PROSPECT, KENTUCKY, January 7, 2013 - With the most exciting lineup of competitors in the rich history of Dubai racing poised to run, AmWest Entertainment will deliver the Dubai World Cup Carnival and the Dubai World Cup program for wagering in North and South America for the fourth consecutive season.
The Carnival commences on January 10 with a first post of 10:05 a.m. EST for a six-race program featuring the $250,000 Al Maktoum Challenge Round I (G2) over 1,600 meters (about one mile) on the all-weather track at Meydan Racecourse.
The Maktoum Challenge series offers key preps for the $10-million Dubai World Cup (G1), the world's richest race, which will be run as part of the richest day of racing on the globe on March 30 at Meydan with prizemoney of $27-million. There will be 10 Carnival race dates prior to the World Cup, peaking with Super Saturday on March 9, with an additional total of about $10-million in purses.
"The Dubai Carnival and World Cup provide players with the highest quality fields anywhere in the world at this time of year and thus the best wagering product," said AmWest Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens. "We are looking forward to presenting the most outstanding Dubai season ever to American fans."
American champions Animal Kingdom and Royal Delta are among the horses aiming for the Dubai World Cup, with multiple Grade 1 winners Little Mike and Dullahan also probable runners for the Cup or another event on that program. Trainer Dale Romans plans to ship Little Mike to Dubai early for a prep race at Meydan, following the path set by 2008 Dubai World Cup winner Curlin, prior to World Cup day.
International champions pointing for Dubai include one of Japan's Triple Crown winners, either the filly Gentildonna or the seasoned international campaigner Orfevre, both owned by Sunday Racing Co.; South African Horse of the Year Igugu; Australia's Cox Plate (G1) 1-2 finishers Ocean Park and All Too Hard, the latter a half brother to sensational champion Black Caviar; and Indian record-breaking earner and multiple classic winner In the Spotlight. Coolmore will once again send a team to Dubai this year, with Irish Horse of the Year Camelot, who won two-thirds of Britain's Triple Crown in 2012, a possible contender.
"The Carnival just keeps getting better every year," said Martin Talty, manager of the Dubai Racing Club's international department. "From 2004 onward, it's been getting stronger in both numbers and quality of horses every year. The ratings (of runners) have risen exponentially. You need a very, very good horse to win even a handicap race here."
Horses from 21 countries featuring at least 26 Group 1 winners are set to compete at the Carnival for prominent trainers including France's Andre Fabre; Ireland's Jim Bolger, John Oxx and Dermot Weld; South Africa's Mike de Kock; Britain's Richard Hannon, Brian Meehan and Mark Johnston, and Germany's Peter Schiergen.
Following the January 10 opening of the Carnival, other dates for the season are: January 17, 24 and 31; February 7, 14, 21 and 28; and March 2, (Super Saturday) and 30 (Dubai World Cup day).