The testimony of any global sporting event’s greatness lies on a number of factors - the number of years it has seen behind it being certainly one of them.
The Dubai World Cup horseracing, which is set for a 25th running at the Meydan on Saturday - will hence be a landmark edition - and bears the hallmark of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai.
In it’s exemplary journey to become one of the most fascinating tourist destinations and trading hub of the world, Dubai has leveraged on the appeal of sport time and again - developing it’s own horseracing World Cup, a slew of international golf, tennis and rugby events - not to speak of bidding for and successfully hosting other world class events including cricket.
This year, of course, the event would be a closed door affair in keeping with the safety protocol - but the depth of field in each of the nine races will continue to display the best of equine talent on both dirt and turf - as always
The Dubai World Cup, which started with a total prize purse of $ four million in 1996, must have been extra special to Sheikh Mohammed’s heart for his much known passion for horses - which saw him building up the massive operation of Godolphin stables over the years.
The world of horseracing already boasted several iconic races like the Epsom Derby, Prix de la Arc de Triomphe, the Kentucky Derby, Melbourne Cup, the Japan Cup and it was Sheikh Mohammad’s vision that his own event have to match the lofty standards - both in terms of organisation and quality of racing - to be accepted into this elite group.
The first edition itself was a winner as the oldtimers say that it produced one of the greatest races the sport had seen with the legendary Cigar and Soul Of The Matter treating fans to a thrill-a-minute race. The jury was out and swiftly declared the Dubai World Cup one of the great races of the thoroughbred racing world.
There have been winners from all corners of the globe and horses that have been bred in different jurisdictions over the years - be it from America, France, Ireland, Germany, Japan, South America, Asia and Australia.
The Meydan would, on this last Saturday of March every year, reflect the world in a microcosm with tourists from around the globe converging at the state-of-the art venue while the Style Stakes were a spectacle by itself.
This year, of course, the event would be a closed door affair in keeping with the safety protocol - but the depth of field in each of the nine races will continue to display the best of equine talent on both dirt and turf - as always.
Over then to Meydan...