Dubai: The Dubai World Cup Carnival, one of the richest and most prestigious flat racing fixtures in the world, has received a significant boost with three of its Listed contests being elevated to Group-level status.
The Singspiel Stakes, Dubawi Stakes and Meydan Stakes all earned promotions from the International Cataloguing Standards Committee (ICSC) for the 2018 Carnival, whose enriched program was released on Monday by the Emirates Racing Authority.
The 1,800 metres Singspiel Stakes, a lead-up race to the $6 million (Dh22 million) Dubai Turf on World Cup Day, has risen from being a Listed race to a Group 3 contest. This means that the opening night of the 2018 Carnival programme on January 11 will now feature two Group Races, including the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round One.
The 1,200m Dubawi Stakes, a popular build-up race to the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen on World Cup day, also moves up from Listed to Group 3 status.
The Dubawi Stakes is one of the kep sprint events run at Meydan Racecourse, home to the Dubai World Cup Carnival, along with the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal on Super Saturday.
The Group 3 Meydan Sprint, which is the finale contest for the five-furlong campaign during the season, has been promoted to a Group 2 race, effectively raising the bar for the turf sprinters heading to the Group 1 $1 million Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup day.
In other changes, the Meydan Classic, a listed turf race for three-year-olds sees an increase in distance from 1400m to 1600m.
In all, the 10 fixture Dubai World Cup Carnival programme consists of 65 total races. With a total purse of $10,870,000. The 61 thoroughbred races will now include 2 Group 1, 9 Group 2, 10 Group 3 and 4 Listed races.
In addition, a total of four Group Purebred Arabian races will be also run.
Malih Lahej Al Basti, Vice-Chairman, Meydan Group said: “We are proud of the exceptional quality of entries we receive each year at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, and we are constantly seeking ways to further enhance our offering. With the upgrade of three black type races this season we believe this will appeal to trainers and owners.”
Dubai World Cup Carnival stable applications close this season on Saturday November 11, 2017. The Meydan-developed Dubai World Cup Carnival online horse nominations process launched in 2016 will be continued into the 2018 season.