Dubai upgrades races

THE Meydan Group is pleased to announce that three races in the 2018 Dubai World Cup Carnival (DWCC) programme have been upgraded, adding thunder to an already exceptional international racing calendar at Meydan Racecourse.

The DWCC gets underway on Thursday 11 January 2018 and features 10 meetings prior to the season finale, Dubai World Cup Day, on 31 March.

Among the three races that have been upgraded is the 1800m Singspiel Stakes run over the same distance as the Dubai Turf on World Cup Day, which was won in 2017 by the Mike de Kock-trained Light The Lights under Christopher Soumillon and has gone from being a Listed race to a Group 3 contest.

The promotion of the Singspiel Stakes to Group 3 means the opening night of the 2018 Carnival programme features two Group races, the other being the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge R1.

The 1200m Dubawi Stakes also moves up from Listed to Group 3 status. It was won in 2017 by veteran star Reynaldothewizard, who entered the record books with his third consecutive win of the race.

The Dubawi Stakes is a build-up race for this trip, along with the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal on Super Saturday, prior to the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen on Dubai World Cup Day.

And, finally, the Group 3 Meydan Sprint, the finale of the 1000m campaign over the season, becomes a Group 2 event, raising the bar for the turf sprinters.

Star sprinter Ertijaal, who won the Meydan Sprint in 2017, concluded his season with a gallant performance in the Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup Day to finish third behind French raider The Right Man.

In other changes, the Meydan Classic, a Listed turf race for three-year-olds, sees an increase in distance from 1400m to 1600m.

In all, the Dubai World Cup Carnival 10-fixture programme consists of 65 total races with a total purse of $10,870,000. The 61 thoroughbred races feature two Group 1, nine Group 2, 10 Group 3 and 4 Listed races, while there are also four Group Purebred Arabian races.

Malih Lahej Al Basti, Vice Chairman, Meydan Group, said: “We are proud of the exceptional quality of entries we receive each year at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, and we are constantly seeking ways to further enhance our offering. With the upgrade of three black-type races this season we believe this will appeal to trainers and owners.

“We look forward to the fabulous spectacle at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, when a number of the world’s best horses compete for some of the highest prize money in the business on Meydan’s world stage.”

Dubai World Cup Carnival stable applications close this season on Saturday 11 November. The Meydan-developed Dubai World Cup Carnival online horse nominations process launched in 2016 will be continued into the 2018 season. –