Hot on the heels of the Cheltenham Festival in March, there’s another fabulous horse racing event which is gathering momentum each year on the international equestrian scene. The Dubai World cup increasingly attracts interest from around the globe, as illustrious trainers and wealthy owners aim to test their most promising thoroughbreds.
The headline race has also become synonymous with one of the biggest purses in racing, adding an extra incentive for participants. The 2022 running of the Dubai World Cup will boast a prize fund totalling $12 million USD, with the winner expected to receive around $7.2 million for being first past the post.
Scheduled to be held this year on Saturday 26 March 2022, the Dubai World Cup is a flat race held on a left-handed dirt course over 2,000 metres, which is roughly 10 furlongs. The race itself is open to four-year-old horses and upwards from the Northern Hemisphere, and those from the Southern Hemisphere aged three and over.
Held annually since the inaugural running in 1996, the Dubai World Cup has put the United Arab Emirates firmly on the world racing map, largely thanks to being run at the spectacular Meydan Racecourse. The name of the venue itself in Arabic translates as being a meeting place, where people can congregate and compete, ideally suiting this extravaganza managed and organised by the Dubai Racing Club.
The Dubai World Cup was originally created by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, along with being the ruler of Dubai, Coincidentally, his Godolphin stable is one of the most famed and successful in the thoroughbred racing arena, and one of the most profitable at this Group 1 flat race.
Indeed, the Maktoum family has produced 13 of the 22 historic winners at the Dubai World Cup, 9 of which have been trained through the Godolphin stable, along with producing the last three winners of this event. Other winning horses have been foaled from practically every corner of the globe, including the UK and Ireland, Argentina and Brazil, United States, Australia, and even Japan.
Nevertheless, the very first winner of the Dubai World Cup in 1996 was American thoroughbred Cigar, fondly remembered as a truly remarkable horse boasting an exceptional record. Indeed, Cigar was the American Horse of the Year in both 1995 and 1996, becoming the leading money earner in racing history. He also won prestigious events including the 1995 Breeders’ Cup Classic, held that year at the Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Canada.
Underlining their focus on the Dubai World Cup each year, the Godolphin stable has triumphed at each of the last three events, including back-to-back wins in 2018 and 2019 for Thunder Snow, featuring jockey Christophe Soumillon in the saddle. Although the 2020 running was cancelled due to the global pandemic, Godolphin celebrated their third consecutive win in 2021, thanks to an impressive run by Mystic Guide, ridden to victory by Luis Saez.
Inevitably, the excitement is already building for the 2022 running of the Dubai World Cup, especially given that Mystic Guide will aim to defend his 2021 title, once again with Luis Saez in the saddle. However, having not raced since July 2021, he is not amongst the favourites this year, instead being regarded as one of the outsiders at lengthier odds.
Considered to be the early favourite and attracting the most backing so far, Life Is Good is the American thoroughbred hotly tipped for success at the Dubai World Cup this year. Trained by Todd Pletcher, this magnificent horse hails from the same team who will also be running Hot Rod Charlie, who is also tipped as a potential winner.
For the definitive guide to horse racing betting sites, SBO has comprehensive reviews covering all the leading online bookmakers, including information surrounding the latest markets available for the Dubai World Cup. This guide also focuses on where to find the best odds and promotions, plus a closer look at which sites boast the tightest security and safest methods for all transactions.
Given the competitive and numerous entries this year, the 2022 Dubai World Cup will certainly make for a thrilling event, filled with glitz and glamour at the iconic Meydan Racecourse. As always, there’s also the possibility of surprises, as favourites falter and outsiders make the most of their opportunities. Whichever horses you decide to back, good luck and enjoy this unique and spectacular event.