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2022 Dubai World Cup Carnival

The world’s richest day of Thoroughbred racing takes place in Meydan, United Arab Emirates on March 26th. Stars from around the world will travel to the Middle East to compete in some of the lucrative races being staged. The event, Dubai World Cup Carnival, was introduced in 1996 by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Since its inception it has become a prominent stop for some of the leading breeders and trainers in the world of horse racing. It is one of the most popular days of the year for horse racing betting, and this year’s event should be one of the most exciting with a number of Breeders’ Cup winners involved at the event.

Dubai World Cup

The Dubai World Cup is the main event at the World Cup Carnival, and is run on the dirt over 2,000 meters. It is the world’s richest flat race, with a purse of $12 million up for grabs this year. Famous winners of this race include Cigar, Curlin, and California Chrome. Last year’s race was won for the third straight renewal by Godolphin, as Mystic Guide claimed success for trainer Michael Stidham.

‘Life Is Good’

There will be a red-hot favorite in the betting this year, as four-year-old ‘Life Is Good’ looks for a sixth win in seven starts. He returned to the track following his dominant G1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile win with an astounding success over the Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Knicks Go at the G1 Pegasus World Cup. The four-year-old eventually won that race by three and a quarter lengths, which erased any doubts that he couldn’t win the biggest races over an extended distance.

‘Hot Rod Charlie’

Hot Rod Charlie is one of the most popular horses in training, and has won three times from ten attempts in stakes company. However, he has regularly put up excellent challenges, and has played on five occasions. His 2021 season ended with fourth in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic, before returning a month later when second by a nose behind Express Train in the G2 San Antonio Stakes. He has already had a feel of the track in Meydan, as he won the G2 Al Maktoum challenge by a commanding five and a quarter lengths.

Dubai Sheema Classic

The stars of the turf will also be on show in Meydan, as the Dubai Sheema Classic boasts a huge purse of $6 million. This Group 1 is run over a distance of 2,410 metres on the turf, and has been won a record six times by Godolphin. Trainer John Gosden won this race for a record third time in 2021 with Mishriff.


Charlie Appleby enjoyed an excellent 2021, and his season could get off to a winning start in the Dubai Sheema Classic with the incredibly talented Godolphin-owned Yibir. This four-year-old beat stablemate Broome in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in November, which capped a memorable season for the gelding, which also included victories in the Jockey Club Derby and G2 Voltigeur Stakes. His speed will once again be a prominent factor when it comes to this race.


British and Irish-trained horses have dominated the Dubai Sheema Classic throughout its history. Trainer William Haggas will be looking for a first win in the race this year with Alenquer. This four-year-old will certainly be ready for this huge challenge, having run in massive races throughout the 2021 season. In October, he ran an excellent race in ninth at the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and was second and third respectively in the G1 Juddmonte International Stakes and G1 Grand Prix de Paris. He returned to the track in February, with a comfortable two-and-a-half-length win on the all-weather track at Lingfield over Lord North.

Other Dubai World Cup Carnival Races and Stars

As well as the featured two races mentioned above, there are six further high-quality races taking place. The other races that are staged on Dubai World Cup night include:

  • Dubai Gold Cup

  • Al Quoz Sprint

  • UAE Derby

  • Golden Shaheen

  • Godolphin Mile

  • Dubai Turf


The best bet from the remainder of the card could come in the Godolphin Mile. Salem bin Ghadayer has an excellent chance with Hypothetical. The five-year-old has been excellent at Meydan this calendar year, and will be looking to bounce back after finishing fourth in the G1 Dubai World Cup last year. He has won his last two at the track, with the latest of those coming just over a mile in the G1 Al Maktoum Challenge in March, beating Remorse by a length.