Big Stars Twinkle As Entries Taken For Dubai World Cup Meeting

Country Grammer (centre), last year's winner of the G1 Dubai World Cup, looks to return | DRC

Defending G1 Dubai World Cup hero Country Grammer (Tonalist) is one of over 1,600 entries, including 892 individual horses from 21 countries, entered in the $30.5-million Dubai World Cup night card.

The featured event, sponsored by Emirates Airline, attracted 171 entries. Of the 24 Group or Grade 1 winners besides the Zedan Racing-owned and Bob Baffert-trained Country Grammer, is the duo's three-time Grade I winner Taiba (Gun Runner).

Joining them could be a pair of longshot headliners from last year; namely, GI Kentucky Derby champ Rich Strike (Keen Ice) and upset G1 Saudi Cup victor Emblem Road (Quality Road). Japan continues their well-documented rise on the international racing stage, and 2022 G1 Dubai Turf dead-heater Panthalassa (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) holds a Dubai World Cup nomination this time.

As for the rest of the card, the G1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic nominations includes Japanese stars like the 2022 winner Shahryar (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), as well as Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}), the highest-rated 3-year-old in the world last year. Standing in their way is Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby who has entered Rebel's Romance (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), winner of the 2022 GI Breeders' Cup Turf.

Speaking of the Dubai Turf, sponsored by DP World, the other half of the dead heat from last year in Lord North (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) returns, while newcomer Saffron Beach (Ire) (New Bay {GB}) made the list. They could be facing rookie international shipper and reigning Hong Kong Horse of the Year Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro). Meanwhile, the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen could pit the Steve Asmussen trainee Gunite (Gun Runner) against RRR Racing's local hero Switzerland (Speightstown).

Grass sprinting noms in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint, sponsored by Azizi Developments, are led by the well-travelled Artorius (Aus) (Flying Artie {Aus}) who could make the journey from Down Under. Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien's three wins in the G2 UAE Derby make him a logical frontrunner, especially as he has nominated GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Victoria Road (Ire) (Saxon Warrior {Jpn}).

The G2 Dubai Gold Cup, sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, could signal the return of 2021 winner and G1 Gold Cup hero Subjectivist (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}). While the rundown of entries for the G2 Godolphin Mile, sponsored by Nakheel, is marked by defending champion Bathrat Leon (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}), as well as Japanese challengers like Lauda Sion (Jpn) (Real Impact {Jpn}) and Derma Louvre (Jpn) (Pyro), plus Americans hopefuls like Pioneer Of Medina (Pioneerof the Nile) and White Abarrio (Race Day).

“We are delighted by the strength and depth of entries for this year's Dubai World Cup meeting,” said Stephanie Cooley, International Manager for the Club. “To have horses from more than 20 countries considering the trip shows the meeting's continued global appeal.”

Invitations for the meeting are set to go out during February. Click here, for the full list of the nominations.

 

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