Dubai World Cup 2019: tickets, schedule, Gwen Stefani and how to watch on TV
A comprehensive guide to the richest night in horse racing at Meydan on Saturday, March 30
The richest night in horse racing, the Dubai World Cup with a total prize fund this year of US$35 million (Dh129m), takes place at Meydan Racecourse at the end of the month.
Here is all you need to know.
The 2019 Dubai World Cup takes place at the UAE’s flagship racecourse, Meydan on Saturday, March 30.
Gates open at noon. The first of the nine races starts at 3.45pm and concludes with the main Dubai World Cup race at 8.40pm.
Dubai World Cup race card
Race 1 at 3.45pm: Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic on dirt over 2,000 metres ($1 million)
Run over the Dubai World Cup course and distance, the Kahayla Classic is the unofficial Dubai World Cup for Purebred Arabians.
The Arabian showpiece was the traditional opening race in World Cup night but was moved to second on the card in 2017 and 2018. Now back as the first race of the meeting.
Race 2 at 4.15pm: Group 2 Godolphin Mile on dirt over 1,600m ($1.5million)
Local horse Heavy Metal bids to become only the second to win this race after Godolphin’s Firebreak in 2003 and 2004.
However, the UAE champion trainer Doug Watson’s Muntazah, runner-up 12 months ago, has emerged as one of the favourites after impressive victories in his last two starts in which Heavy Metal finished down the order.
Race 3 at 4.50pm: Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup on turf over 3,200m ($1.5 million)
Added to the Dubai World Cup card in 2007, the French horse Vazirabad won this race three years in a row from 2016-2018, the only thoroughbred to achieve that feat in 23 editions of the World Cup.
But the Alain De Royer-Dupre-trained runner will not be returning to defend his crown which could allow Godolphin, with a strong nomination, to triumph in this race for the first time in five attempts.
Race 4 at 5.30pm: Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint on turf over 1,200m ($2 million)
A straight shoot-out on the Meydan turf, this race was also added to the schedule in 2007 to make the DWC meeting a nine-race card.
Godolphin were successful in the inaugural year with Great Britain and won it again after a gap of 11 years with Jungle Cat in 2018.
Race 5 at 6.05pm: Group 2 UAE Derby on dirt over 1,900m ($2.5 million)
Godolphin’s Thunder Snow won this race in 2017 before becoming the first UAE Derby winner to clinch the Dubai World Cup last year.
It will be interesting see if this year’s winner will take Thunder Snow’s path. Some of the entries to watch from the nominations are Aidan O’Brien pair Western Australia and Van Beethovan, American raider Plus Que Parfait, Godolphin’s Art du Val and the filly Divine Image, and Ahmad bin Harmash’s Golden Jaguar.
Race 6 at 6.40pm: Group 1 Golden Shaheen on dirt over 1,200m ($2.5 million)
The Americans have had a strong presence in the world's richest dirt sprint with speedsters Roy H, XY Jet, Imperial Hint and Promises Fulfilled among the nominations.
Doug Watson’s Drafted, winner of three of his four starts including the Golden Shaheen trial on Super Saturday, spearheads the local challenge.
Race 7 at 7.35pm: Group 1 Dubai Turf on turf over 1,800m ($6 million)
Godolphin’s Benbatl bids to become the first horse to win the Dubai Turf twice when he lines up with another Godolphin runner Dream Castle, a three-time winner over the course and distance.
Hong Kong’s Beauty Generation tops the nominations with Japan’s Vivlos, winner of this race in 2017 and runner-up last year also included.
The likely presence of Australian Group 1 winner Comin’ Through, St James’s Palace Stakes winner Without Parole from England and Next Shares from America will make this an exciting race.
Race 8 at 8.10pm: Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic on turf over 2,410m ($6 million)
Godolphin, the Dubai racing operation, has a strong presence in the race, headed by Old Persian, winner of the Dubai City Of Gold over the course and distance on Super Saturday.
Godolphin’s Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter has been nominated to the race but may be re-directed to the Dubai Turf following the fatal injury to Brundtland.
O’Brien has nominated Magical and Magic Wand and they can pose the real challenge to the Royal Blue silks.
Race 9 at 8.50pm: Group 1 Dubai World Cup on dirt over 2,000m ($12 million)
No horse has won the Dubai World Cup race twice and it will be interesting to see if Godolphin’s Thunder Snow can achieve that feat when he returns after finishing runner-up to Capezzano in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 earlier this month, a position he also finished last year.
Satish Seemar’s North America is another serious contender following back-to-back victories in the first two rounds of the Maktoum Challenge.
Among the overseas nominations are the American raiders McKinzie, Leofric, Seeking the Soul, Audible, Yoshida and the mare Elate.
Prizes for fans
Racegoers have a chance to win prizes from raffle draws and cash rewards from the popular "predict the winner". Coupons are issued at Meydan's entry points.
There is always plenty of entertainment, with Grammy Award-winning pop star Gwen Stefani headlining the after-race concert.
For availability and bookings, contact Dubai Racing Club’s Ticket Sales Office at +971 (4) 327 2110 or email your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ticket Sales Office is open daily from 8am to 8pm until 29 March 2019.
Dubai Racing will broadcast all the races live from Meydan from 3pm.
Updated: March 18, 2019 11:21 AM