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Posted 2023-02-03 09:01:30  
Equinox, Golden Sixty, Taiba, Country Grammer among star-studded Dubai World Cup Day entries

More than 1,600 entries, including 892 individual horses from 21 different countries have been received for the 2023 Dubai World Cup meeting, which takes place on Saturday, March 25th.


One of the most spectacular days of racing on the global calendar, this will be the 27th running of the meeting, which offers $30.5million in prize money across nine races. The feature event is the G1 Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline, which has attracted 171 entries, including 24 individual Group or Grade 1 winners.

Among them is Country Grammer, who could attempt to become just the second horse to win two Dubai World Cups if he takes his chance for trainer Bob Baffert and owner Zedan Racing, who have also nominated three-time Grade I winner Taiba. Joining them on the trip from America could be Rich Strike, who shocked the world when a longshot winner of the Kentucky Derby.

Japan’s Panthalassa dead-heated in the Dubai Turf last year but holds a Dubai World Cup nomination this time, while upset 2022 Saudi Cup winner Emblem Road could make his UAE debut.

The Longines Dubai Sheema Classic carries a purse of $6million and has attracted a superb bunch of entries, including 2022 winner Shahryar as well as Tenno Sho (Autumn) and Arima Kinen winner Equinox, the highest-rated three-year-old in the world in 2022. Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby has won this race twice and he has entered Rebel’s Romance, winner of the 2021 UAE Derby and the 2022 G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf. Nominated from the UK is the John and Thady Gosden-trained Emily Upjohn, winner of the G1 Champion Fillies and Mares Stakes at Ascot.

The Dubai Turf (Sponsored by DP World), worth $5million, has attracted 21 individual Group/Grade 1 winners, including Lord North, winner of the race in 2021 and joint winner in 2022. Potentially joining him from Newmarket is 2022 fourth Saffron Beach, while G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile second Shirl’s Speight could take his chance for Canada-based trainer Roger Attfield. One of the more intriguing entries is Golden Sixty, a seven-time Group 1 winner in Hong Kong, who could make his international debut here.

The Dubai Golden Shaheen, run over 1200metres on the dirt, has been a good race for the Americans down the years and they have nominated 14, including the Steve Asmussen-trained Gunite. Leading the home challenge is RRR Racing’s defending champion Switzerland, while dual runner up Red Le Zele and Saudi Sprint winner Dancing Prince are among the strong Japanese entries.

Run over the straight 1200metre turf track, the G1 Al Quoz Sprint, sponsored by Azizi Developments, is always a spectacle and it could see the well-travelled Artorius make the journey from Australia for trainer Anthony Freedman, while Appleby has nominated his G1 winner Creative Force.

Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has won the UAE Derby on three occasions and he has nominated Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Victoria Road for the 1900metre contest, one of three G2s on the card. Potential rivals include Baffert’s Mr Fisk, Newgate and Speed Boat Beach, while Brad Cox has nominated 13, including Grade 2 winner Instant Coffee.

The longest race of the day is the 3200metre G2 Dubai Gold Cup, sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, which could see the return of popular 2021 winner Subjectivist. An exciting potential Irish challenge includes O’Brien’s G1 winner Broome and Sonnyboyliston for Johnny Murtagh.

The first of the Group 2s is the Godolphin Mile, sponsored by Nakheel, in which defending champion Bathrat Leon is entered, along with Japanese compatriots Lauda Sion, Derma Louvre and Soliste Thunder, who was fourth last year. From the US, Todd Pletcher, successful in this race with Coal Front in 2019, has nominated Pioneer Of Medina, while Saffie Joseph Jnr could be represented by his Grade 1 winner White Abarrio and Richard Mandella by Royal Ship.

The traditional opener to Dubai World Cup day is the $1million Dubai Kahayla Classic, for Purebred Arabians. 78 entries include 17 Group 1 winners, among them the last two winners of the race, Deryan and First Classs, and multiple G1 winner Lady Princess, arguably the best Arabian in the world.

“We are delighted by the strength and depth of entries for this year’s Dubai World Cup meeting,” said Stephanie Cooley, International Manager for Dubai Racing Club. “To have horses from more than 20 countries considering the trip shows the meeting’s continued global appeal.

“It is especially gratifying to have so many horses and trainers returning to the meeting, with our 2022 winners of the Dubai World Cup, Longines Dubai Sheema Classic, Dubai Turf, Golden Shaheen, Godolphin Mile and Kahayla Classic all in line to defend their titles.”

Invitations for the meeting are set to go out during February. 

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