Dubai Racing Club has released the list of horses accepted for the 10-meeting 2020 Dubai World Cup Carnival, which runs for nine consecutive Thursdays (Jan. 2-Feb. 27) before culminating with Super Saturday (March 7), the official dress rehearsal for the historic 25th edition of the world-leading $35 million Dubai World Cup card on March 28. The 2019 renewal of Super Saturday produced three of the nine Dubai World Cup night winners.
The list features 237 accepted horses conditioned by a total of 76 trainers and from 16 countries. In 2019, the DWC Carnival saw horses from Australia, Bahrain, Denmark, France, Ireland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, UAE, UK and USA win or place in its races—all of those nations return with representatives in 2020.
A total of 61 Thoroughbred races and 4 Group Purebred Arabian affairs are up for grabs, with several international stars set to travel to Dubai to compete for the record $12.74 million in prize money. Leading the lineup are three-time Australian Group 1-winning sprinters Sunlightand Nature Strip, England's Coronation Cup (G1) victor Defoe, Saudi-owned Chilean Triple Crown champion Cariblanco, Norwegian luminary Square de Luynes, Breeders' Cup-placed South Korean superstar Blue Chipper, top-class French filly Edisa and American G1 winner and dual Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) fourth Pavel (one of 17 accepted horses from the barn of California-based Doug O'Neill).
Global G1 winners Zabeel Prince, Loving Gaby, Suedois and Desert Encounter, as well as G1-placed Prince of Arran, Vital Silver, Quip, Life Less Ordinary, Stormy Antarctic and Faatinah, bring elite form. Proven types Mister Sea Wolf, Spinning Memories and Spanish Mission, as well as returning classic winners Silva and Gold Town, flesh out a classy, complex and encompassing list.
CHANGES TO PROGRAMME: The $350,000 Dubai City of Gold (Group 2) over 2410m, which has produced three of the past four $6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) winners, will receive a $50,000 increase in purse. This raises the seven-race Super Saturday card to $2.7 million in total prize money.
The $175,000 Curlin Stakes (Listed) receives a boost in purse. The 2000m contest has been won by two Dubai World Cup winners—California Chrome and its namesake—while also producing multiple starters in the Meydan centrepiece. Last year, South Korea's Dolkong used the race as a springboard to the big event.
The $250,000 Singspiel Stakes (Group 2), won the last two seasons by subsequent G1 winners, receives an increase in purse and upgrade in status.
Six $175,000 turf handicaps have been upgraded to Listed status and each complement a natural flow of divisional races within the DWC Carnival:
The Dubai Racing Club Classic (Listed) will be contested over 2410m on opening night (Jan. 2) and will naturally lead into the aforementioned Dubai City of Gold. On the same evening, the 1400m Meydan Challenge (Listed) naturally leads to the $250,000 Al Fahidi Fort (G2)—a race won by Dubai World Cup night winners Jungle Cat, Gladiatorus and Ipi Tombe—three weeks later.
The 2000m Zabeel Turf (Listed) on Jan. 16 will feed fluidly into the $200,000 Dubai Millennium (G3) on Feb. 20, while the 1000m Dubai Dash (Listed) is a prep for the $250,000 Meydan Sprint (G2) on Feb. 20—a race European champion sprinter Blue Point contested the past two seasons.
Turf sprinters looking for an extra furlong have an option two weeks later on Feb. 6, the Dubai Sprint (Listed) over 1200m, which preps for Super Saturday's $350,000 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint (G3)—a race that has produced the past two winners of the $2 million Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments (G1).
Lastly, the Meydan Cup (Listed) on Jan. 30 over the marathon 2810m distance will be a launching point for stayers looking to contest the $300,000 Nad Al Sheba Trophy (G3) on Feb. 27 and ultimately the 3200m $1.5 million Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (G2). The aforementioned Prince of Arran contested the Meydan Cup (EGA Al Taweelah Trophy Handicap) before going on to contest the Dubai Gold Cup and place in the 2018 and 2019 editions of the Melbourne Cup (G1).
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