The purse for the Dubai World Cup, which has been the richest race in the world for years, has been increased from $6 million to $10 million this year. No wonder it’s attracted one of its best fields ever.
Double Eclipse Award winner Gio Ponti heads the international field of 14 for the 1 1/4-mile race over the new Meydan Racecourse’s synthetic Tapeta Footings surface. Two other American-based horses, Richard’s Kid and Furthest Land, are also scheduled to run in the race that will go postward Saturday at about 10:45 a.m.
HRTV will televise the entire eight-race World Cup program that is worth $26.25 million in purse money.
Gio Ponti, second to the unbeaten Zenyatta in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, won Eclipse Awards as top male turf horse and top older male for 2009 and is expected to be one of the World Cup favorites with regular rider Ramon Dominguez aboard.
Richard’s Kid won last summer’s $1 million Grade 1 Pacific Classic as a 24-1 outsider and was victorious in the Grade 2 San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita in his final prep for the World Cup. He’ll be ridden by Garrett Gomez.
Furthest Land was 21-1 when he won the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 7. He’ll go off at a generous price again Saturday under Julien Leparoux.
Other talented runners in the field include Goodwood Stakes winner Gitano Hernando, who goes into the race having won three consecutive, and Twice Over, who has not run since finishing third behind Zenyatta and Gio Ponti in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Let us know who you like.