DEFENDING champion, Monterosso heads a star-studded list of nominations for the US$10m Dubai World Cup on March 30, which also includes Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom, Pacific Classic star, Dullahan and South African supermare, Igugu.
The 18th running of the world’s richest race has attracted 272 nominees, from 11 countries at closing of the free nominations. Among them are 184 from the UAE, 27 from the US, 18 from South Africa, 11 from Japan, seven from Great Britain, four from Hong Kong and two from Singapore.
From the US is the Eclipse Award-winning Breeder’s Cup Ladies’ Classic and Beldame Invitational heroine, Royal Delta.
The Dale Romans-trained duo, Dullahan and 2012 Breeder’s Cup Classic victor, Little Mike have also been nominated and are expected to have runs on the March 9 Super Saturday card en route to Dubai World Cup day. Like many Dubai World Cup nominated horses, both also hold nominations for the Dubai Duty Free, sponsored by Dubai Duty Free and the Dubai Sheema Classic, presented by Longines.
Following on from the memorable victory of Victoire Pisa in 2011, there is strong Japanese representation in the Dubai World Cup day nominations, headed by four-time Grade 1 winner, Gentildonna in the Dubai Sheema Classic and high-class sprinter, Lord Kanaloa, who holds a nomination for the Dubai Golden Shaheen, the third leg of the 2013 Global Sprint Challenge.
Master Of Hounds, winnig at Meydan in 2012. (Andrew Watkins).
Igugu, Mike de Kock’s highly-anticipated champion mare is one of 18 Dubai World Cup nominations from the South African. She has also been nominated for the two Group 1 US$5m turf races, the Dubai Duty Free, which has attracted 304 nominations and the Dubai Sheema Classic, which has 266 nominations, including 2011 Melbourne Cup and 2012 Caulfield Cup winner, Dunaden.
Also in the Dubai World Cup running from the South African’s stable are a number of Ballydoyle graduates including 2012 Jebel Hatta winner and Dubai World Cup eighth, Masterofhounds, Juddmonte International third, Await The Dawn, Group 2 winner, David Livingston and 2011 Irish Derby and US Secretariat Stakes winner, Treasure Beach and 2012 UAE Derby winner Daddy Long Legs.
Hero of Argentina’s 2012 Premio Classico General Belgrano and the Breeder’s Cup Marathon, Calidoscopio, trained by Guillermo Frenkel, holds nominations for the Dubai World Cup and the Dubai Gold Cup, sponsored by Al Tayer Motors. Indian filly, In the Spotlight has also been handed a Dubai Gold Cup nomination.
A number of familiar names have once again been nominated to the nine-race card which represents the most valuable day of horseracing in the world.
Dubai World Cup Carnival star, Barbecue Eddie, trained by Doug Watson, who has now won four on the bounce, has been nominated to the Godolphin Mile, sponsored by Etisalat, a race that he had to be withdrawn from in 2012 after suffering a fever in the preceding days.
“In 2002 we had 87 horses nominated for the Dubai World Cup at the free nominations stage, this year we have 272,” said Martin Talty, International Manager, Dubai Racing Club. “The nominations shouldn’t be used as an assessment of the quality of the ultimate field, but the large increases over the years do serve to demonstrate the status that this flagship race, and indeed all the races on the Dubai World Cup day, has attained all over the world.
“A total of 23 countries are represented in these nominations for our programme of six Group 1 races, two Group 2s and one Group 3 outing worth a combined $27,25m in prize money. I look forward to following the progress of all the nominated horses as we draw nearer to the big day on March 30.”