Las Vegas, NV - The 2013 $10,000,000 Grade 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse is on tap for this Saturday, March 30 in the United Arab Emirates. The richest horse race in the World brings the best thoroughbred horses from all over the planet together for one big race in front of a rabid crowd of 50,000 fans. The Dubai World Cup is an open race for horses four year olds and upward that are willing to run 1 1/4 miles on the Meydan's synthetic surface.
A field of 13 of the best middle distance thoroughbreds around have been confirmed for Saturday's Dubai World Cup. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all 13 combatants for the richest race in the world.
Hunter's Light - has won two straight races on this track heading into the World Cup - the last being the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge on March 9 by 2 3/4 lengths. He has won five of his last six starts with the other result being a good second in the Grade 2 Qatar Prix Dollat at Longchamps October 6. He has won all around the world on synthetic and turf but his win on this surface on this track last time out has Irish bred Hunter's Light the early favorite for the Dubai World Cup.
Royal Delta - back-to-back Female Horse of the Year in the Unites States has looked exceptional of late - three straight wins including the Grade 3 Sabin Stakes at Gulfstream last time out, a repeat win in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic and a win in the Grade 1 Beldame at Belmont Park September 29. She finished ninth in last year's edition of this race but followed that with two straight graded stakes wins. Since last year's World Cup she has won five of six starts - all graded stakes action with a second four back in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap being her only blemish over that span. Trainer Bill Mott has Royal Delta in tremendous form and would love to better her ninth from last year.
Animal Kingdom - was one of the top horses on the planet in 2011 - a win in the Kentucky Derby, a second in the Preakness to Shackleford and a sixth in the Belmont certainly put the H. Graham Motion trainee on the map. He endured an eight month layoff after the Triple Crown and returned in February to a win in an Allowance Optional Claiming in his first start in 16 months and then went on to a nice second Eclipse Award winning Wise Dan in the Breeders' Cup Mile. Last time out he was a second in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap February 9. That makes four wins and five seconds in just 10 career starts for Animal Kingdom.
African Story - British bred gelding enters the Dubai World Cup on a three race win streak. Last time out was a clear 2 1/4 lengths winner of the Grade 3 Burj Nahaar here at Meydan on March 9 after nearly a year away. Before that was a win in the Grade 2 Godolphin Mile Sponsored by Etisalat in March 2012 and another score in the Grade 3 Firebreak Stakes also at Meydan three weeks before that. He has been in the money in every career start - six wins, three seconds and three third place finishes.
Dullahan - finished third in last year's Kentucky Derby to follow up a win at the Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 14. He finished a disappointing seventh in the Belmont Stakes and then raced to another disappointing finish - in the Grade 1 Haskell Stakes on July 29. Dullahan came on and won the Grade 1 Pacific Classic in August but was fifth in the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap October 6. He raced to a ninth two back in the Breeders' Cup Turf and was eleventh last time out on this track in the in the Group 3 BURJ NAHAAR on March 9. He has won just three of 15 career starts and is not in the best of form at the moment.
Monterosso - has 17 career starts with seven wins, two seconds and a third place finish. Last time out was a career worst result - a tenth in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge here March 9. He finished third in the 2011 edition of this race and won last year by three lengths. Since his impressive score in the Dubai World Cup he has just two starts which resulted in a disappointing eighth and an equally disappointing eleventh last time out.
Kassiano - has 10 career starts with seven wins, two seconds and a third place finish. He has raced five straight times at Meydan and has recorded three wins and two second place finishes over that span - one of those seconds coming last time out in the Al Maktoum Challenge March 9. He finished 2nd in his four year old debut at Dubai before winning his next three starts and has proven over that last 14 months that he belongs with the best.
Planteur - recently endured a seven month layoff before returning to an impressive win in the Winter Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield Park in England February 23. Before that was a pair of sevenths. He has won three Group races over his career including the lone Group 1, the Prix Ganay - Prix Air Mauritiu at Longchamps in April 2011 and he was third in last year's Dubai World Cup so don't totally discount Planteur.
Capponi - has been out of action a year but the last time we saw him he ran second to Monterosso in last year's version of this race. He had two wins in the leadup to that race including the Grade 1 Al Maktoum Challenge. He has won two of his last three with that second in last year's World Cup but he races for the first time in a year on Saturday.
Treasure Beach - raced most of his career in Europe and had some good results there including a win in the Irish Derby. In his North American debut in 2011, Treasure Beach looked terrific in winning the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park and was good in his second race as well - a third at the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine in October. He had six starts in 2012 all over the globe with just one good result - a second in September in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf September 29. He followed that with a disappointing tenth in the Breeders' Cup Turf and was sixth last time out in the Al Maktoum Challenge here March 9.
Side Glance - finished 4th in the Jebel Hatta last time out here March 9 after a sixth in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot behind Excelebration in October. He had a win at Epsom in the Grade 3 Investec Diomed Stakes on June 1 for his only win since August 2011 but he has placed in six of his last eight starts.
Red Cadeaux - is coming off a win in the Grade 1 Hong Kong Vase December 9 after a pair of eighths including the Grade 1 Japan Cup two back. He has just seven wins in 33 career starts and has win two of his last 12 - last time out being one of those scores.
Meandre - enters off a 4th place finish in the one mile Prix Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa on the all weather on March 2 at Chantilly after a 3rd in the Longines Hong Kong Vase at Sha-Tin going 1 1/2 miles on the turf. He has won three Grade 1 races but has recorded just five wins in 19 career starts. He has to be considered a very long shot in the Dubai World Cup.