Dubai: A host of global thoroughbred racing stars, including 2018 winner Thunder Snow, are among the nominations for the Dubai World Cup card at Meydan Racecourse on March 30 this year.
Almond Eye, Beauty Generation, Magical, McKinzie, Santa Ana Lane and Roy H are some of the other big names headlining nominations for the $35 million-day (Dh128 million), the richest day in global horse racing.
It features the richest race, the $12 million Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1).
Defending champion Thunder Snow and his local Group 1-winning rival North America lead the UAE-based nominations, while American Grade 1 winners McKinzie, Leofric, Seeking the Soul, Audible, Yoshida and star mare Elate are also among the nominations to the 2000m affair.
Outstanding Japanese dirt runners like Champions Cup (G1) runner-up Westerlund and 2017 February Stakes (G1) winner Gold Dream add serious intrigue, as does Hong Kong’s popular Pakistan Star.
The 2,400m $6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic on turf has attracted Japan Cup (G1)-winning filly Almond Eye, the rising star from the land of the rising sun, leading an honour roll of Japanese Group 1 winners, including Cheval Grand, Lys Gracieux and Rey de Oro.
Hong Kong’s Exultant and Eagle Way, as well as Ireland’s Magical and US Grade 1 winners Sadler’s Joy and Channel Maker add significant depth.
Hong Kong’s Beauty Generation tops the nominations for the 1,800m $6 million Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World (G1), which also has a potent Japanese presence, including 2017 winner and 2018 runner-up Vivlos, Hong Kong Cup (G1) runner-up Deirdre, third in this last year, and Yasuda Kinen (G1) winner Mozu Ascot.
Defending champion Benbatl, Australian Group 1 winner Comin’ Through, veteran South African Group 1 gelding Marinaresco, St James’s Palace Stakes (G1) winner Without Parole from England and Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) winner Next Shares from America already make this an exciting event to anticipate.
The 1,200m $2.5 million Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News (G1), the richest dirt sprint in the world, has attracted nominations from the likes of American champion sprinter Roy H and other top US sprinters Imperial Hint, X Y Jet and Promises Fulfilled, as well as Japanese sprint star Matera Sky and improving local rivals Raven’s Corner and Drafted.
Its turf equivalent, the Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments (G1), has seen its purse doubling to $2 million, attracting nominations from some of the top turf sprinters in the world, including multiple Group 1-winning Australian sprinter Santa Ana Lane, King’s Stand (G1) winner Blue Point, dual Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) winner Stormy Liberal and British Champions Sprint (G1) winner Sands of Mali.
The three Group 2 events on the day have all received purse increases of $500,000: the $2.5-million UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammad Al Naboodah Group, $1.5 million Godolphin Mile sponsored by Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City — District One and $1.5-million Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors.
Dubai Racing Club received 1,440 nominations for 739 horses from 20 countries for the 2019 Dubai World Cup day. The first supplementary stage for all races on Dubai World Cup day will close on Wednesday, February 13, when connections can nominate their horse for 0.1% of the prize money of their chosen race. Tickets are available at store.meydan.ae.