Stage set for stellar cast at historic 25th Dubai World Cup - GulfToday

Stage set for stellar cast at historic 25th Dubai World Cup

Horse Racing

Mystic Guide seen winning the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) at Saratoga Race Course. Photo supplied

A cast of 14 Group or Grade 1 winners with a combined 23 victories at the highest level are set to line up for the 25th running of Dubai World Cup day at Meydan Racecourse on March 27.

A total of 117 horses from 11 countries will compete across a spectacular day of racing worth $26.5m that features six Group 1 and three Group 2 contests.

The Group 1 $12m Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline and held over 2000m, welcomes a 14-strong line up headed by the highest-rated Mystic Guide (USA), trained by Michael Stidham in the USA. Mystic Guide is one of three Godolphin-owned runners in the field with the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Gifts of Gold (IRE) also representing the home team. The third Godolphin runner comes in the shape of Magny Course (USA), the charge of French maestro, Andre Fabre who is making his dirt debut in the Dubai World Cup.

Yet the Godolphin runners face stiff competition from a three-strong team of US raiders including the 2021 Pegasus World Cup runner up, Jesus’ Team (USA), for trainer Jose Francisco D’Angelo and the Miguel Angel Silva-prepared Grade 2 winner Sleepy Eyes Todd (USA). Title Ready (USA) winner of January’s Grade 3 Louisiana Stakes trained by Dallas Stewart completes the US lineup.

Japanese interests are represented by Grade 1 winner, Chuwa Wizard (JPN), who claimed the Champions Cup at Chukyo Racecourse in December 2020 for trainer, Ryuji Okubo while Uruguay’s Ajuste Fiscal (URU) lines up for trainer, Antonio Cintra. Bahraini handler, Fawzi Nass saddles a first Dubai World Cup runner with Salute The Soldier (GER), whose route to the Dubai World Cup included victory in two out of the three traditional Dubai prep races - the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 over 1900m and the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 over the same 2000m of the Dubai World Cup. Great Scot, third in The Saudi Cup last month, flies the flag for Saudi Arabia and trainer, Abdullah Mishriff. Local hopes will be pinned on the 2020 Group 3 Firebreak Stakes winner, Capezzano (USA) and this season’s Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 runner up, Hypothetical (IRE) from the yard of Salem Bin Ghadayer. Musabbah Al Mheiri saddles the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 winner, Military Law, while Doug Watson is represented by Thegreatcollection (USA).

A stellar renewal of the Group 1 $5m 2410m Longines Dubai Sheema Classic seems certain with Japan’s supermare, the multiple Grade 1 winner, Chrono Genesis (JPN), trained by Takashi Saito, lining up against dual Group 1 winner and Hong Kong Vase star, Mogul (GB) who represents Irish supremo, Aidan O’Brien. The John Gosden-trained 2021 Saudi Cup hero, Mishriff (IRE) will be stepping up in trip and making a return to turf.

The 1800m $4m Group 1 Dubai Turf, sponsored by DP World, features a strong UK contingent, with Lord North (IRE) winner of the Group 1 Prince of Wales Stakes from the Gosden yard, Lord Glitters, victor of the Group 1 Jebel Hatta on Super Saturday trained by David O’Meara, the Sir Michael Stoute trained Regal Reality (GB) as well as the Simon Crisford-trained pair of Court House (IRE) and Epic Hero (FR) all lining up. The Group 1 $1.5m 1200m Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News, boasts a multi-national field including the Doug O’Neill trained Wildman Jack (USA) winner of the 2020 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint and fellow US-based Group winner, Yaupon (USA) trained by Steve Asmussen who seeks redemption following his Breeder’s Cup Sprint tilt in November.

Elsewhere on the card, Japan’s Pink Kamehameha (JPN), trained by Hideyuki Mori seeks victory in the Group 2 1900m $750,000 UAE Derby Sponsored by Emirates NBD having already landed the Saudi equivalent over a mile.

Stablemate France Go De Ina (USA) and the Yukihiro Kato trained Takeru Pegasus (JPN) complete a powerful Japanese Derby challenge while Dubai World Cup Carnival star, El Patriota(URU) prepared by Cintra represents Uruguay.

The Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by Azizi features Godolphin’s Charlie Appleby trained Space Blues(IRE), fresh from victory in The Saudi Cup’s 1351 Turf Sprint, Dubai World Cup Carnival star Equilateral (GB) trained by Charlie Hills and Cowan (USA) who was a fast-finishing second in the Saudi Derby and is another prepared by Asmussen.

Testing their staying power in the Group 2 $750,000 Dubai Gold Cup Sponsored by Al Tayer Motors are the Group 1 Prix Royal Oak-winner Subjectivist, trained by Mark Johnston alongside Group 2 winners, Walderbe (GER), trained by Germany’s Ralf Rohne, the Andrew Balding trained Spanish Mission (USA) and Red Verdon (GB) trained by Ed Dunlop.

The Group 2 $750,000 Godolphin Mile, sponsored by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City - District One, features 2020 Curlin Stakes winner, Parsimony (USA) trained by Doug O’Neill alongside Saudi raider Urban Icon, trained by Saud Saad M Alkahtani, Multiple UAE Champion Trainer, Doug Watson saddles the trio of Midnight Sands (USA), Premier Star (USA) and Golden Goal (IRE) while Satish Seemar’s Zabeel Stables also sends out three including Secret Ambition (GB), Roman Rosso (ARG) and Tuz (USA).

The Group 1 $750,000 2000m Dubai Kahayla Classic, sponsored by Mubadala, has attracted an impressive list of the world’s best Purebred Arabians including Group 1 winner Hajres (TUN) from the yard of French trainer, Elisabeth Bernard and Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 winner and track record holder, RB Frynchh Dude trained by the UAE’s Helal Alalawi.

The Dubai World Cup, which is being held behind closed doors, will see a modification to the purse structure, meaning that prize money will be paid out to 8th place.

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