DUBAI: A great party requires lengthy planning with studious attention to detail and at Meydan this week not a stone will be left unturned as the preparations for the 2019 Dubai World Cup are honed to the finest degree.
Pristine flower beds and luscious green lawns contrast to the futuristic, iconic beacon of Meydans grandstand that rises majestically from the earth, surveying all around like a proud parent awaiting graduation day.
As dawn breaks on a cool Monday morning the soft sound of hooves on sand get closer and closer until, heads bobbing, manes blowing on the breeze, the world greatest equine athletes emerge from the darkness into the floodlit arena where, on Saturday, they will strive for ultimate glory of a prize on the biggest of world stages.
So many countries, so many languages, all with one goal, the glittering accolade of winning on World Cup night.
The entourage of media people from racing jurisdictions around the world are congregating trackside, many bleary eyed and woolly headed from stepping off long haul flights only hours earlier but delighted to be greeting old friends and colleagues.
Meetings that take place in many corners of the globe or maybe just once a year here in Dubai.
It’s a wonderful coming together of a community of humans, all with a common passion — Racehorses — we love them.
From the aggressive pent up power of the sprinters whose riders need to be soft and sensitive, delicate with the accelerator pedal, conserving all energy for the huge adrenaline rush that will be called for on race day.
We compare these to the relaxed, steady minds and gaits of the long distance runners, strolling around the vast expanse of the track without a care in the world.
We have flighty little Arabians who are dwarfed by the thoroughbreds, though the exception to this is last year’s Kahayla Classic victor, the ghostly grey, Tallaab Al Khalediah, who would not look out of place in a thoroughbred race, in my opinion!
Most impressive of them all are the real big guns, the World Cup Classic contenders, notably the handsome, slightly quirky looking Pavel who was fourth in the race last year and Yoshida, bred in Japan, owned by China Horse Club and trained in the USA.
— The author is a retired trainer and mother of leading jockeys James and Sophie Doyle