Top U.S. Runners Highlight Dubai World Cup Noms

Top U.S. Runners Highlight Dubai World Cup Noms

Recent Pegasus World Cup (G1) winner National Treasure  and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) hero White Abarrio  were among the 1,423 nominations received for the $30.5 million Dubai World Cup card March 30.

In total, 868 horses from 19 countries have been nominated across the nine races at Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse. Two hundred of the entries have come from Japan, including 2023 UAE Derby (G2) winner Derma Sotogake , a contender for the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1).

There were 150 nominations from the United States, led by Dubai World Cup hopefuls National Treasure and White Abarrio, who is scheduled to start next in the Feb. 24 Saudi Cup (G1). Other U.S. horses in the 1 1/4-mile World Cup include Pennsylvania Derby (G1) winner Saudi Crown , recent San Pasqual Stakes (G2) winner Newgrange , as well as Pegasus World Cup second- and third-place finishers Senor Buscador  and Crupi . The North American contingent will face strong overseas rivals in last year’s Dubai World Cup titleholder, Japan’s Ushba Tesoro , and Dubai-based Kabirkhan, victorious Jan. 26 in Meydan’s local prep, the Maktoum Challenge (G1).

Defending Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) victor Sibelius  is the leading U.S. contender in the $2 million sprint. He’ll again have to defeat Dubai local Switzerland , the 2022 Shaheen winner and a narrow runner-up in last year’s edition. Bob Baffert-trained Speed Boat Beach , a 1 1/2-length winner of the Malibu Stakes (G1) Dec. 26, has also been nominated to the 1,200-meter Shaheen. Multiple grade 1 winner Casa Creed  from the Bill Mott barn was included in the nominations list for the Shaheen but will most likely point to the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint (G1T), where he is also nominated. He was fifth in the 2022 edition.

Although there are few U.S. horses nominated for the $6 million Dubai Sheema Classic (G1T), rated one of the top five races in the world in 2023, the 1 1/2-mile race drew a highly competitive international field. The standout nominations include Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1T) winner Auguste Rodin  from team Coolmore, star Japanese filly Liberty Island, and 2022 Sheema Classic winner Shahryar .

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The $5 million Dubai Turf (G1T) also drew few U.S. nominations but again promises to be a stellar contest. The 8-year-old Lord North  aims to win the 1,800-meter turf event for an unprecedented fourth consecutive year. The gelding faces Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1T) hero Master Of the Seas , who could give Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby his first victory in the Dubai Turf. Others nominated include top Asian contenders Arima Kinen (G1) winner Do Deuce from Japan and Hong Kong’s recent Stewards’ Cup (G1) victor, Voyage Bubble.

The full list of entries can be viewed online.

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