New dates announced for Dubai World Cup

Showpiece event to be held on March 24 in 2020/21 season

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 09 JANUARY 2020. Horse Racing. 8th Race Meeting at Meydan Racecourse. Race 4: Thoroughbreds, Singspiel Stakes, winner Nr 3, Benbatl (GB) 6 years old ridden by Christophe Soumillon and trained by Saeed Bin Suroor. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Amith Passela. Section: Sport.

The silver jubilee edition of the Dubai World Cup will now take place on March 24, according to the new 2020/21 calendar unveiled by the Emirates Racing Authority.

The $12million (Dh44m) race, which was to be held on March 28 this year,  was cancelled with a week left following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The Dubai World Cup is the highlight of the nine-race card with a total prize fund of $35m.

The new season kicks off with the first meeting at the Al Ain Equestrian Club on October 29.

The fixture list consisting of 66 meeting across Meydan, Jebel Ali, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Sharjah was approved by the Chairman of Emirates Racing Authority Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed.

“We are pleased to announce the ERA Race Fixture for the racing season 2020-21, which will provide the owners, trainers and fans an integrated season,” Sheikh Mansour said.

“Through this fixture, we offer local and international races for the thoroughbred and Arabian horses.”

Following the curtain raiser at the Al Ain racecourse are races at Jebel Ali and Sharjah on October 30 and October 31, respectively.

Action at Meydan gets underway on November 5 and Abu Dhabi will stage the first meeting on November 8.

Meydan’s season will have 19 meets, Abu Dhabi 15, Al Ain 14, Jebel Ali 11 and Sharjah seven.

Meanwhile, Aidan O’Brien will be bidding for an unprecedented 14th Irish Derby prize at the Curragh on Saturday.

The Ballydoyle trainer has six entered in the 15-runner field led by his Royal Ascot’s Group 2 Queen’s Vase winner Santiago, the choice of his first jockey Seamie Heffernan.

“When Santiago ran at Ascot he was very fit coming into it,” O’Brien said of the Authorized colt.

“We think the Curragh will suit him and that's why he's going back.”

The Irish Derby could turn out to be a contest between the O’Brien family;  Aidan’s son Joseph is triple handed with Crossfirehurricane, New York Girl and Galileo Chrome in the race, while his other son Donnacha saddles Serpa.

A couple of runners that can challenge the O’Brien entries are Jim Bolger’s Fiscal Rules under Kevin Manning and Jessica Harrington’s Gold Maze with Shane Foley in the saddle.