Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 July 2019

Timeframe: the first Dubai World Cup in 1996

The first race took place at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse with American jockey Jerry Bailey and his horse Cigar winning the event

B K Bangash / AP photo
B K Bangash / AP photo

The first Dubai World Cup took place at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in 1996. American jockey Jerry Bailey and his horse Cigar won the race, with Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid, the then Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, awarding ­Bailey the trophy.

On Saturday, the race will take place for the 24th time. It’s still one of the richest days of horse-racing in the world – the inaugural race was worth $4 million (Dh14.7m), while the total prize pot this year is $35m – and it’s still as popular as ever. Of course, the celebrations surrounding it have become more elaborate over the years.

It may have been a far simpler event in the mid-1990s, but that victory will always hold a special place in Bailey’s heart. “That moment on Cigar may well be the best moment in my life,” he told The National.

Updated: March 28, 2019 05:33 PM

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