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World Cup attracts 271 nominees

Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor holds the record with five Dubai World Cup wins. (FILE)

By Allaam Ousman

The Dubai World Cup has attracted an impressive roster of 271 nominations representing 12 countries, according to the Dubai Racing Club.

The list of nominees for the Group 1 2,000m all-weather contest $10 million Group 1 Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline comprises an international cast of some of racing’s current and rising stars, and features a number of trainers who have previously won the world’s richest race.

This will be the 17th renewal of the world's richest horse race which takes place in Meydan on Saturday, March 31, as part of the overall nine-race programme which carries total prize money of $27.25 million.

Eight of the 11 trainers to have won the Dubai World Cup are represented by nominees.

Godolphin's Emirati trainer Saeed bin Suroor, who holds the record with five Dubai World Cup wins, has six nominees.

In fact Godolphin looks set to have a strong hand on Dubai World Cup night including 22 for the feature contest.

Entries from Dubai for the 10-furlong Group One on Tapeta include the Mahmood Al Zarooni-trained quartet of Blue Bunting, French Navy, Dubai Prince and Casamento.

The same four horses also hold entries in the $5-million Dubai Sheema Classic and the 27 possible Godolphin contenders for the Group One contest, run over a mile and a half on turf, also feature Cavalryman, Campanologist and Holberg from the stable of Saeed bin Suroor.

Mendip and Rio De La Plata are among 43 Godolphin entries for the US$5-million Group One Dubai Duty Free over nine furlongs on turf.

The Peter Snowden-trained Sepoy, a four-time Group One winner in Australia, is one of 12 potential Godolphin runners in the $2-million Group One Dubai Golden Shaheen over six furlongs on Tapeta.

Snowden may also be represented in the $2-million UAE Derby by Helmet, who has won three Group One races in Australia, while the eight Godolphin entries for the extended nine-furlong Group Two on Tapeta also include the Mahmood Al Zarooni-trained pair of Zip Top and Gamilati.

American trainer Bob Baffert has nine horses eligible to the race, led by his Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic runner up Game on Dude.

The remaining Dubai World Cup winning trainers include, Richard Mandella with two nominees, and Bill Mott, Dale Romans, Eoin Harty, Katsuhiko Sumii, last year’s winner, and Kiaran McLaughlin, all with one each.

The all-star list of nominees include three horses that earned Eclipse Awards in the United States: Animal Kingdom, the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, champion three-year-old male; Acclamation, champion older male; and Royal Delta, Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic winner and champion three-year-old filly.

Other notable winners include: Blue Bunting (Britain’s Epsom Oaks), Cirrus des Aigles (Champion Stakes), Shackleford (Preakness Stakes), So You Think (Three Group 1 win in 2011), Ruler on Ice (Belmont Stakes).

There is also a number of 2011 Dubai World Cup programme veterans - River Jetez, (2nd Dubai Duty Free), (Transcend, 2nd Dubai World Cup), Wigmore Hall, (3rd Dubai Duty Free), Gitano Hernando (6th Dubai World Cup – winner of the 2011 Singapore Airlines International Cup) and Master of Hounds (2nd UAE Derby). 

Martin Talty, International Manager of the Dubai Racing Club said: “The Dubai Racing Club and the Dubai World Cup are committed to the era of international racing. Evident from the increased number of entries we received, it is clear that the world’s owners and trainers appreciate our international season and events. Meydan is the proud home of the Dubai World Cup racemeeting and Dubai World Cup Carnival, where truly some of the most international racemeetings in the world take place.”