A Brief encapsulation of the glorious past and present of Dubai World Cup.
The Dubai World Cup started its journey with a concept race that would apprehend the attention of the equestrian world and lure the best horsemen on the planet to compete in the Middle East for the richest single purse in horse racing history – a prize of $ 6 million and the honor of the title of champion of the world. As a huge fan of flat racing His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had visited every racecourse in the world and wanted to give something back to the sport and organized a grand horse race in the year 1996.
First held almost 23 years ago and exhibiting the horseracing scene of the UAE on a global scale, the Dubai World Cup found a lot of success right from its inception. Now, the world’s richest horse racing cup moves forth with one of the grandest purses in professional sports. The cup hosts several different races in its recently iterated format, which include 8 thoroughbred contests and 1 Purebred Arabian contest.
The race, which ran in the Nad Al Sheba Racecourse from its inception till 2009, is now contested at the Meydan Racecourse in the Emirate of Dubai, UAE. The race is operated through the Emirates Racing Authority (ERA) whose Chairman is Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs of the United Arab Emirates.
The race maintains its elite standing in the world of horseracing by establishing strict rules for the participation of the horses. Specific standards have been placed regarding the horse’s age and weight according to the horse’s breed.
This year, the cup regained its place as the world’s richest race by distributing 12 million dollars as the purse for the 24th running of Group 1 and a total of 35 million for the entire card.
Last year’s winner Thunder Snow and his jockey Christopher Soumillon made history by winning the race two years successively. The Irish Thoroughbred also holds the record of the fastest recorded time on a 2,000m long dirt track with 2:01.38. Saeed bin Suroor, the horse’s trainer, also made his own record by serving as the trainer for the winning horse 9 times since 1999.
The contest will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year and promises to deliver an even grander horse racing exhibition.