The eyes of the racing world were on Nad al Sheba Racecourse in Dubai on Saturday for the world's richest horse race, the $6 million Dubai World Cup (G1). American champion Curlin was sent off as the heavy 2-5 favorite, coming into the race off a three race win streak which includes the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the Breeders' Cup Classic, and the Jaguar Trophy over the same track as the World Cup. In to challenge were 7-1 second choice and local hero Jalil, raced by the powerful Godolphin operation and winner of the major local prep, the Maktoum Challenge Round 3. Japan Cup Dirt winner Vermilion was the 9-1 third choice on the international pool hosted by South Africa TAB.
Well Armed dueled for the lead with Asiatic Boy through fractions of 25.19 and 47.64, while Curlin stalked the pace on the outside down backstretch, and A.P. Arrow, who broke from the widest post of all, raced alongside the champion early. Well Armed continued to lead as the field turned for home, getting 6f in 1:10.90. At the top of the stretch, jockey Robby Albarado asked Curlin to challenge for the lead. Despite being wide for the entire trip thus far, Curlin easily moved up alongside Well Armed. When Albarado shook the reins, Curlin took over the lead at the 1/4 pole, getting the mile in 1:34.80, and then simply left Well Armed in his wake. Asiatic Boy passed the tiring Well Armed inside the 1/16 pole but was no match for Curlin, who powered away to an easy 7 3/4 length win in a time of 2:00.15 over the fast main track. It was just 1/4 length back to pacesetter Well Armed in third, and another 3/4 length to A.P. Arrow fourth.
Results chart - from Emirates Racing Authority