Thoroughbred racing’s top stars have been nominated for the highly anticipated 25th running of the Dubai World Cup, which is scheduled for Saturday, March 27, 2021 at Meydan Racecourse. Among the global stars highlighting the nominations are Knicks Go, Charlatan, Bivouac, Chrono Genesis, Addeybb and Mogul. A total of 1,511 nominations were accepted from 762 horses trained in 19 countries.
The Group 1 $12 million Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline saw a total of 176 nominations led by a strong USA representation including G1 Pegasus World Cup winner Knicks Go, and Bob Baffert-trained G1 Runhappy Malibu Stakes-winner Charlatan. Other major contenders include multiple G1 winner Code Of Honor, Godolphin’s undefeated Brendan Walsh trainee Maxfield, G2 winners Sleepy Eyes Todd, and Tax, with the latter trained by Danny Gargan, one of the new trainers to have nominated this year.
Tacitus who finished fourth in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Classic returns, after having nominated last year as well. John Gosden’s Dubai Warrior who is expected to make a Dubai debut in the Al Maktoum Challenge Rd 2 also joins the list. Musabbeh Al Mheiri’s Military Law is expected to shine among the UAE contenders, as are Capezzano, Matterhorn and Kimbear. Contested over 2000m on dirt, it has been won by horses trained in France, Japan, UAE, UK, and USA in its first 24 runnings.
Knicks Go Wins Pegasus World Cup
The Group 1 $5 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic promises to be a star-studded affair, with Addeybb, ranked 3rd Best Racehorse in the Longines World Racing Awards, topping the nominations. With an impressive rating of impressive 125, the 7-year-old is trained by William Haggas, and it is no surprise, he is the highest rated horse amongst those nominated for this race. The Japanese representation is led by multiple G1-winning mare Chrono Genesis, who most recently won the G1 Arima Kinen at the end of 2020. The returning G1 and multiple G2 winner Glory Vase adds greater depth. Other G1 winners in competition include Bill Mott’s Channel Maker, David Smaga’s Nao Da Mais, and Aidan O’Brien’s Mogul. Trainers Saeed bin Suroor, John Gosden and Charlie Appleby are the most successful saddlers in this race, with two wins apiece, while Great Britain has had the most success with seven wins so far.
The Group 1 $4 million Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World has an impressive line-up of nominations with contestants looking to fill the rather large shoes of 2019 winner and the now retired Japanese Superstar Almond Eye. Some of the heavy hitters include John Gosden’s Lord North, winner of the G1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, Bahrain International Trophy winner Simsir from the stables of Fawzi Nass, G1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes Champion Colonel Liam and G2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes winner Largent, both under the care of USA trainer Todd Pletcher. European representation comes through G1 Queen Anne Stakes winner & G2 Singspiel Stakes victor Lord Glitters, trained by David O’Meara. John Gosden also saddles Global Giant who finished second in the Bahrain International Trophy.
Lord North Wins Prince of Wales Stakes
American winners account for 13 of 24 editions of the G1 $1.5 million Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News over 1200m. This year a robust offering comes from the USA, including Peter Miller’s G1 winner and Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner-up C Z Rocket, Steve Asmussen’s G2 winner Yaupon, Doug O’Neill’s multiple G3 winner Wildman Jack, and Bob Baffert’s Ax Man. 2019 Dubai Golden Shaheen runner-up Matera Sky from the stables of Hideyuki Mori, and Yoshito Yahagi’s Justin highlight the Japanese contingent. Local favourite Gladiator King adds value to the line-up.
The Group 1 $1 million Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments over 1200m on turf has attracted nominations from across the globe. By far the best accomplished entrant is Australian star sprinter and multiple G1 winner Bivouac, trained by James Cummings for Godolphin, most recent winner of the G1 VRC Sprint Classic at Flemington in November. Other G1 winners in the field include Oleksandra who made her debut in Australia, before moving to the stables of American trainer Neil Drysdale, UK conditioner Roger Teal’s Oxted who won the G1, Darley July Cup Stakes, and South African trainer Corne Spies’ trainee Van Halen. Amongst the UAE brigade, G3 winners Down On Da Bayou and Lazuli, are just some of the local luminaries nominated.
The three Group 2 events on the day, the $750,000 UAE Derby sponsored by Emirates NBD, $750,000 Godolphin Mile and $750,000 Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, have attracted strong global interest.
The UAE Derby, contested over 1900m draws in plenty of interest form the USA, with Steve Asmussen’s Jackie’s Warrior winner of the G1, Runhappy Hopeful Stakes & G1, Champagne Stakes, leading the charge. Other notable entries include Doug O’Neill-trained Hot Rod Charlie- 2nd in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and Bob Baffert’s well regarded G2 winner and G1-placed, Spielberg and Medina Spirit. UAE in-form company include Zhou Storm, winner in two of three starts, Mnasek, and Soft Whisper. The UAE remains the most successful country in this race, with Saeed bin Suroor garnering all eight wins, his most recent with two-time Dubai World Cup-winner Thunder Snow in 2017.
Hot Rod Charlie Runs Second in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
Nominations for the 1600m Group 2 $750,000 Godolphin Mile, are highlighted by Hong Kong star Elusive State, multiple G2 winning Mr Freeze, the G2 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland in October his most recent victory, under the watch of American conditioner Dale Romans. Fawzi Nass’ Port Lions, who finished fourth in the Bahrain International Trophy and is another international winner to watch out for. With 16 wins the UAE remains the dominating force in this race. Frankie Dettori’s seven wins is a record in the Mile.
The Dubai Gold Cup contested over a challenging 3200m on turf, and won in 2019 by 2018 Melbourne Cup Champion Cross Counter, sees nominations from multiple Melbourne Cup-placed Prince of Arran, the returning Jamie Osborne-trainee Mekong, French G1 winner Call the Wind, most recently 3rd in the G1 Qatar Prix du Cadron at Longchamp, Mark Johnston’s G1 Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp-winner Subjectivist and Andrew Balding’s G2 winner-Spanish Mission, whose most recent victory came in the G2 Doncaster Cup Stakes.
The first supplementary stage for all races on Dubai World Cup day will close on Wednesday, February 10, when connections can nominate their horse for 0.1% of the prize money of their chosen race. The second supplementary stage is on Monday, March 8, when horses can be supplemented for 1% of the prize money. The third and final supplementary stage takes place on Sunday, March 21, when horses can be supplemented into the race for 10% of the prize money. Entry/declaration takes place Monday, March 22.
All races are being contested and regulated in a standard fashion and results are being recorded in an official capacity. In line with the UAE Government regulations, Dubai Racing Club is following strict health and safety measures, including full sanitization, thermal screening of attendees and social distancing.