Dubai World Cup Live, touted as the richest horse race in the world, holds its 2018 edition on March 31 (Saturday) at the Meydan Race Course in Dubai. Fashion, speed, style and true Dubai-style extravagance is what you can expect at the event. The prize money this year is worth more than $10 million.
A total of 118 horses will take to the track on Saturday attempting to win part of the Dubai World Cup prize pool. Each horse will participate in one of nine races scheduled to take place, including eight thoroughbred races and one purebred-Arabian race Dubai World Cup Live.
Bob Baffert’s West Coast, last year’s champion three-year-old male, tops a field of 10 set for Saturday’s $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) at Meydan. There were no surprises at Monday’s declaration stage, with all of the expected participants standing their ground. Post positions for the about 1 1/4-mile test will be drawn Wednesday Dubai World Cup Live.
The World Cup has a pronounced Breeders’ Cup flavor. Four of the contenders competed in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) – third-placer West Coast; Gunnevera, who dead-heated with Arrogate for fifth; and the respective eighth and 10th, Mubtaahij and Pavel. And two reigning Breeders’ Cup winners are venturing outside of their own divisions – Distaff (G1) champion Forever Unbridled tries males for the first time in her career finale, and Turf (G1) star Talismanic tries his luck on the dirt Dubai World Cup Live.
Rounding out the Carnival performers is the mare Furia Cruzada, the former Chilean champion who has competed ably versus males on this circuit. The winner of last year’s Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (over subsequent Godolphin Mile [G2] upsetter Second Summer), Furia Cruzada has finished third in the past two editions of Round 3. That performance didn’t help her in the 2017 World Cup, where she was involved in the bumoing match with Arrogate at the start, and she was a tailed-off 13 of 14. But trainer Erwan Charpy avers that her build-up this campaign has gone much better than a year ago, so Furia Cruzada may do herself justice on Saturday Dubai World Cup Live.
Forever Unbridled figures to have a better time than the only other Breeders’ Cup Distaff heroine to try the World Cup, Royal Delta, who was unhappy here in 2012-3 during Meydan’s synthetic era. Had Royal Delta’s career coincided with a World Cup on dirt, we may have already seen a female winner. While untested against males, Forever Unbridled boasts superb form through two surefire Hall of Famers. The Dallas Stewart trainee was a closing third to Beholder and Songbird in their 2016 Distaff showdown, and she famously turned the tables on Songbird in last summer’s Personal Ensign (G1). Since Forever Unbridled looks stronger the farther she goes over 1 1/8 miles, she’s entitled to relish her chance at this distance with her new rider, Hall of Famer Mike Smith. The Charles Fipke homebred has a date with Medaglia d’Oro, the 2004 World Cup runner-up, when she returns home Dubai World Cup Live.
The other World Cup alum to return is Japan’s Awardee, a creditable fifth behind Arrogate in 2017. Lani’s half-brother was arguably in better form back then, when his six-race winning spree was snapped with a near-miss in the Champions Cup (G1), and he exited a second in the Tokyo Daishoten (G1). Fast forward 12 months, and Awardee’s best results in the interim are a pair of thirds. His recent ninth in the February S. (G1) is excusable, given the metric mile is too sharp for him and he didn’t have the clearest of stretch runs. Still, it’s difficult to make a case for him to improve on last year’s World Cup effort Dubai World Cup Live.