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Recognized as the thoroughbred “World Championship”, racing at the Nad AI Sheba Racecourse, Dubai, is operated by the Emirates Horse Racing Authority (EHRA). On 27th March 1996, some of the world’s leading thoroughbreds collectively stepped onto newly constructed Nad Al-Sheba racecourse to make a mark in history of the game.
The concept of popularizing horseracing in the Middle East sprouted in the mind of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. To materialize that into reality, horse owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys from the Arab world worked together and set up the Arab presence in International thoroughbred racing. Initiative was taken to revive Arabian tradition of world-class racing and breeding besides drawing attention of millions of enthusiast across the world.
In the inaugural race, there were some brilliant performers from various countries including Australia, Great Britain, South Africa, South East Asia, Japan and North America. Tempted with Arabian hospitality, contenders flown into the city from all corners.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who owns Darley Stud & Godolphin Racing and handles the famous breeding and racing operations, is considered as the mastermind behind this gala occasion in Dubai. This action-packed event is not only a gift to the people of Dubai but virtually to the rest of the world.
Dubai Duty Free and Dubai Sheema Classic are not only chief supporting races but also the richest races run on the turf. Dubai World Cup is a Group 1 flat race on the dirt surface essentially for the Northern Hemisphere Thoroughbred four-year-olds and up and for Southern Hemisphere Thoroughbred three-year-olds and up horses capable of racing 2,000 metres during late March.
There are many reasons behind the increasing popularity of Dubai World Cup – the state-of-the-art racetrack, the burgeoning status of Dubai, first-class tourist destination, global transportation center and wide response from more than fifty thousand horseracing lovers across the globe.