Dubai World Cup Count Down

The countdown to Dubai is on! With only 6 weeks till we all head out to sun, sea and sand to say we are excited would be an understatement.

With so many horses heading over for World Cup and the carnival, we are really starting to get an idea on how things might look on the night. But what does it take to get a runner into the World’s richest race meeting?

The first way onto the card is to be invited. Horses from the USA and Japan with ratings high enough will be getting these invites this week so they can start training their horses for the race and make the necessary travel arrangements, these horses may not run in Dubai before the big night but will head out the at least the week before to get acclimatised.

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If you haven’t got an invite due to your rating, many of the UK horses will pay entry to the races leading up to the night. These races started in November and are still happening now. Once they either get their rating up they will then be invited to stay or if they are close to the minimum rating and the race is small they have a chance of a late invite 3 weeks before. Lots of people with lower rated horses hope for this so they take the chance to send them out in the months before, you need a bit of luck but it could really pay off if your horse turns out his best on the night!

This then all leads up to Super Saturday for many horses which is a bit like a qualifier night, it’s designed so we know how the big night will look and decisions can be made of who gets invited to the big night.

Now this all sounds like a lot to take in, but what this all means is the racing you see on the night is ensured be of the highest quality possible as only top rated horses will be there. So if you are a racing fan, who likes watching world class horses going head to head from every corner of the globe this is the night for you! The races are hand picked with the best of the best set against the stunning back-drop of Dubai and all the city has to offer, you can see why it’s my favourite trip!

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So the races on the night will have a minimum rating requirement of 113, there are eight races not including the first which is for Arabs only. No race has a purse under one million US dollars, so you can see why they want the best of the best there.

They are as follows-

  • Al Quoz Sprint GI prize money USD $1 million

This is a 6 furlong sprint previously won by James Doyle and JUNGLE CAT, this years favourites are currently BLUE POINT trained by Charlie Appleby who was second in Dubai last year and SANDS OF MALI trained by Richard Fahey.



  • Godolphin Mile GII prize money USD $1 million

This is roughly 8 furlongs, previously won by HEAVY METAL, who is again favourite for th race this year. Aidan is rumored to be taking over a large team of horses again this year which will hopefully make for some great competitions.



  • Dubai Gold Cup GII prize money USD $12 million

This is a fairly new race only starting in 2012, the last three years have been won by VAZIRABAD and he is set to go for a fourth victory this year.



  • UAE Derby GII

No ante post prices yet.

  • Dubai Golden Shaheen GI (part of the Global Sprint Challenge since 2012) prize money USD $2 million

This has been won by MIND YOUR BISCUITS the last two years running, but with him not coming over this year the race is wide open, this week it was announced X Y JET will be heading over for the race after an impressive win at the gulfstream.

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  • Dubai Turf GI (was part of the Asian Mile Challenge) prize money USD $5 million

A race Saeed Bin Suroor has great succes in, and this year may be no different, with one of our favourite horses BENBATL hoping for a second victory in the race.



  • Dubai Sheema Classic GI prize money USD $5 million

Won last year by HAWKBILL but with him not in the running this year they are currently favouring REY DE ORO, the Japanese horse with a rating of 121!



  • Dubai World Cup GI (The World's Richest Horse Race at USD $12 Million)

Finally the big one! With a names like CALIFORNIA CHROME and ARROGATE as previous winners it’s like a roll of honour. This year THUNDER SNOW and NORTH AMERICA head up the betting but with still super saturday and the globa invites to be announced I wouldn’t be putting my money anywhere yet!



Leading up to the night we have Breakfast with The Stars, a chance to see these top classes horses stretching their legs and hear from their owners, trainers and jockeys. All accompanied with the best breakfast spread you have ever seen!

Find out more about securing your front row seat to see it all here.

Samantha HillsComment