Everything you need to know about the 2015 Dubai World Cup
Ahead of Saturday’s Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse, Geoffrey Riddle breaks down everything you need to know about the world’s richest night of horse racing.
What is the Dubai World Cup? The Dubai World Cup is the most valuable horse race in the world, worth US$10 million (Dh36.7m) thanks to the sponsorship of Emirates Airline. It is a Group 1 race run over 2,000 metres. Overall on Dubai World Cup night there are nine races with prize-money on the day totalling $30 million. *All scheduling and course information is currently via race organisers and will be updated if changed
When is it? The Dubai World Cup will be staged on Saturday, March 28. Should you want to get involved sooner, you can attend morning track work at Meydan at the lavish Breakfast With The Stars event that boasts horses working on the racecourse interviews with trainers, jockeys, owners and other entertainment. Full breakfast and entertainment starts at AED325, and AED175 for children aged 5-12.
Where is it? The Dubai World Cup has been held at Meydan Racecourse since it was first built for the 2010 World Cup. The racecourse can most easily be reached from D69 via Sheikh Zayed Road. D69 can also be accessed from the Dubai-Al Ain Road.
What is special this year? This year will be the first time since the World Cup was staged at the old Nad Al Sheba racecourse in 2009 that the World Cup, Dubai Golden Shaheen, UAE Derby and Godolphin Mile are held on dirt. Last year Meydan had a synthetic surface called Tapeta, but it was replaced last season to a sand-based surface.
Will we see the big stars? Undoubtedly. California Chrome is the favourite for the Dubai World Cup, having won the first two legs of America’s cherished Triple Crown before suffering an injury coming out of the stalls in the Belmont Stakes in June. It is the US horse of the year, while Main Sequence, the US Turf Horse of the year, lines up in the Dubai Sheema Classic. Epiphaneia, from Japan, was rated as the second-best horse in the world last year behind the now-retired Just A Way and will take its chance in the World Cup, as will Godolphin’s African Story, last year’s winner.
Hong Kong raider Amber Sky will also be defending its crown after breaking the track record 12 months ago when winning the Al Quoz Sprint.
Former England footballer Michael Owen’s Brown Panther will run in the Dubai Gold Cup, and if that is not stardust enough, Kylie Minogue will be performing a “high-octane” concert following the big race.