Albertus Maximus, ridden by jockey Alan Garcia, wins The Grade I Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park on January 31. He is the 2/1 favourite for the $6 million Dubai World Cup, sponosred by Emirates, which is scheduled to be run at Nad Al Sheba on March 28.
Dubai: A record-breaking field of 15, full of class and quality, will line-up for the 2009 $6 million (Dh22.06 million) Dubai World Cup on March 28, Nad Al Sheba's final race meeting.
The 15-strong field for the 10-furlong dirt contest, which is the last race to be staged at the Nad Al Sheba before it gives way to the futuristic Meydan City racecourse, features hot favourite Albertus Maximus.
While the Emirates airline-sponsored Dubai World Cup line-up of 15 is the biggest since the world's richest race was unveiled in 1996, the Dubai Racing Club also announced the likely fields for the other six races which complete the US$ 21.25 million Dubai World Cup meeting.
The final fields will be declared on Monday, and then released at the Post Position Draw ceremony on Wednesday, March 25.
Asiatic Boy and Well Armed, second and third respectively behind Curlin in the Dubai World Cup last year and Brazil's Gloria de Campaeo (8th) take on the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained favourite Albertus Maximus. Joining the line-up for the richest race in the world are Godolphin's My Indy (winner of the first two rounds of the Maktoum Challenge), British trainer Ralph Beckett's Muhannak, Anak Nakal (winner of last year's $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (Group 2), Richard Dutrow's Arson Squad, Saudi representatives Joe Louis, Muller and Paris Perfect, Japan's Casino Drive and Asiatic Boy's stablemate Honour Devil. The UAE's latest sensation - trainer Mubarak Bin Shafya - saddles Happy Boy while the 'Horse of the Carnival' Snaafy from Mussabah Al Muhairi's yard completes a fantastic field of 15 runners.
The world's richest turf races, the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic, sponsored by Nakheel and the $5 million Dubai Duty Free, sponsored by Dubai Duty Free have also attracted maximum fields of 16.
Another Group 1 race, the Gulf News-sponsored Dubai Golden Shaheen has 14 sprinters in the fray including Bob Baffert's Indian Blessing, champion two-year-old filly of 2007 and the reigning champion female sprinter of the USA. The Saeed & Mohammad Al Naboodah Group-sponsored UAE Derby and the etisalat-sponsored Group 2 US$1million Godolphin Mile have attracted fields of 13 and 16 respectively.
Twelve of the top Purebred Arabians start in the Dubai Kahayla Classic, sponsored by Emaar Properties, a Group 1 race which kick's starts the March 28 meeting.