SPONSORS REVEALED FOR US$21 MILLION DUBAI WORLD CUP MEETING
Ten of the leading companies have teamed up with the Dubai Racing Club to support the world's richest day of racing on Saturday, March 31, 2007, featuring the US$6,000,000 Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline.
Mr Saeed H Al-Tayer, Chairman of the Dubai Racing Club said: "On behalf of the Dubai Racing Club, I would like to thank all of our Dubai World Cup partners for their invaluable support.
"The success of the Dubai World Cup meeting would not be possible without their most generous patronage and loyalty."
The Group 1 Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline, is the world's richest race and has attracted some true champions since it was first run in 1996 - and this year's renewal promises to hail another.
It is set to be one of the greatest races ever witnessed at the famous Nad Al Sheba track, with Discreet Cat and Invasor - officially ranked the two best horses in the world - likely to run.
But one horse hoping to spoil the party is the former Argentinian star Forty Licks, who has been creating a huge impression in Saudi Arabia, where he is trained by Englishman Ian Jory.
The horse of the year in Argentina, who has only been beaten once in his life, won one of the feature races in Saudi Arabia, the Group 2 Crown Prince Cup, before smashing the track record at Janadriyah last month under rider Mick Kinane.
Jory, who trains in the Kingdom for Prince Sultan bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer, believes his pride and joy can mix it with Godolphin's home hope Discreet Cat, and Invasor, who won the renowned Dubai World Cup trial, the Donn Handicap, in his native America last week.
"He is a serious horse and I think he's as good as those two," said Jory, who trained Best Pal to come second in the 1991 Kentucky Derby.
"He's a big strong horse, who just keeps turning it on. Mick (Kinane) has won three races on him, and is very, very excited about the horse.
"It's a great vote of confidence when you have someone like Mick telling you how good he is, and Mick's in no doubt that he should run in the Dubai World Cup.
"I certainly wouldn't be afraid of taking the big two on. I think we may have most to fear from Invasor, as I am not sure the 2000-metre distance of the Dubai World Cup is going to suit Discreet Cat."
Forty Licks runs in the King's Cup in Saudia next Friday, where he is set to run against another Dubai World Cup hopeful, the American-trained horse Premium Tap.
The US$21.25 million Dubai World Cup card also features the two richest races run on turf, the $5 million Dubai Duty Free, sponsored by Dubai Duty Free, and the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic, sponsored by Nakheel.
The Dubai Duty Free, run over 1,777 metres, has attracted a strong contingent from the Far East, including the Japanese pair Admire Moon and Daiwa Major, and the Hong Kong hope Armada.
The consistent Armada has been in great form this season, having failed by a head to catch The Duke in the Hong Kong Mile, before going one better in the Stewards' Cup at Sha Tin last month.
Trainer John Size has never had a runner outside Hong Kong before, but is "seriously considering" the race.
"I haven't had the right type of horse to take overseas, but Armada is very straightforward and does everything correctly," said Size.
"He has done all we've expected of him this season, and the Dubai Duty Free is certainly an option."
The Dubai Sheema Classic, run over 2400 metres, is likely to feature the English Derby winner Sir Percy, the Breeders' Cup hero Red Rocks, and the Melbourne Cup runner-up Pop Rock, who is trained in Japan.
The other Group 1 showpiece on the illustrious card is the Dubai Golden Shaheen, sponsored by Gulf News, which could see a repeat clash between the first two home in last year's sprint, Proud Tower Too and Thor's Echo.
The Group 2 Godolphin Mile, sponsored for the first time this year by Etisalat, could feature the American challenger Dixie Meister, owned by Gary Tanaka, and the old UAE favourite, Jack Sullivan, trained in Britain by Gerard Butler.
The Group 2 UAE Derby, sponsored by Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Holding, is likely to feature the South African runner Asiatic Boy, and the Brazilian star Imperialista, who both run at Nad Al Sheba this week.
The opening race on the card is the Dubai Kahayla Classic, sponsored by EMAAR Properties, and which regularly attracts the best Purebred Arabians in the world.
The Dubai Racing Club would like to thank all the race sponsors, and also the event sponsors, African + Eastern, BBC World, Land Rover.