Though the desert might seem an unlikely place for top-tier Thoroughbred racing, it is in fact where global racing stars convene each spring to compete for millions of dollars in purses at the Dubai World Cup. Dubai World Cup day is hosted at Meydan Racecourse and headlined by the Dubai World Cup race itself, annually attracting some of the best horses from America and elsewhere.
Find a rundown of this year’s event by the numbers below.
$0 – The total dollars bet at Meydan on the Dubai World Cup last year. Gambling is illegal in Dubai.
1 ¼ miles – The distance of the race.
2:01.38 – The fastest time the race has been completed in on the Meydan dirt. Thunder Snow set the record last year and he’s back to defend his title in 2019.
6 – The number of Dubai World Cup day appearances by Sole Power, who ran in the Al Quoz Sprint each year from 2011 through 2016, including a 2015 win and a 2012 runner-up effort.
6 – The number of Dubai World Cup winners who ran their previous race at Gulfstream Park, including four Donn Handicap runners, a Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap runner, and a Pegasus World Cup winner. This year Audible, Gunnevera, Seeking the Soul, and Yoshida all raced at Gulfstream most recently.
8 – The number of Dubai World Cup winners trained by United Arab Emirates-based Saeed bin Suroor, the most of any trainer.
8 – The total number of top-class Thoroughbred races on Dubai World Cup day, boasting $34 million in total prize money.
11 – The number of American-trained horses that have won the Dubai World Cup, most recently Arrogate in 2018.
10.92% – The win percentage of U.S. Thoroughbreds in Dubai World Cup day races, third among countries with at least five runners.
13 – The expected field size for this year’s Dubai World Cup, including the American contingent of Audible, Gunnevera, Pavel, Seeking the Soul, and Yoshida.
14 lengths – The record margin of victory in the Dubai World Cup, when Well Armed won in 2009.
20 – The number of Group 1 wins earned by American-trained Thoroughbreds on Dubai World Cup day, more than any other country.
20 – Total number of U.S.-based Thoroughbreds slated to compete on this year’s Dubai World Cup card, including five in the Dubai World Cup, five in the Golden Shaheen, and four in the UAE Derby.
24 – First run in 1996, this year is the 24th edition of the Dubai World Cup.
80,000 – Seating capacity of the Meydan Racecourse grandstand.
$4,000,000 – The purse of the inaugural Dubai World Cup, won by the aforementioned Cigar.
$12,000,000 – This year’s Dubai World Cup purse, with $7.2 million of that going to the winner.