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The trophies for the day with the Dubai World Cup the tallest in the middle.
The 27th renewal of the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1) sponsored by Emirates Airline will be conducted at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai on Saturday. On Wednesday evening at the Parade Ring Lounge in the Meydan grandstand, the post positions were drawn for the main event, which features some of the best older horses in the world going 2000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles), two turns of the 1 1/8 mile dirt track.
Post positions for the big race and the undercard races are available below. An online racecard is available from Dubai Racing Club where you can click on each horse's name to get a form summary.
Free Equibase past performances here. A Form Guide which has past performances for the entire card is also available from Emirates Racing Authority.
Defending champion Country Grammer is the 7-2 favorite (from OddsChecker.com at time of writing). After winning the San Antonio Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita he finished second in the Saudi Cup (G1) last out. The Bob Baffert trainee drew post 14 and will have regular rider Frankie Dettori in the irons. His main challenge comes in 4-1 second choice and locally based Algiers, winner of the first two rounds of the Maktoum Challenge (G2) prep series at Meydan, however he skipped Round 3 (G1) to train up for the World Cup. Regular rider James Doyle gets the call for co-trainers Simon and Ed Crisford out of the 14 hole. Ushba Tesoro is the 10-1 third choice from post 8 for trainer Noboru Takagi. He ships in off a 4 race win streak including the Tokyo Daishoten (G1) and Kawasaki Kinen (G1). Yuga Kawada will be in the irons on Saturday night.
Simon Crisford, co-trainer of Algiers said of post 13, "We were drawn wide for both our prep races, so I'm sure that will be fine." Owner Hamdan Sultan Ali Alsabouli added, "It was very special to be the youngest owner in the Dubai World Cup and it is great to be back again. It is a battle between some great horses and I hope we can win it. Gate 13 is fine but I was hoping to get five or six."
As has been the tradition at the Dubai World Cup, the horse names are drawn randomly and then the drawn horse's representative comes up to draw the post, also at random. This year, an Emirates flight attendant chooses a ball, with the name of a horse hidden inside. That horse's representative comes up to the stage to select a crescent moon model, which has the post position number hidden under it. The undercard races were drawn using the standard "double blind" system.
The Dubai World Cup post positions. The flags correspond with the owners.
The undercard features the two of the richest turf races in the world, the 2410 meter (about 1 1/2 mile) $6 million Sheema Classic (G1) and the 1800 meter (about 1 1/8 mile) $5 million Dubai Turf (G1). In the Sheema Classic, carded immediately before the main event, Tenno Sho Autumn (G1) and Arima Kinen (G1) winner Equinox is the 6-5 favorite over 6-1 second choice Mostahdaf, winner of the Neom Turf Cup (G3), and 13-2 third choice Rebel's Romance, winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1). In the Turf, Kyoto Kinen (G2) winner Do Deuce is the 7-2 favorite over 9-2 Serifos, winner of the Mile Championship (G1), and 7-1 defending champion Lord North, winner of the Winter Derby (G3). The $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) features dirt sprinters at 1200 meters (6 furlongs), with February Stakes (G1) winner Lemon Pop favored at 4-1 over Riyadh Dirt Sprint (G3) runner-up Gunite at 9-2 and last year's winner Switzerland at 5-1 off his Zabeel Stakes (G3) win. The $1.5 million Al Quoz Sprint is a 1200 meter straightaway sprint with Nad al Sheba Turf Sprint (G3) winner Al Dasim the 11-4 favorite over 5-1 Al Suhail, winner of the Al Fahidi Fort Stakes (G2) and 11-2 Sight Success, third in the Centenary Sprint Cup (G1) at Sha Tin.
Along with the five Group 1 events, there are 3 Group 2 events (for Thoroughbreds) carded. The $1.5 million UAE Derby (G2) features northern hemisphere 3-year-olds and southern hemisphere 4-year-olds going 1900 meters (1 3/16 miles) on the dirt, worth 100 points to the winner as part of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series (although 4-year-olds do not qualify), with Patton Stakes winner Cairo the 3-1 favorite over Bob Baffert-trained (and thus ineligible for the Kentucky Derby) Worcester at 6-1, third in the Robert B. Lewis (G3) last out, and Dura Erede at 8-1, winner of the Hopeful Stakes (G1) at Nakayama. This spectacular night of racing kicks off with three $1 million races, the Dubai Kahayla Classic (G1) for purebred Arabians, followed by the Godolphin Mile (G2) at 1600 meters (1 mile) on dirt and the Dubai Gold Cup (G2) at 3200 meters (2 miles) on turf.
|Post Time||Race Name|
|7:30 a.m. ET||Dubai Kahayla Classic (Arabians)|
|8:05 a.m. ET||Godolphin Mile|
|8:40 a.m. ET||Dubai Gold Cup (T)|
|9:15 a.m. ET||Al Quoz Sprint (T)|
|9:35 a.m. ET||UAE Derby|
|10:25 a.m. ET||Dubai Golden Shaheen|
|11:10 a.m. ET||Dubai Turf (T)|
|12:00 p.m. ET||Dubai Sheema Classic (T)|
|12:35 p.m. ET||Dubai World Cup|
Note that the saddlecloth numbers do not correspond to posts, but are instead in order of handicap weights (as is the practice in most of the world). The World Cup goes off at 12:35PM (all times Eastern), while the first race is the $1 million Dubai Kahayla Classic for Purebred Arabians at 7:30AM. The table to the right has all the post times.
Since betting is illegal in the UAE, the international wagering hub is the World Pool hosted by the Hong Kong Jockey Club and their rules apply. Since Dubai won't do odds, the morning line odds shown below are from OddsChecker.com at time of writing. Also note that saddlecloth numbers do not correspond to post positions.
The races will be shown live on FanDuel TV in the U.S. and HPI-TV in Canada, as well as at racetracks and simulcast sites. In addition, Fox Sports 2 will show the full card from 8:00am-1:00pm ET. The locally produced show on Dubai Racing Channel can be viewed live here starting at 7:00am ET.
Below are the entries and post positions for the Dubai World Cup. All entrants carry 57 kg (125.7 lb) as there are no fillies or mares entered this year.
|1||10||Remorse||T. O'Shea||B. Seemar||80-1|
|2||6||Emblem Road||A. Al Furaydi||A. Abdulwahid||25-1|
|3||8||Jun Light Bolt||R. Moore||Y. Tomomichi||20-1|
|4||11||Salute the Soldier||A. de Vries||F. Nass||66-1|
|5||15||Vela Azul||C. Demuro||K. Watanabe||12-1|
|6||13||T O Keynes||O. Murphy||D. Takayanagi||12-1|
|7||2||Bendoog||C. Soumillon||B. Seemar||66-1|
|8||14||Ushba Tesoro||Y. Kawada||N. Takagi||10-1|
|9||7||Geoglyph||C. Lemaire||T. Kimura||16-1|
|10||3||Cafe Pharoah||J. Moreira||N. Hori||14-1|
|11||12||Super Corinto||H. Berrios||A. Sanchez||50-1|
|12||5||Crown Pride||D. Lane||K. Shintani||20-1|
|13||1||Algiers||J. Doyle||S.& E. Crisford||4-1|
|14||4||Country Grammer||L. Dettori||B. Baffert||7-2|
|15||9||Panthalassa||Y. Yoshida||Y. Yahagi||12-1|
Entries and post positions for the entire card with free form guide
Left: Favorite Country Grammer drew post 14 for trainer Bob Baffert and regular rider Frankie Dettori. Baffert said, "I was hoping for inside draw. Frankie knows him well." Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes added, "That's all right. It's a mile and a quarter race. We'll leave it up to Frankie and he'll get us around there. The horse came over from Saudi in good shape. He's looking awesome."
Right: Third choice Ushba Tesoro will break from post 8 under jockey Yuga Kawada. Trainer Noboru Takagi said, "Number eight gives us a lot of options."
Left: Co-fourth choice Panthalassa drew the far outside post 15 for trainer Yoshito Yahagi and regular rider Yutaka Yoshida. Yahagi said: "Even if he misses the jump, he still has to go forward, so it's really no concern. We have only one tactic with him so it doesn't change. He won the Dubai Turf last year so we know he loves it here, all is good."
Right: Co-fourth choice T O Keynes drew post 6 for trainer Daisuke Takayanagi and regular rider Oisin Murphy. Takayanagi said, "We wanted this number so we are thrilled. It makes it easier for us to come up with a race plan and to devise tactics. This year, he is mentally stronger so I think he will run well."
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