The $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) will be run on Saturday night at the Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. On Wednesday night at the Meydan IMAX Theatre, post positions were drawn for the main event and the two Group 1 turf races immediately preceding it on the card, the Dubai Duty Free and the Dubai Sheema Classic. A maximum field of 14 made final entry for the world's richest horse race, contested at 2000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) over the Tapeta synthetic track.
The Dubai World Cup draw involved randomly opening wooden chests with the horses' names hidden inside. Then that horse's connections came up to choose a golden dallah or coffee pot that reveiled their post position.
Twice Over is the early favorite at 7-4 at press time, exiting two straight wins in the Champion Stakes (G1) at Newmarket in October and the Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (G2), the major local prep, on March 3. In to challenge him include 4-1 Cape Blanco, unraced since finishing 14th in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, top U.S. hope Gio Ponti, fourth in the World Cup last year and unraced since finishing 2nd behind Goldikova in the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1), as well as sentimental favorite Buena Vista, the 5-year-old mare representing Japan who was nosed out in the Arima Kinen (G1) last out and famously disqualified from the win in the Japan Cup (G1).
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Twice Over's owner Prince Khalid Abdullah said, "He's shown what he is capable of by winning the Maktoum Challenge from a low position and we expect him to carry forward this form into Saturday's race. Last year he did not have the right build-up and the low draw added to his problems. We got him here early and he won his prep well from an outside position, so hopefully that is a good omen. He's better prepared this year to cope with any obstacle."
The undercard features the two richest turf races in the world, the 2410 meter (about 1 1/2 mile) Sheema Classic (G1) and the 1800 meter (about 1 1/8 mile) Duty Free (G1), worth $5 million each. In the Sheema Classic, Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) winner Dangerous Midge takes on American representative Champ Pegasus off his win in the San Luis Obispo (G2), and Rewilding, unraced since finishing 6th in the St. Leger (G1). Champ Pegasus' trainer Richard Mandella said, "I'm happy with the (7 post). He's a horse that was a maiden a year ago, and he's come a long way to get this far." The Duty Free features Al Rashidiya(G2) winner Presvis taking on Al Fahidi Fort (G2) runner-up Raihana and American hope Victor's Cry, winner of the Citation Handicap (G2) then second in the Thunder Road (G3) last out.
Along with the four Group 1 events, there are 3 Group 2 events on the undercard. The $2 million UAE Derby (G2) features northern hemisphere 3-year-olds and southern hemisphere 4-year-olds going 1900 meters (about 1 3/16 miles) on the main Tapeta, with Godolphin's Introvert and Splash Point hoping to earn a ticket to Kentucky with a win here. The $1 million Godolphin Mile (G2) is a 1600 meter (1 mile) race on the main track featuring I Want Revenge representing America's IEAH Stable and trainer Rick Dutrow. The first race on Saturday night's card is the $250,000 Dubai Kahayla Classic (G1) at 2000 meters (1 1/4 miles) on Tapeta for Purebred Arabians followed by the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint (G2) at 5 furlongs on the turf straightaway, with Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint winner Stradivinsky the top American hope.
- 9:15 a.m. ET - Race 2 - $1 Million - Al Quoz Sprint (T)
- 9:50 a.m. ET - Race 3 - $1 Million - Godolphin Mile
- 10:25 a.m. ET - Race 4 - $2 Million - UAE Derby
- 11:05 a.m. ET - Race 5 - $2 Million - Dubai Golden Shaheen
- 11:45 a.m. ET - Race 6 - $5 Million - Dubai Duty Free (T)
- 12:50 p.m. ET - Race 7 - $5 Million - Dubai Sheema Classic (T)
- 1:35 p.m. ET - Race 8 - $10 Million - Dubai World Cup
An online racecard is available from Dubai Racing Club with all eight races where you can click on each horse's name to get a form summary. Daily Racing Form has free past performances and other information here. A Form Guide which has past performances for the entire card is also available from Emirates Racing Authority. As well, AmWest Entertainment, the official U.S. distributor for the Dubai simulcasts, offers free Equibase past performances for the 7 Thoroughbred races.
Below are the horses entered in the 2011 Dubai World Cup with post positions and jockeys.
|1||Fly Down||J. Leparoux||N. Zito||16-1|
|2||Monterosso (GB)||M. Barzalona||M. Al Zarooni||20-1|
|3||Prince Bishop (IRE)||A. Ajtebi||S. bin Suroor||25-1|
|4||Cape Blanco (IRE)||J. Spencer||A. O'Brien||4-1|
|5||Gio Ponti||R. Dominguez||C. Clement||10-1|
|6||Victoire Pisa (JPN)||M. Demuro||K. Sumii||12-1|
|7||Musir (AUS)||C. Soumillon||M. de Kock||12-1|
|8||Gitano Hernando (GB)||J. Murtagh||M. Botti||12-1|
|9||Transcend (JPN)||S. Fujita||T. Yasuda||25-1|
|10||Poet's Voice (GB)||L. Dettori||S. bin Suroor||10-1|
|11||Richard's Kid||R. Mullen||S. Seemar||33-1|
|12||Twice Over (GB)||T. Queally||H. Cecil||7-4|
|13||Buena Vista (JPN)||R. Moore||H. Matsuda||10-1|
|14||Golden Sword (GB)||K. Shea||M. de Kock||10-1|
Entries and post positions for the entire card plus a form guide with past performances