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Dubai World Cup

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Dubai World Cup winner
Dubai World Cup grandstand
Dubai World Cup fashion and hats
Dubai World Cup logo

Dubai World Cup - The World's Richest Horse Race

The Dubai World Cup is one of those big p...., er, social events in Dubai that everyone marks on their calendar as a night of importance, and the next morning, wonders what happened. The event consists of a great deal of jolly gallavanting and cavorting about in a semi-public area. Until 2009 that was in the International Village at the Nad Al Sheba horse racing course but moved to the new Meydan Racecourse for 2010. There are also some horses that run around in circles and win a few dirhams for their owners, but no one pays much attention to that. Think of a more civilised version of the Dubai Rugby 7s with posh clothes and hats, and you'll get the idea. Unfortunately, the mud and rain still accompanies the Dubai World Cup more frequently than it should but everyone still has good fun.

The DWC is hosted by several horse racing clubs in the UAE - the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Dubai Racing Club, Jebel Ali Racecourse, and the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club. The first year of the Dubai World Cup was 1996, held at Nad Al Sheba racetrack. From 2010, the DWC will be held at the new Meydan Racecourse, under construction from 2008-2009 (and hopefully finished before the 2010 DWC starts).

Horse racing and betting go together like fish and chips, and for those punters living outside the UAE, your fish won't be chipless, so to speak. However, as gambling is forbidden in the UAE, punters drink more instead. Bad luck if you think you're going to bet online - the TRA (Telecom Regulatory Authority) restricts access to gambling websites. Nonetheless, the local newspapers will still tell you the odds from overseas betting agencies.

Godolphin Seven Stars

Godolphin (Sheikh Mohammed's racing stable) offer the Godolphin Seven Stars competition. You bet ... ah ... guess which 7 Godolphin horses will perform the best during the March to December horse racing season. The winner for 2006 got US$100,000, a first class flight to Dubai to watch the 2007 Dubai World Cup, and a week in the Burj Al Arab hotel. The winner for 2007 didn't fare quite so well: $50,000, 5 nights at a "luxury hotel" in Dubai, and first class flights. Competition starts in March of each year.

Dubai World Cup Style Stakes

Residents of Dubai get togged up in their poshest kit to go to the Dubai World Cup, and can then enter the Dubai World Cup Style Stakes, a fashion competition with prizes for the Best Hat, the Best Dressed Lady, the Best Dressed Couple, and the Least Badly Dressed Bloke.

Dubai World Cup races (2007 DWC, 2008 DWC, 2009 DWC)
  • Dubai World Cup - sponsored by Emirates Airlines, prize money $6 million (possibly up to $10 million for 2010)
  • Dubai Duty Free - sponsored by Dubai Duty Free, prize money $5 million
  • Dubai Sheema Classic - sponsored by Nakheel, prize money $5 million
  • Dubai Golden Shaheen - sponsored by Gulf News, prize money $2 million
  • UAE Derby - sponsored by Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group, prize money $2 million
  • Godolphin Mile - sponsored by Etisalat, prize money $1 million
  • Dubai Kahayla Classic for Purebred Arabians - sponsored by Emaar, prize money $250,000
  • $21.25 million (AED 78 million) total prize money, $6 million (AED 22m) for the DWC with $3.6m for the winner.
Dubai World Cup background

The Dubai World Cup is an annual Thoroughbred horse race held at the Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in Dubai. HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai initiated the first Dubai World Cup in 1996. Prize money was upped to $6 million in 2004. The Emirates Racing Authority (ERA) is the governing body for all horse racing in the UAE. Chairman of the ERA is HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Presidential Affairs.

  • Dubai World Cup distance is 2,000 meters (10 furlongs)
  • Track is dirt, left-handed
  • Age: northern hemisphere 4+ year-olds, southern hemisphere 3+ year-olds
  • Weight: SH 3yo 54.5kg, NH & SH 4yo+ 57kg
Dubai World Cup winners

Information in italics not confirmed, or incomplete.

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer Owner Time
2013 Quick Wit       Godolphin  
2012 Simon De Montfort       Godolphin  
2011 Steele Tango       Godolphin  
2010 Gloria De Campeao 6 Tiago Pereira Pascal Bary Stud Estrela Energia 2:03.83
2009 Well Armed 6 Aaron Gryder Eoin Harty WinStar Farm 2:01.01
2008 Curlin 4 Robby Albarado Steve Asmussen Stonestreet / Midnight Cry 2:00:15
2007 Invasor 5 Fernando Jara Kiaran McLaughlin Shadwell Stable 1:59:97
2006 Electrocutionist 5 Frankie Dettori Saeed bin Suroor Godolphin Racing 2:01.32
2005 Roses in May 5 John Velazquez Dale L Romans K & S Ramsey 2:02.17
2004 Pleasantly Perfect 6 Alex Solis Richard Mandella Diamond A Racing Corp 2:00.24
2003 Moon Ballad 4 Frankie Dettori Saeed bin Suroor Godolphin Racing 2:00.48
2002 Street Cry 4 Jerry Bailey Saeed bin Suroor Godolphin Racing 2:01.18
2001 Captain Steve 4 Jerry Bailey Bob Baffert Michael E Pegram 2:00.40
2000 Dubai Millennium 4 Frankie Dettori Saeed bin Suroor Godolphin Racing 1:59.50
1999 Almutawakel 4 Richard Hills Saeed bin Suroor Hamdan Al Maktoum 2:00.65
1998 Silver Charm 4 Gary Stevens Bob Baffert Bob & Beverly Lewis 2:04.29
1997 Singspiel 5 Jerry Bailey Michael Stoute Sheikh Mohammed 2:01.91
1996 Cigar 6 Jerry Bailey William I Mott Allen E Paulson 2:03.84
Dubai World Cup 2014 date Saturday 29 March 2014
  • Dubai World Cup Carnival starts Thursday 09 January 2014 with a total of 11 race meetings and $37 million in prize money.
  • Super Saturday on 08 March 2014.
  • Dubai World Cup date is Saturday 29 March 2014 and the last day of the DWC Carnival season 2014, total US$27 million prize money on DWC day.
Race days for the Dubai World Cup Carnival season 2014

Start time for races is 1830 except for Super Saturday and DWC day when races start at 1630.

  1. 09 Jan 2014, Thu - first day.
  2. 16 Jan 2014, Thu
  3. 23 Jan 2014, Thu
  4. 30 Jan 2014, Thu
  5. 06 Feb 2014, Thu
  6. 13 Feb 2014, Thu
  7. 20 Feb 2014, Thu
  8. 27 Feb 2014, Thu
  9. 01 Mar 2014, Sat
  10. 08 Mar 2014, Sat - Super Saturday
  11. 29 Mar 2014, Sat - Dubai World Cup day, end date of 2014 season.

Meydan Race Days (Racing at Meydan) are held on the following dates, with races start time at 1830 on all dates.

  1. 07 Nov 2013, Thu
  2. 21 Nov 2013, Thu
  3. 05 Dec 2013, Thu
  4. 19 Dec 2013, Thu
  5. 02 Jan 2014, Thu
  6. 18 Jan 2014, Sat
  7. 01 Feb 2014, Sat
  8. 15 Feb 2014, Sat
  9. 13 Mar 2014, Thu
Dubai World Cup day race schedule (some changes)
  • Dubai Gold Cup - 3,200 meters, upgraded from Group 3 to Group 2, prize money US$1 million.
  • Dubai Golden Shaheen - Group 1, prize money US$2m.
  • Dubai Duty Free - on the turf track, Group 1, prize money US$5m.
  • Dubai Sheema Classic - on the turf track, Group 1, prize money US$5m.
  • Dubai World Cup - Group 1, prize money US$10m.
Other race changes for 2014
  • Meydan Sprint - 1,000m on the turf track, prize money US$175,000, moved from a listed race to Group 3, held on Super Saturday.
  • Singspiel Stakes - 1800m on the turf track, prize money increased to US$150,000, held on first day of the DWC Carnival, 09 Jan 2014.
  • Al Rashidiya - 1800m, Group 2, prize money US$200,000, held on Thursday 30 January 2014.
  • The Dubai Stakes - 1200m on the all-weather track, prize money increased to US$150,000, held on Thursday 16 January 2014.
  • Al Shindagha Sprint - Group 3, prize money US$200,000.
  • Dubai Millennium - 2,000m on the turf track, listed race, prize money US$200,000, held on Thursday 20 February 2014.
  • Al Fahidi Fort - on the turf track, distance reduced from 1600m to 1400m, held on Thursday 23 January 2014.
  • Meydan Classic - distance reduced from 1600m to 1400m, prize money US$125,000, held on Thursday 27 February 2014.
  • Zabeel Mile - held on Thu 27 Feb 2014?
18th Dubai World Cup 2013
17th Dubai World Cup 2012
16th Dubai World Cup 2011
15th Dubai World Cup 2010 - Saturday 27 March 2010
  • The 15th DWC held at Meydan racecourse with an official opening ceremony for the new track (although races had been run on it since January 2010).
  • Prize money $10 million, winner was Gloria De Campeao, ridden by T J Pereira (Pareira?), in a photo finish, beating Lizard's Desire (2nd) and Allybar (3rd).
  • Horse's age reported as 5, 6 and 7 years old at the time of the DWC. Not clear which is correct but the race card said 6 years old.
  • After the opening ceremony, Elton John, then Santana, performed concerts for those still left standing, or sitting.
14th Dubai World Cup 2009 - Saturday 28 March 2009
  • Dubai World Cup 2009 - forum topic with information about dates, prices, horses, etc. At Nad Al Sheba for the last time, moves to Meydan for 2010.
  • Winner of the Dubai World Cup for 2009 was Well Armed, storming to a 14 length lead in a time of 2:01:01, ridden by Aaron Gryder.
13th Dubai World Cup 2008 - Saturday 29 March 2008

As it turned out, the 2008 Dubai World Cup was memorable for many people in a less than splendid way. The good news was no rain, but that meant the crowds waiting to enter (for several hours due to a shortage of metal detectors) ended up fried rather than drenched. Residents wait with muted enthusiasm for the 2009 Dubai World Cup. There are rumours of some residents who have set up camp for the next 12 months at the venue so they'll be first in line in 2009, or they're just the sensible people who left their cars at home ... still waiting for a taxi to take them home.

In an excellent example of consistency, the free bus service that ferried punters between car parks and stadium entrances was reported to be a complete shambles. Is there any event in Dubai where the organisers have successfully arranged transportation? The CEO of the Dubai Racing Club, Frank Gabriel Jnr, did say sorry apparently, which probably didn't make people feel a whole lot better. Our suggestion for the 2009 Dubai World Cup is to book a helicopter and buy VIP tickets with at least a dozen Vs. Or watch it on TV at the pub.

12th Dubai World Cup 2007 - Saturday 31 March 2007

Winner was Invasor from America, ridden by Fernando Jara. Second place was Premium Tap, another American horse. Third place was Bullish Luck from Hong Kong. Discreet Cat, ridden by Frankie Dettori (L Dettori for Lanfranco Dettori), lucked out this time. Dettori won the 2006 DWC on Electrocutionist, and also won the 2006 UAE Derby on Discreet Cat - Invasor came 4th in that race. Corporate and hospitality dining packages were sold out.

Last update Saturday 23-Nov-2013
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