Dubai World Cup remains ‘richest day in racing’ despite Pegasus World Cup’s record prize money
The Dubai Racing Club have revealed that they will not be raising the purse for the Dubai World Cup in light of Saturday’s Pegasus World Cup.
The Pegasus World Cup carries prize money of $12 million (Dh44m), comprising the $1m entry fees of the 12 runners that are headed by Breeders’ Cup one-two Arrogate and California Chrome.
The inaugural race at Gulfstream Park in Florida, which was set up by Frank Stronach, the founder and chairman of the Stronach Group, will eclipse the World Cup as the world’s most valuable thoroughbred contest.
In October the Dubai Racing Club announced a $467,000 increase in prize money across the 61 thoroughbred and four Purebred Arabian races that make up the World Cup Carnival. Prize money for the Carnival now stands at $10,925m, with the minimum purse for a Carnival race at $100,000.
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The Dubai Racing Club last raised the prize of their signature race to $10m in 2010, and there are rumours that the aim is to double the purse in time for the Expo in 2020.
Until such a time, however, executives are satisfied that the total prize money available on World Cup night, which is staged at Meydan on March 25, will remain the most in world racing.
“Dubai World Cup day features nine group races worth $30m in prize money, with the final race on the card, the showpiece Group 1 Dubai World Cup held over 2000m, carrying a prize purse of $10m,” Frank Gabriel Jr, executive director for racing for the Dubai Racing Club told The National exclusively. “This makes Dubai World Cup day the richest day in thoroughbred racing.”
Connections of California Chrome have stated that although they thought long and hard about a third bid to win the World Cup, the six-year-old will not return to Dubai to defend his crown with the Pegasus World Cup set to be his final race.
On Tuesday, Bob Baffert confirmed that Arrogate, the Breeders’ Cup winner, would also not be running in the World Cup, which was rated the 15th best horse race in the world in 2016.
Those decisions leave the World Cup without a headline American horse at this stage, with Grade 1 winner Midnight Storm only a possible runner and the best of the US challenge.
Mike De Kock’s Mubtaahij, second last year, is in line to try to go one better and is slated to face last season’s UAE Derby winner Lani, who will be joined by fellow Japanese raider Awardeem, runner-up in the Tokyo Daishoten in December. Hong Kong are hoping to send Secret Weapon, the Hong Kong Cup second.
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Updated: July 21, 2017 06:46 PM