By Muhammad Rafiq
DUBAI: On March 30, 2019, the Dubai World Cup meeting is set to enhance its status as the world’s richest day of horseracing. Total purses for the card, which will feature six Group 1 and three Group 2 fixtures, will increase from US $30 million to $35 million. Its namesake race, the Group 1 Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline, receives a $2 million boost to $12 million and boasts a $7.2 million purse to the winner; the highest first-place prize in global thoroughbred racing.
The Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News receives a $500,000 boost to $2.5 million. At 1200m on dirt, the truly global affair has been won by horses from the United States, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and Singapore among its previous seven victors and becomes the richest dirt sprint in the world.
Enhancing its status as one of the top turf sprints in the world, the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments will see its purse double to $2 million. The 1200m grass dash will now be among the richest in the world of its kind.
While the Group 1 $6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (2400m, turf), Group 1 $6 million Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World (1800m, turf) and Group 1 $1 million Dubai Kahayla Classic (2000m, dirt, Purebred Arabians) all maintain their impressive credentials, the remaining three races—all Group 2 events—will receive $500,000 purse hikes.
The UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group will become the richest dirt “Derby” in the world with a purse of $2.5 million, consequently raising it to be the second-richest race in the world for 3-year-olds on any surface.
In a similar vein, the Godolphin Mile sponsored by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City – District One will increase to $1.5 million, moving it into the second-richest dirt mile in the world.
The Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, which has been won for three consecutive years by French superstar Vazirabad, will now be worth $1.5 million, making the 3200m turf test of stamina one of the richest marathon events in global horseracing.