Dubai: If the vision was to build a racecourse like no other in the world that would bring together horse racing, business and lifestyle — then Meydan has more than lived up to expectations given the success that the Dubai World Cup Carnival has achieved since it was first staged at the iconic racecourse in 2010.
The Carnival, which starts on Thursday and culminates in the Dubai World Cup on March 30, is now one of the established highlights of the international racing calendar and has helped play a central role in making the sport more accessible and more exhilarating.
Last year’s event was an overwhelming success as it brought together some of the world’s best horses, trainers and jockeys to compete for a record prize fund of $27.25million. This year the prize money has soared to a staggering $37.360 million with even more horsemen finding their way to the UAE’s favourite sporting venue.
Martin Talty, International Manager of the Dubai Racing Club, puts the event in perspective when he says: “The Dubai World Cup Carnival is one of the highlights of the international racing calendar and this season it will continue to follow the tried and tested formula that has proved so successful in the past. It attracts the best of the world’s trainers, jockeys and horses and is viewed by millions worldwide.
“Every Dubai World Cup Carnival race card carries a big-money feature race, so it would be fair to say that every meeting is noteworthy. Many trainers target specific races during the Carnival as their seasonal goals and some of the world’s top-rated horses will be prepared solely with a run in Dubai in mind. Each meeting offers racegoers the chance to see some of the best Thoroughbreds in the world in action.
“One of the most pleasing aspects so far is not only the numbers and the truly global reach of the Dubai World Cup Carnival, but also the quality of horses, which continue to improve year on year,” he points out.
“While many trainers specifically target particular races in the Dubai World Cup Carnival, it is also fascinating to watch progressive horses that improve so much during the ten meetings that they ultimately earn a place in a race on Dubai World Cup day.”
Over 30 international Group 1 winners are among the many thoroughbred stars who have travelled from the four corners of the globe to Dubai where they are based at the International Stables, DRC Quarantine Centre and the Dubai World Cup Quarantine.
With all the elements in place this year’s Carnival looks set to surpass all previous runnings.