Dubai World Cup 2021

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The Dubai World Cup 2021 will take place on March 27-28.

The Dubai World Cup is the final race of the nine-race Dubai World Cup race card held annually at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. The nine-race card offers over $30 million in purse money and culminates with the $12 million Dubai World Cup. Find the Dubai World Cup contenders, picks & predictions in this article.

Dubai World Cup post time is 12:40 pm EST on the final Saturday in March each year. It should be noted that race is an invitation-only event. Therefore the best horses from around the world compete for the top prize. This year, the race will run without any spectators for health & safety reasons.

Dubai World Cup Contenders 2021

Each year, the Dubai World Cup contenders are comprised of the very best horses international racing has to offer. Clearly, this year is no different although the running of the $20 million Saudi Cup did poach some top contenders.

dubai world cup contenders
The Meydan Racecourse in Dubai Photo credit: on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Dubai World Cup Favorites 

Of the listed Dubai World Cup contenders above, there are some standouts who will attract the attention of the bettors. Mucho Gusto will be the likely co-favorite off his strong performances in the Pegasus World Cup and the Saudi Cup. 

Tacitus finished just behind Mucho Gusto in the Saudi Cup and might be the fresher of the two Dubai World Cup entries. It should be noted that Tacitus hadn’t raced since running 3rd in the Jockey Club Gold Cup in September. He looks to be primed for a top effort. 

Other potential Dubai World Cup horses from the US include: Sir Winston, Quip and Parsimony however they appear to be a cut below the top US Dubai World Cup contenders. Sir Winston, the 2019 Belmont Stakes Winner, returned from an injury to finish off the board in his turf debut. He followed that up with a perfect trip win over Grade 3 type foes. 

Without a doubt, of the international runners, Benbatl stands the best chance to upset the US runners. Most recently third in the Saudi Cup, Benbatl has predominantly raced on turf throughout most of his career but has recently proven he can handle the dirt. 

Similarly, Master Fencer, who hails from Japan, is an interesting international participant. He’s the first Japanese-bred to ever run in the Kentucky Derby, where he finished a very credible sixth. From there he finished fifth in the Belmont and has won two of three races since returning home to Japan. Master Fencer could prove an interesting longshot in the Dubai World Cup betting on a short list of Dubai World Cup contenders. 

With three weeks to go, our early Dubai World Cup picks are: Mucho Gusto, Tacitus, Benbatl and Master Fencer.

Previous Dubai Winners 

As we wait to see what the future holds for 2020, let’s take a look at some Dubai World Cup horses from years past who have earned top honors. Last year saw our only back-to-back winner in Godolphin based Thunder Snow who won a narrow decision over longshot Gronkowski. Previously in 2018’s running, Thunder Snow dominated his competition winning the race by 6 lengths over race favorite West Coast. 

Prior to that, we saw US trainer Bob Baffert win his third Dubai World Cup with 1-9 favorite Arrogate. In one of the more exciting races you’ll ever see, typically front-running Arrogate broke at the rear of the field, raced wide and in traffic and still managed to close to dominate a star-studded field. If you have free time, download the 2017 Dubai World Cup and watch to see what an amazing champion Arrogate was.

Dubai World Cup 2019Thunder Snow  4-1
Dubai World Cup 2018Thunder Snow  8-1
Dubai World Cup 2017Arrogate  1-9

A few other notable winners of the Dubai World Cup include:

  • Cigar (1996) – Winner of the inaugural running
  • Silver Charm – (1998) The first Kentucky Derby winner to win the Dubai World Cup
  • Dubai Millennium – (2000) Ran the fastest Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba
  • Godolphin Racing – Has had the most Dubai World Cup victories for an owner (8)
  • Saeed Bin Suroor – Has the most Dubai World Cup victories for a trainer (9)
  • Jerry Bailey – Has the most Dubai World Cup victories for a jockey (4)

Dubai World Cup History

The Dubai World Cup was first run in 1996 at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in Dubai. Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and owner of Godolphin Racing and Darley Stud, created the Dubai World Cup to attract the very best equine athletes from around the world for one day of top level racing. 

The 9 race card is run with 8 races for thoroughbreds at various distances and one for Purebred Arabians. From 1996 until 2010 the Dubai World Cup was held at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse. Subsequently, in 2010, the race card relocated to Meydan Racecourse but all dirt races were run over a surface called Tapeta made mainly of sand, wax and rubber. In 2015, after poor participation by Americans on Tapeta, Meydan Racecourse transitioned to the dirt track they run on today. 

Importantly, the winner of the inaugural running of the Dubai World Cup in 1996 was the immortal Cigar. At the time, Cigar was wildly popular among American racing fans. His race served two purposes: To introduce Cigar to an international audience and to market the Dubai World Cup as the world’s most prestigious horse race. 

Dubai World Cup Purse

The inaugural running of the Dubai World Cup had a purse of $4 million in 1996. Since 2010, the race was contested for a purse of $10 million and was the world’s richest horse race until 2017. That year, the Pegasus World Cup was run at Gulfstream Park with a purse of $12 million. Last year, the Dubai World Cup increased its purse to $12 million.

In 2020, the inaugural running of the Saudi Cup had a purse of $20 million. Earlier this year, the Pegasus Invitational dropped its purse from $12 million to $3 million. The Dubai World Cup is once again the world’s second richest horse race.  

Dubai World Cup Betting

It should be noted, if you’re planning on visiting Dubai for the World Cup, don’t plan on making any wagers. Gambling is illegal in Dubai. On the other hand, there is good news for those planning on staying home in the United States or in Europe. There are plenty of online horse betting and on track wagering options.

Websites like TVG make it easy to wager from the comfort of your living room or from your cell phone while on the go. In addition to offering online wagering options on the card from Meydan Racecourse, TVG broadcasts the races in the United States with live Dubai World Cup odds. This way fans won’t miss a minute of the action. Additionally, every thoroughbred race track in the United States offers live wagering on the Dubai World Cup race card. Outside the states, international bookmakers will be taking bets on the Dubai World Cup card as well. Players have many options to play their Dubai World Cup picks.

The Dubai World Cup betting menu is full of opportunity for the savvy horseplayer looking to make a score with their very own Dubai World Cup contenders. The betting menu for Meydan’s races will include the following: Win, Place, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, Daily Double, Pick 3 and Pick 6 wagering. Trifectas have a fifty-cent minimum and superfectas have a ten-cent minimum. All other wagers have a $1 minimum. 

Dubai world cup live streaming

Fans can watch the Dubai World Cup race card live from most race tracks and around the United States. Websites like TVG offer a live stream of the race card that players can watch from the comfort of their couch. TVG’s access to live Dubai World Cup odds can help players hone their wagering. TVG also offers live coverage of all the Dubai World Cup contenders in the days leading to the big race.

Dubai operates in the GMT time zone. That means Dubai is 5 hours ahead of the EST time zone on the eastern coast of the US. The Dubai World Cup race program begins bright and early at 7:45am EST with the Dubai Kahayla Classic. The race card runs until 12:40pm EST which is the Dubai World Cup post time. 

Races from the Dubai World Cup card can be streamed online at TVG among other online wagering sites. The Dubai World Cup will also be broadcast on NBCSN starting at 12:30pm EST.

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