Dubai World Cup Festival Preview – Horse Racing Betting March 30

Snow can make history in world's richest horse race

Horse Racing Betting

This Saturday sees the culmination of the Dubai Racing Carnival at Meydan, the World Cup itself and four more races with prize money that other big race meetings can only dream about. The Dubai World Cup is worth more than £5.5million and there are two races, the Sheema Classic and the Dubai Turf, worth just short of £3million. The UAE Derby and Golden Shaheen carry a purse of almost £2million making the day the richest in horse racing history and putting the likes of Royal Ascot, the Arc and Breeders’ Cup almost to shame.

North America and Thunder Snow will meet each other for the fifth time in the Dubai World Cup. The latter, trained locally by Saeed bin Suroor, has come out on top on three of the four previous occasions including in the race last year. That victory gave bin Suroor and his patrons Godolphin their eighth win in the world’s most valuable race.

Winners of the Dubai World Cup (With Jockey/Trainer/Owner) at Meydan

2010 Glória de Campeão T. J. Pereira Pascal Bary Stud Estrela Energia
2011 Victoire Pisa Mirco Demuro Katsuhiko Sumii Yoshimi Ichikawa
2012 Monterosso Mickael Barzalona Mahmood al Zarooni Godolphin Racing
2013 Animal Kingdom Joel Rosario Graham Motion Arrowfield Stud & Team Valor
2014 African Story Silvestre de Sousa Saeed bin Suroor Godolphin Racing
2015 Prince Bishop William Buick Saeed bin Suroor Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum
2016 California Chrome Victor Espinoza Art Sherman California Chrome LLC
2017 Arrogate Mike E. Smith Bob Baffert Juddmonte Farms
2018 Thunder Snow Christophe Soumillon Saeed bin Suroor Godolphin


Runners trained in America have won 11 of the 23 previous renewals of the World Cup but North America, despite his name, is actually based with Satish Seemar in the UAE and he clearly didn’t give his true running 12 months ago. He won the first two rounds of the Al Maktoum Challenge at Meydan, beating New Trails in the second of those, and THUNDER SNOW was only third in round three, behind Salem bin Ghadayer’s Cappezzano, who has won all three starts this year. But the Godolphin five-year-old wasn’t given a hard time and it has clearly been the plan all along for him to become the first horse to win this valuable contest more than once. He can reverse Breeders’ Cup form with Gunnevera and beat old rival North America to keep the majority of the prize money in Dubai at the general 7/2.

Dubai World Cup Current Best Odds

Thunder Snow 7/2, North America 4/1, Capezzano 11/2, Seeking The Soul and Yoshida 8/1, Gunnevera 14/1, Audible 20/1, Dolkong, Axelrod, New Trails, K T Brave and Gronkowski 33/1, Pavel 40/1

(Odds correct at 11.00am March 26)

OLD PERSIAN also runs in the blue of Godolphin but he is trained at Newmarket by Charlie Appleby. He came up short on the two occasions he raced at the highest level as a three-year-old but did beat subsequent St Leger winner Kew Gardens in the Great Voltigeur at York last August before failing to stay at Doncaster. He looked better than ever when waring down another Godolphin runner, the race-fit Racing History, on his reappearance in a Group 2 at Meydan earlier this month and should also again beat third Desert Encounter so looks a worthy favourite for the Dubai Sheema at 15/8 with Ladbrokes.

The Dubai Turf has been a happy hunting ground for Japanese raiders at Meydan, with their representatives winning three of the last five renewals courtesy of Just A Way, Real Steel and Vivlos. ALMOND EYE is already a very warm order in the Dubai Turf for Sakae Kunieda at a best 11/8. She won the Japanese 1000 Guineas and Oaks as well at the Japan Cup as a three-year-old. The filly will love the fast going at Meydan and she can prove too strong for Godolphin’s Dream Castle (4/1 with William Hill). There may be worse each-way options than Simon Crisford’s Century Dream at a general 25/1.

Unsurprisingly, American Dirt specialist thrive in the Golden Shaheen and there is a good chance that the Stars And Stripes will be raised again after this year’s race.

Roy H was a very hot favourite last year but blew the start and could only manage third behind the 2017 winner Mind Your Biscuits, a length behind runner-up XY Jet who reopposes again and is a best 13/2 with William Hill as he strives to go on better. Roy H won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs in November but it was IMPERIAL HINT that messed up that day as he refused to settle and couldn’t quicken in the closing stages. Luis Carvajal Jr has no qualms about taking on the winner again and his consistent six-year-old is an each-way bet to nothing at the general 5/1.