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Arrogate, officially recognised as the world’s best racehorse of 2016, has been nominated for the Saturday March 25 Dubai World Cup, along with a host of other global stars of racing.
The Bob Baffert-trained four-year-old, who was the runaway winner of the Pegasus World Cup, produced his star performance to date when beating the 2016 Dubai World Cup winner, California Chrome in the Breeders' Cup Classic last year. Arrogate was crowned Longines World’s Best Racehorse at a ceremony in London.
Also nominated to the Group 1 $10m Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline at the free nominations stage, is the Art Sherman-trained Dortmund, winner of the 2015 Santa Anita Derby when trained by previous handler, Baffert.
Hoppertunity, the third-placed runner in the 2016 Dubai World Cup field and winner of the Group 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes at Belmont in the US in October 2016 has also been nominated by Baffert.
Baffert will be bidding for a third Dubai World Cup having tasted victory in 1998 with Silver Charm and 2001 with Captain Steve, whose distinctive orange and yellow colours are also carried by Hoppertunity.
Songbird, the mighty US filly trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, also carries a nomination to the Dubai World Cup. A seven-time Grade 1 winner and unbeaten in 11 starts she was heartbreakingly pipped by a nose into second by Beholder in the Breeders' Cup Distaff in November.
The 2016 Dubai World Cup runner-up, Mubtaahij, now back in the care of South African trainer, Mike de Kock has been nominated once again for the big race. The highly consistent 2015 UAE Derby winner returned to the US for a repeat campaign during the summer, claiming second by a head in the Group 1 Woodward Stakes to Shaman Ghost.
Attempting to achieve a feat that Mubtaahij could not in 2016 is the Mikio Matsunaga-trained Lani, last year’s UAE Derby winner, who, if successful in the Dubai World Cup, will become the first horse to win the UAE Derby and Dubai World Cup in consecutive years.
Four previous de Kock-trained UAE Derby winners have returned the following year for the Dubai World Cup but none have been successful; Victory Moon (3rd in 2004), Asiatic Boy (2nd in 2008), Musir (7th in 2011) and Mubtaahij (2nd in 2016).
Nominated to the Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World field is the Mark Casse-trained race mare, Tepin. The US-based six-time Group/Grade 1 winner traveled to Royal Ascot in the summer to land the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes. She is being campaigned for the $6m Dubai Turf and will return to action in the Grade 3 Endeavor Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in February.
Postponed, the Roger Varian-trained winner of the 2016 Dubai Sheema Classic has been nominated for a defense of his title.
Aidan O’Brien’s all-conquering Ballydoyle has nominated a strong team including Group 1-winning filly, Seventh Heaven for the Dubai Sheema Classic. The globetrotting Highland Reel, winner of the Breeders Cup Turf and runner-up in the Hong Kong Vase in November and December respectively, holds a nomination for both the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic and the Dubai World Cup.
In the sprinting divisions Limato, the Henry Candy trained Group 1 star, Hong Kong’s perennial flag bearer, Peniaphobia and compatriot, Lucky Bubbles have been nominated for the Al Quoz Sprint, which is now held at 1200m. Australian speedballs, Darley Classic victor, Malaguerra and Signs of Blessing, winner of the Group 1 Prix Maurice du Gheest trained by Phil Damato also hold nominations.
The 1200m dirt sprint, the Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News has seen the Chad Summers-trained Mind Your Biscuits, winner of the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes and Baffert’s Defrong the unbeaten 2016 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner from the USA nominated to its ranks. Also in the running are Japanese runner, Nero and Hong Kong based, Dundonnell trained by Caspar Fownes.
Dubai Racing Club received 1,549 nominations for 779 horses from 22 countries for the 2017 Dubai World Cup day. The 2016 renewal of the event received 1,572 nominations from 709 horses from 20 countries at the same stage.
The first supplementary stage for all races on Dubai World Cup day will close on Wednesday February 8, 2017 when connections can nominate their horse for 0.1 per cent of the prize money of their chosen race.
The second supplement is on Monday March 6, 2017 and horses can be supplemented for 1.0 per cent of the prize money. Declarations and the final, third supplementary stage for Dubai World Cup day 2017 take place on Monday March 20, 2017, five days before the event is staged at Meydan Racecourse. At this point horses can be supplemented into the race for 10 per cent of the prize money.
Malih Al Basti, Meydan Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Meydan Racing Committee said: “With 22 countries represented among the 2017 Dubai World Cup nominations we once again look forward to hosting a truly global day of racing on Saturday March 25.
“The Dubai World Cup is not only the world’s richest day of racing but also a day when racing communities from all corners of the globe come together before the eyes of the world on Meydan Racecourse’s purpose-built stage in the spirit of competition.
“We are gratified that our support for international racing in the form of subsidies and prize money continues to attract such a strong response from the world’s biggest names.
“Yet we are just as pleased to welcome to the Dubai World Cup the relative newcomers to the world stage from countries such as South Korea. Our wish, and that of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, when he founded the Dubai World Cup in 1996 was to create a truly global event and it is rewarding to see that vision fulfilled year after year.”
2017 Dubai World Cup Nominations by Numbers:
Total Horses: 779
Total Nominations: 1549
$10m Dubai World Cup, Group 1 2000m (dirt): 168
$6m Dubai Sheema Classic, Group 1, 2410m (turf): 181
$6m Dubai Turf, Group 1 1800m (turf): 248
$2m Dubai Golden Shaheen Group 1 1200m (dirt): 167
$1m Al Quoz Sprint, Group 1, 1200m (turf): 192
$2m UAE Derby, Group 2, 1900m (dirt): 155
$1m Dubai Gold Cup, Group 2, 3200m (turf): 115
$1m Godolphin Mile, Group 2, 1600m (dirt): 264
$1m Dubai Kahayla Classic, Group 1 (PA) 2000m (dirt): 59