THE Dubai World Cup Carnival begins its 16-day meet on January 5 at Meydan Racecourse and culminates on March 31 with the 17th edition of the $10-million Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1).
The World Cup card, the world’s richest day of racing, will surpass its own record in terms of purses in 2012. Meydan officials have added the newly named Dubai Gold Cup (UAE-G3) to the program, a move that will increase the race card to nine events, anchored by the World Cup, for combined purses of $27,250,000.
The $1-million Dubai Gold Cup is a 3,200-meter (15.91-furlong) turf race, the addition of which completes the World Cup card’s stakes for all divisions, on all surfaces, from sprinters to stayers. The shifting of the Dubai Gold Cup to World Cup night is the second addition to the card in the past two years as the Al Quoz Sprint joined the lineup in 2010 to become the eighth race. The World Cup card debuted in 1996 with six races.
Previously known as the Dubai International Racing Carnival, which was first held in 2004, the meet will also see Super Thursday moved to the weekend and become Super Saturday. The March 10 card will have an early post time of 4:30 p.m. local time and will conclude the Dubai World Cup Carnival season. Super Saturday is a significant showcase with major preps for the Dubai World Cup card to be held three weeks later.
“As the popularity of the Dubai World Cup and racing at Meydan grows, we must keep in step to encourage and foster the development of the sport,” Meydan Chairman Saeed Humaid Al Tayer said.
“Meydan has developed as a centerpiece of the international racing calendar and the further growth of the Dubai World Cup and Dubai World Cup Carnival will ensure that Dubai serves as a winter destination for some the biggest names in racing. We are pleased with our past accomplishments, but we also look to the future for even greater experiences in racing for Meydan, the Dubai World Cup and the [United Arab Emirates].”
A number of U.S.-based trainers, including Bob Baffert and Graham Motion, have expressed interest sending runners for the international meeting.
The Carnival marks its third year at opulent Meydan, where the grandstand can accommodate 60,000 people, and kicks off with the two-day Meydan Masters International Jockey Challenge Presented by Longines on January 5-6.
The Dubai Racing Club invited 12 of the world’s leading jockeys, many of whom won the world’s most prestigious races in 2011, to participate in the challenge. They will compete in a points-based competition consisting of four races.
Participating in the challenge will be Mickael Barzalona, Maxime Guyon, Christophe Lemaire, William Buick, Ryan Moore, Colm O’Donoghue, Tom Queally, Mirco Demuro, Frankie Dettori, Kenichi Ikezoe, Andrasch Starke, and Craig Williams.
“To have such illustrious names competing in the Meydan Masters further advances horse racing in Dubai on the world’s stage,” Meydan Chief Executive Officer Saeed H. Al-Tayer said.
Points are accumulated based on the riders’ finishes in the race, and the winner is determined by the highest point total secured in those races. Great Britain’s Richard Hills won the inaugural event in 2010 and U.S.-based Calvin Borel won in 2011.
The post time for the first race on January 5 is 6:30 p.m. local time and on January 6, 3 p.m.
The stakes schedule for the 16-day meet follows.
2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival schedule
Thursday, January 5
$125,000 Al Rashidiya Trial
1,800 meters, turf
Meydan Masters International Jockey Challenge-day one
Friday, January 6
$50,000 United Arab Emirates One Thousand Guineas Trial
3yo fillies, 1,400 meters, Tapeta
Meydan Masters International Jockey Challenge-day two
Thursday, January 12
$200,000 Maktoum Challenge Round 1 (UAE-G3)
1,600 meters, Tapeta
$50,000 United Arab Emirates Two Thousand Guineas Trial
3yo, 1,400 meters, Tapeta
Friday, January 12
$200,000 Cape Verde ((UAE-G2)
Fillies and mares, 1,600 meters, turf
Thursday, January 26
$200,000 Al Rashidiya (UAE-G2)
1,800 meters, turf
Friday, February 3
$250,000 United Arab Emirates One Thousand Guineas (Listed)
3yo fillies, 1,600 meters, Tapeta
$200,000 Al Shindagha Sprint (UAE-G3)
1,200 meters, Tapeta
$100,000 Meydan Classic Trial
3yo, 1,400 meters, turf
Thursday, February 9
$250,000 Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (UAE-G2)
1,900 meters, Tapeta
$250,000 United Arab Emirate Two Thousand Guineas (UAE-G3)
Three-year-olds, 1,600 meters, Tapeta
$200,000 Firebreak Stakes (UAE-G3)
1,600 meters, Tapeta
Thursday, February 16
$250,000 Al Fahidi Fort (UAE-G2)
1,600 meters, turf
Friday, February 17
$200,000 Balanchine (UAE-G2)
Fillies and mares, 1,800 meters, turf
Thursday, February 23
$250,000 United Arab Emirates Oaks (UAE-G3), 3yo fillies – 1900m, Tapeta
$150,000 Meydan Classic (Listed) 3yo’s – 1600m, turf
Thursday, March 1
$250,000 Zabeel Mile (UAE-G2) – 1600m, turf
$200,000 Nad al Sheba Trophy (UAE-G3) – 2810m, turf
Super Saturday, March 10
$400,000 Maktoum Challenge. Round 3 (UAE-G1) – 2000m, Tapeta
$300,000 Jebel Hatta (UAE-G1) – 1800m, turf
$250,000 Dubai City of Gold (UAE-G2) – about 2400m, turf
$200,000 Mahab Al Shimaal (UAE-G3) – 1200m, Tapeta
$200,000 Burj Nahaar (UAE-G3) – 1600m, Tapeta
$250,000 Al Bastakiya (Listed) 3yo’s – 1900m, Tapeta
$175,000 Meydan Sprint – 1000m, turf
Dubai World Cup day, March 31
$10,000,000 Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1) – 2000m, Tapeta
$5,000,000 Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-G1) – 2400m, turf
$5,000,000 Dubai Duty Free (UAE-G1) – 1800m, turf
$2,000,000 Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-G1) – 1200m, Tapeta
$2,000,000 United Arab Emirates Derby (UAE-G2) – 1900m, Tapeta
$1,000,000 Godolphin Mile (UAE-G2) – 1600m, Tapeta
$1,000,000 Al Quoz Sprint (UAE-G1) – 1200m, turf
$1,000,000 Dubai Gold Cup (UAE-G3) – 3200m, turf