses, jockeys and trainers back to Meydan Racecourse for the Dubai World Cup meeting, which is one of the `must do' events on the global sporting calendar," said Major General Mohammed Essa Al Adhab, General Manager of Dubai Racing Club. "The 2022 edition was a thrilling event and we feel sure that 2023 will surpass that and give racing fans memories and connections to last a lifetime."
Dubai Racing Club is offering a range of incentives to help with travel to Dubai for horses and connections. Nominations for the Dubai World Cup meeting are free, but close on Monday, January 23rd, 2023.
Seven Countries Represented at 2023 Dubai World Cup Carnival
Horses from seven different countries will battle for the spotlight at Meydan Racecourse on Friday as the track stages the opening meeting of the 2023 Dubai World Cup Carnival.
The seven-race card, sponsored by Zabeel Feed, features five Stakes races, including the $250,000 Group 2 Maktoum Challenge R2 for Thoroughbreds, for which a capacity field of 16 has been declared.
Run over 1600 metres on the dirt, 2022 winner Golden Goal attempt to become just the second horse to win it twice, after Le Bernardin in 2016 and 2017. He is one of five for trainer Doug Watson, who has won the race three times.
Prince Eiji, the pick of number two stable jockey Sam Hitchcott with number one rider Pat Dobbs suspended, looks to be the first string following his win in the Listed Dubai Creek Mile last month.
"What we liked about it most was that he was vying for the lead with Danyah, took back a little bit and then really grabbed the bit," said Watson of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Obaid Al Maktoum's gelding. "So we know he can come from off the pace and we learned a lot that night, plus he's strengthened up a lot this year."
Watson also runs three-time course winner Thegreatcollection, fourth in the Creek Mile, and 2021 G3 Burj Nahaar winner Midnight Sands, as well as Everfast, third in G2 Maktoum Challenge R2 last season.
"We have a cast of characters for the mile races," he continued. "We're still hopeful with Midnight Sands and Golden Goal ran a great race last time. He only got beaten by four lengths and he always needs his first run for us. He's having a really nice season training and he'll be tough on the night."
Watson's quintet face strong opposition from 2021 G2 Godolphin Mile winner Secret Ambition, second last year, and Desert Wisdom, winner of the G3 Burj Nahaar. The overseas challenge is headed by Final Dance, winner of three Turkish Group 1s since finishing fourth in the Listed Al Bastakiya last season. There is also a Group 1 winner in the race, Salem Bin Ghadayer's Capezzano having taken out G1 Maktoum Challenge in 2019, while G3 Jebel Ali Mile winner Algiers is an exciting first runner of the season for the training partnership of Simon and Ed Crisford.
There is $180,000 up for grabs in the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort, over 1400 metres on turf. Charlie Appleby has won this in four of the last five years and has a strong hand again, with G3 Jersey Stakes winner Noble Truth the mount of William Buick and James Doyle onboard Listed winner Al Suhail. International flair is provided by two runners for French handler Yann Barberot: Bouttemont and Fast Raaj, while Spanish Champion Trainer Guillermo Arizkorreta saddles Group 2 winner Rodaballo.
Shaheen hero Switzerland back for more
The Group 3 Dubawi Stakes, over 1200 metres on dirt, often provides the winner with a spot in the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen on World Cup night. The 2022 winner of that race, Switzerland (pictured), returns to action here, alongside stablemates Tuz and Freedom Fighter.
"Hopefully he's still got the spark; I think I can see it on the track in the mornings," said Seemar of Switzerland. "We got to know him better last season, we'd had him for a year by then, so we got to know his habits and his quirks which really helped."
Of Listed winner Tuz, second in the Listed Garhoud Sprint last time out, he added: "He was my first Stakes winner over a mile, but this year we decided he's got so much natural speed so we'll try him sprinting. The plan wasn't to lead last time, but Richie [Mullen, jockey] got him out of the gates really well and he latched on, went to win, and just got caught."
Freedom Fighter was a late defection from the Garhoud Sprint, but Seemar reports all is now well with the US recruit.
"Freedom Fighter was a three-year-old running against older horses last season," he said. "He's blossomed, filled out, and turned into a good looking four-year-old. He just had a foot abscess last time which was bad timing, but he's back on track now."
Opposition comes from Mouheeb, who beat Tuz in the Garhoud Sprint. "He's quite a strong, robust horse and he showed he was quite sharp in his trackwork," said trainer Michael Costa about Mouheeb's conversion to sprinting, having won the G3 UAE 2000 Guineas in 2021. "It was so good to see him at Meydan; he really put his ears back and was determined to win."
The Listed Ertijaal Dubai Dash gives the card a fast and furious finale, taking place over the straight 1000metre turf course.
Three-time course winner Man Of Promise lines up here for Appleby, as does Group 2 Blue Point Sprint winner Lazuli, while Equilateral, winner of this race in 2021, is one of two in the race for UK trainer Charlie Hills, who also runs Group 2 winner Khaadem.
Exciting Walk Of Stars returns in DRC Classic
The Dubai Racing Club Classic is the first Thoroughbred race on the card, over 2410 metres on turf. It has attracted six Godolphin runners, including one-time Epsom Derby hope Walk Of Stars, as well as four UK visitors. Two of these, Enemy and Green Team, are trained by Ian Williams, already successful at the Carnival when Sir Maximilian scored for him in 2016.
"He ran really well in Dubai last season and his form just tailed off over the summer," said the trainer about Enemy, fourth in the G3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy in February. "He disappointed us in the Ebor [Handicap] and we radio scoped him and found he was having a problem with his larynx, so he had a wind op.
"Sadly, he missed his prep race when it was abandoned due to frost, but he goes to Dubai fit and ready to run and hopefully gives us a bold showing."
Of Green Team, formerly trained by Owen Burrows, he added; "he's still entire and he's new to us. He's been running over staying distances in the UK and I think a drop back in trip might suit. We wanted to get a prep race into him, but that hasn't been possible, so he will improve for his time out there."
The three-year-olds have a strong Carnival programme once again and 11 clash in the Jumeirah Classic Trial, over 1400 metres on turf. Leading contenders look to be the Appleby-trained pair of Courageous Knight and Highbank, while Classic-winning British trainer George Boughey has a first Dubai runner in Perdika, winner of four of her five starts in the UK.
The card gets underway with a highly competitive renewal of G1 Maktoum Challenge Round 1 for Purebred Arabians, which sees 2022 Dubai Kahayla Classic second Kerless Del Roc try to follow up his win in the G2 Madjani Stakes last time out. Deryan, winner of the Kahayla in 2021, is among his rivals, as is Group 2 Bani Yas winner AF Alajaj and RB Rich Lyke Me, winner of this race 12 months ago.
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About the Dubai World Cup
The Dubai World Cup was conceived by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 1996. Up until 2017, it was the world's richest race with a purse of $10M USD made available. It was briefly surpassed by the $12M Pegasus World Cup. Following the reduction of the Pegasus World Cup purse and the increase of the Dubai World Cup purse in 2019 to $12M USD, the UAE once again hosts the world's richest horse racing prize.
Before migrating to the Meydan Racecourse, which opened in 2010, the Dubai World Cup was hosted at the Nad Al Sheba Racecourse.
The next renewal of the Dubai World Cup will be on Saturday, March 27th, 2021 and once again hold a purse of $12M USD. This follows the cancellation of the event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the best racehorses produced by the United States have travelled to the Dubai World Cup and won. These include Arrogate (2017), California Chrome (2016), Animal Kingdom (2013), Well Armed (2009), Curlin (2008), Electrocutionist (2006), Roses in May (2005), Pleasantly Perfect (2003), Silver Charm (1998) and Cigar (1996). In fact, Cigar won the inaugural running of this race.
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