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The Dubai World Cup Carnival, like previous years, will provide some high quality competition leading to the Dubai World Cup on March 28, 2020. Image Credit: Dubai Racing Club

Dubai: As many as 237 horses, conditioned by over 76 trainers from 16 countries, have been accepted for the 10-meeting 2020 Dubai World Cup Carnival which kicks off at Meydan Racecourse on January 2, 2020.

The world’s most famous racing festival runs for nine consecutive Thursdays before culminating in Super Saturday, March 7, the official dress rehearsal for the historic 25th edition of the $35 million Dubai World Cup meeting on March 28.

The 2019 DWC Carnival saw horses from Australia, Bahrain, Denmark, France, Ireland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, UAE, UK and USA win or place in its races with all of those nations returning with exciting representatives in the 2020 event — worth a record $12.74 million in prize money.

Leading the entries are three-time Australian Group 1-winning sprinters Sunlight and Nature Strip, England’s Coronation Cup (G1) victor Defoe, Saudi-owned Chilean Triple Crown champion Cariblanco, Norwegian luminary Square de Luynes, Breeders’ Cup-placed South Korean superstar Blue Chipper, top-class French filly Edisa and American Group 1 winner and dual Dubai World Cup (G1) fourth Pavel.

Global Group 1 winners Zabeel Prince, Loving Gaby, Suedois and Desert Encounter, as well as Group 1-placed Prince of Arran, Vital Silver, Quip, Life Less Ordinary, Stormy Antarctic and Faatinah, provide the international appeal to the Carnival which will be watched by connections across the planet.

Mister Sea Wolf, Spinning Memories and Spanish Mission, as well as returning classic winners Silva and Gold Town, add depth to a mouth-watering catalogue of high-class contenders.

Meanwhile, several of the Carnival’s key races have received a significant boost in prize money — making it even more attractive to international connections.

The $350,000 Dubai City of Gold (Group 2) over 2410m, which has produced three of the past four $6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) winners, will receive a $50,000 increase in purse. This raises the seven-race Super Saturday card to $2.7 million in total prize money.

The $175,000 Curlin Stakes, upgraded from handicap to Listed status, also receives a boost in purse. While the $250,000 Singspiel Stakes, won the last two seasons by subsequent Group 1 winners, receives an increase in purse and upgrade in status to Group 2,

Six $175,000 turf handicaps have been upgraded to Listed status including the Dubai Racing Club Classic which will be contested over 2410m on opening night (Jan. 2) and will point to the Dubai City of Gold.

On the same evening, the 1400m Meydan Challenge (Listed) leads to the $250,000 Al Fahidi Fort (G2), a race won by Dubai World Cup night winners Jungle Cat, Gladiatorus and Ipi Tombe.

The 2,000m Zabeel Turf (Listed) on January 16 is a popular prep for $200,000 Dubai Millennium (G3) on February 20, while the 1000m Dubai Dash (Listed) is a lead-up race for the $250,000 Meydan Sprint (G2) on February 20, a race European champion sprinter Blue Point contested the past two seasons.

Turf sprinters looking for an extra furlong have an optional two weeks later on February 6, the Dubai Sprint (Listed) over 1,200m, which preps for Super Saturday’s $350,000 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint (G3) — a race that has produced the past two winners of the $2 million Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments (G1).

Lastly, the Meydan Cup (Listed) on January 30 over the marathon 2,810m distance, will be a launching point for stayers looking to contest the $300,000 Nad Al Sheba Trophy (G3) on February 27 and ultimately, the 3,200m $1.5 million Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (G2). The aforementioned Prince of Arran contested the Meydan Cup (EGA Al Taweelah Trophy Handicap) before going on to contest the Dubai Gold Cup and place in the 2018 and 2019 editions of the Melbourne Cup (G1).