x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Godolphin enters 20 horses for Dubai World Cup

The Dubai-based racing operation will have four runners in the US$10million (Dh36.73m) race.

Mendip will compete in the world's richest race. Christopher Pike / The National
Mendip will compete in the world's richest race. Christopher Pike / The National

Godolphin will have four runners in the US$10million (Dh36.73m) Dubai World Cup after entries to the March 31 meeting at Meydan Racecourse were unveiled yesterday.

Saeed bin Suroor will saddle Mendip and Prince Bishop in the world's richest race, while Mahmoud Al Zarooni has entered Capponi and Monterosso.

The quartet form part of the Dubai-based operation's overall entry of 20 horses across the eight thoroughbred races. Bin Suroor has 11 runners, while Al Zarooni has nine.

Godolphin are not the only UAE-based representative in the World Cup as Doug Watson's Silver Pond will also run.

The World Cup has attracted 10 individual Group 1 winners, with Aidan O'Brien's So You Think heading the list with eight victories at the highest level. The only other European horse in the field will be Zazou, prepared in Germany by trainer Waldemar Hickst.

Eishin Flash, Smart Falcon and last year's runner-up Transcend will try to build on last year's success of Victoire Pisa by representing Japan, while Game On Dude, trained by Bob Baffert, and Royal Delta, trained William Mott, will attempt to become America's first winner of the 2,000-metre contest since its move to Meydan.

Baffert won the Dubai World Cup with Silver Charm (1998) and Captain Steve (2001) when the race was run at Nad Al Sheba racecourse, while Mott took the first race with Cigar in 1996.

Mike De Kock famously has never won the race, despite continuously being the most successful international trainer and the South African handler has received an invitation for Master Of Hounds, while compatriot Herman Brown will run Gitano Hernando.

Presvis and Rocket Man will defend their titles respectively in the Dubai Duty Free and the Dubai Golden Shaheen.

sports@thenational.ae