x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Strong field line up at Dubai World Cup with $10 million at stake

Runners list for the world's richest race is taking shape, including Buena Vista, the Japanese Horse of the Year.

DUBAI // The filly Buena Vista, the 2010 Horse of the Year in Japan, will take on the boys in the Dubai World Cup on Saturday at Meydan Racecourse, according to likely fields released ahead of tomorrow's final declarations.

Trained by Hiroyoshi Matsuda, the five-year-old mare was second in last year's Sheema Classic on World Cup day.

She will be ridden by Ryan Moore, the three-time British champion jockey.

She will face stiff competition for the winner's share of the US$10 million (Dh36.7m) purse. Ten other Group 1 winners are expected to start the 16th running of the world's richest horse race, including the favourite, Twice Over.

Trained by Henry Cecil, Twice Over won the Al Maktoum Challenge Round Three earlier this month. He will renew his rivalry with Cape Blanco, who won the 2010 Irish Champion Stakes as Twice Over finished third.

Cecil, a 10-time British champion trainer who possesses 24 British Classic titles, is bidding for his first Dubai World Cup win.

Cape Blanco, who also won the 2010 Irish Derby, was recently part-purchased by the Dubai-based owner Fitri Hay. He will be the first World Cup runner for trainer Aidan O'Brien, who has steered clear of the richest day of racing for a number years. Cape Blanco and the UAE Derby runners Alexander Pope and Master of Hounds will be O'Brien's first representatives in Dubai since Powerscourt came fifth in the 2005 Sheema Classic.

Mike de Kock will saddle two horses for the World Cup, Bold Silvano and Musir, the 2010 UAE Derby winner. Godolphin sets its hopes in Poet's Voice, Monterosso and Prince Bishop.

Six nations are expected to be represented in the 14-strong World Cup field. Starting-gate numbers will be determined by draw on Wednesday. Several other strong fillies are entered in Saturday's eight-race card.

De Kock will saddle two Dubai Duty Free contenders, River Jetez and Raihana, plus UAE Derby runners Mahbooba and Reem.

River Jetez won the Balanchine last month, while Raihana is last year's UAE Derby runner-up. Mahbooba took the UAE 1,000 Guineas this season, winning by more than three lengths before finishing runner-up to Godolphin's Khawlah in the UAE Oaks. Reem, a winner at last outing in the Bastakiya, was second to stablemate River Jetez in the Balanchine.

Moore has a second plum ride on another filly, Snow Fairy, in the Sheema Classic. Ed Dunlop's dual English and Irish Oaks winner also claimed the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup and the Hong Kong Cup.

Martin Talty, the Dubai Racing Club's international manager, said he was excited about the fields for Saturday's races.

"It's going to be a very interesting race day because for the first time in Dubai World Cup day history the card has the potential to be dominated by fillies," he said.

sports@thenational.ae