19 April 2024

Racing Excitement in Dubai and Saudi Arabia

Gulf countries, which made good use of the end-of-season stagnation in the West, continue to be the focus of attention of horse racing world with the races they organize with high purses.

Racing Excitement in Dubai and Saudi Arabia

Dubai was the emirate that took the first steps under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammed and his brother Sheikh Hamdan. They have been holding the Dubai World Cup Meeting since 1996 and a long-running carnival for 20 years. 3 horses from Turkey are participating in this year’s carnival and their goal is to take part in the Dubai World Cup Meeting to be held on Saturday, March 25.

The 2-day Saudi Cup Meeting will be held for the third time this year. The G1 Saudi Cup, which is the final of the meeting, is the world’s richest race with $20 million in prize money. The races, which will be held on February 24 and 25, dazzle with a total purse of $35,350,000. More than 1,400 participants, 600 of whom were from overseas, applied for the 2023 Saudi Cup Meeting. Horses that have early entries from 22 countries want to be victorious and get a share of the prizes at the King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh on Friday, February 24 and Saturday, February 25.

Carnival in The Desert…

The Dubai World Cup Carnival (DWCC), consisting of 9 race days, started on Friday, January 6 at the Meydan Racecourse. Turkish horses running in the first day’s program were: last year’s champion 2-year-old Cosmic Kid (Lemon Drop Kid-Sanima/Galileo) and Final Dance (Declaration of War-Finnie Mac Cool/Giant’s Causeway), another name that finished the season at the top, could not deliver what was expected. Cosmic Kid could not keep his pace at the level he needed at the end of the 1400-meter race after setting the pace. The dirt and the 1600-meter distance of the race did not seem suitable for Final Dance. Handicapper reduced the dirt track rating of Final Dance from 105 to 100 after this performance.

The opening of the carnival took place with the G1 Al Maktoum Challenge R1 of purebred Arabian horses. Last year’s G1 Dubai Kahayla Classic winner Rb Rich Lyke Me (Majd Al Arab-Rich Frynd/TH Richie) won the 1600-meter dirt contest with a record time of 1:44.72. Another record came from Al Suhail (Dubawi-Shirocco Star/Schirocco) with 1:21.59 in the 1400-meter G2 turf contest.

Aegean Finale (Not This Time-Final Sense/Street Sense) ran on the 2nd day in the carnival and finished 2nd, ¾ length behind. He became our first horse to score a great result after a long time. Running on the second day of the carnival, Aegean Finale (Not This Time-Final Sense/Street Sense) came in second by ¾ lengths and became our first horse to score in Dubai after a long break. We can say that the handicapper’s boosting our thoroughbred’s rating by 2 points is also a morale booster, but Aegean Finale should get good results in much higher-level fights…

41 G1 Winners From 22 Countries Have Early Entries for The Saudi Cup

The two-day meeting includes five G3 races, the world’s richest race, the $20-million G1 Saudi Cup, as well as the newly (this year) upgraded G1 Obaiya Arabian Classic and the G2 Al Mneefah Cup for purebred Arabians.

Emblem Road (Quality Road-Venturini/Bernardini), winner of the 2022 Saudi Cup, is poised to defend his title with a second victory. If that happens, it would make Emblem Road the highest-earning thoroughbred in history with $20,2 million, ahead of the Australian Winx with $18,3 million.

Frankie Dettori is among the first group of superstar jockeys to be confirmed to take part in the Jockey Challenge, which will feature two teams of men and women on Friday, February 24. Dettori; “In my final year as a jockey I want to go to as many places as possible and being able to compete in the IJC at The Saudi Cup is a huge event that I’m delighted to be a part of. This will be one of my final chances to share a weighing room with some of the world’s greatest jockeys, and I look forward to seeing who else I’m going to come up against.” he said. Last year’s winners Caitlin Jones and Joao Moreira have also been confirmed to participate in the competition.

Reşat Köstem


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