In addition to the races going on locally and even stateside, Saturday is the culmination of the Carnival in Dubai. A full card of seven-figure stakes races is set to go on Saturday, including the richest race in the world: the Dubai World Cup.
The main-track races at Meydan have been run on Tapeta since the course opened in 2010, but that track has been replaced with a new dirt track. With the change in surface, Dubai’s big day has sparked more excitement among stateside racing fans — and connections of horses here, who have been a bit more apt to send their horses across the ocean to test their mettle on the new surface.
At Picks and Ponderings, I dive into three of the stakes on the Dubai World Cup card: the Dubai World Cup, the Sheema Classic, and the United Arab Emirates Derby. The Dubai World Cup features two of the top American handicap horses, California Chrome and Lea, facing a cast of characters that includes defending champion African Story. In the Sheema Classic, Main Sequence attempts to run his record with trainer Graham Motion to a perfect six-for-six, and show that he can take his form abroad. In the UAE Derby, Mubtaahij, Maftool, and Sir Fever finally get to have their battle royal — and lone American representative My Johnny Be Good will see if going half a world away will help him rebound from a disappointing outing in the Tampa Bay Derby (GII).