Dubai World Cup Betting Offers & Tips – 30th March 2024

Fast Facts

  • When: 30th March 2024
  • Where: Meydan Racecourse, Dubai, UAE
  • Watch: Sky Sports Racing
  • Official Website: Dubai Racing Club

The Dubai World Cup is one of the world’s most valuable races and is held each year in March at Meydan racecourse, Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. The race is the headline act of Dubai World Cup Day which is the single richest raceday anywhere on the planet.

World Cup Day signals the end of Dubai’s World Cup Carnival, which is a valuable series of ten meetings which begin in January. The meeting is also an indication of the end of the racing season at Meydan, with the last fixture coming in April before the temperatures soar through the summer months.

With a purse of around $12 million for the World Cup itself, the winner collecting around $7 million, the top trainers from all over the globe will be competing her for one of racing’s biggest prizes.

Below we’ll have our predictions for the big race, along with all the best betting offers when they become available to take advantage of.

Existing Customer Free Bets & Money Back Offers

Note: Offers will appear here nearer the event as and when they become available.

Dubai World Cup Betting Tips

Meydan Race Club
By p.lange

Please note: The following tips are for 2023 and will be updated shortly before the event starts.

Hot on the heels of the greatest show of the domestic season, courtesy of the magnificent Cheltenham Festival, this coming weekend is lit up by one of the biggest and best international meetings of the year. Saturday sees the eyes of the racing world turn to the United Arab Emirates track of Meydan, for the always-spectacular Dubai World Cup night – headlined as ever by the Dubai World Cup itself.

Prize money levels may be something of a sore point on the British racing scene, but there appear to be no such concerns in the oil-rich nation, with the astronomical sum of £10m up for grabs in this 1m2f dirt affair. With that kind of loot on offer, it is no surprise that the jewel in the crown of Dubaian racing regularly attracts the very best dirt performers on the planet; and 2023 is no exception, with an elite field of 15 set to go to post. But who will come out on top? Here we run through the main contenders, highlight those runners who may be flying a little under the radar, and pick out our best bets for this huge contest.

The Favourites

The race may be held in the UAE, but it is the USA which boasts the best record in the race, with exactly half of the 26 editions to date having fallen to a US raider. Given the nation's rich dirt racing heritage, that trend probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, and our American cousins will no doubt make a bold bid for glory once again this year.

In terms of strength in numbers, the US are a little light in 2023 compared to previous editions, with just the two horses making the trip over. However, included in that duo is the 2022 winner, and current favourite for this year’s edition, Country Grammar (7/2).

One and a half lengths too good for the field 12 months ago, this son of Tonalist rarely runs a bad race, having finished in the first two in each of his last nine starts. Last sighted when flying home for second in the Saudi Cup over 1m1f, the additional furlong here ought to suit, and he looks set to put up a bold defence of his crown. Trainer Bob Baffert has proved a divisive figure in recent seasons but, love him or hate him, his record in major global events is hard to fault. Included on the CV of the California native are four wins in this contest, placing him behind only Saeed bin Suroor on the all-time list.

The only other runner currently available at a single-figure price may be more familiar to British racing fans, with the six-year-old Algiers (4/1) hailing from the yard of Simon and Ed Crisford. Last sighted on British shores when finishing second in a Listed event at Lingfield, a switch to sunnier climes and a dirt surface appear to have taken this Shamardal gelding to a whole new level. Two starts at Meydan this season have yielded two successes, with the six-year-old proving six lengths too good for the field on both occasions. He moves from Grade 2 to Grade 1 level here, and steps up slightly in trip, but he likely won’t be far away if continuing his rich vein of form.

Comfortably the most strongly represented nation in this year's field is Japan, with the Land of the Rising Sun being responsible for no fewer than eight of the 15-runner field. Japan has claimed this prize just once in the past, with the win of Victoire Pisa in 2011, but made a huge splash at this meeting 12 months ago – winning five of the eight races on the card.

Included amongst those winners was Dubai Turf champ, Panthalassa, and this year sees the Yoshito Yahagi-trained star switch his attention to the dirt for a shot at the big one. A bold front-running type, he was the horse to hold off Country Grammar in the Saudi Cup last time out and will likely be given an attacking ride once again. Supporters have however been dealt a blow with the draw, with Panthalassa stuck on the wide outside in box 15.

The Outsiders

Other than Country Grammar and Algiers, the top group of nine in the betting consists entirely of Japanese runners. Ushba Tesoro (10/1) and T O Keynes (12/1) bring very similar claims to the table, having filled first and second spots in the Kawasaki Kinen last time out. There was very little between the pair that day, but T O Keynes did close all the way to the line and may have a chance to reverse that form under Oisin Murphy.

Kunikiho Watanabe’s Vela Azul (12/1) comes into contention on his impressive win in the Japan Cup, but disappointed badly last time out, and will be having his first taste of a dirt surface here. At a bigger price, Crown Pride (20/1) looks more interesting, having shown a liking for the surface when value for far more than the two-and-a-half length winning margin in the UAE Derby at this meeting last year. He hasn’t been quite so good since but might well be sparked into life, back at the scene of his finest hour.

One interesting trend to note is that eight of the previous 10 editions of this have been won by a runner aged five years or younger – a stat which counts against 10 of the 15 runners set to line up this year. Of the five runners who do fit the age trend, the two to make the most appeal are the aforementioned Crown Pride, and the only Saudi runner in the field, Emblem Road. This horse showed he has what it takes on the big stage when winning the 2021 Saudi Cup as a four-year-old, and caught the eye when finishing well into sixth following a nightmare passage in that event last time out.

Predictions & Tips

The Godolphin runner, Thunder Snow (2018, 2019) is the only horse to date to win this on more than one occasion. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if there were a second member of that exclusive club following this year's race, with Country Grammar expected to go very close to defending his title. The Bob Baffert runner looks the strongest stayer in this field and ran a huge race from an uncompromising position when nearly getting to Panthalassa last time out. With the additional distance sure to suit, he rates our main bet in the race.

Panthalassa is hard to fault, but that draw looks like a nightmare for one who is seen to best effect when making the running. For an each-way punt we will instead take a chance on Emblem Road, who is a good fit on the trends, and was another runner doing all of their best work late in that Saudi Cup contest.

Betting Tip – Country Grammar at 7/2

Each Betting Tip – Emblem Road at 20/1

About The Dubai World Cup

Dubai Skyscrapers and Seafront

The world of horse racing is somewhat equatable to the world of fine wine, in so much as there are a number of classics that people return to time and again but over the years a number of ‘new world’ offerings have come along to compete for attention. You can discover for yourself how this applies in the world of wine, but when it comes to horse racing the most famous races are the likes of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Grand National, the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby and Oaks.

Those races have been the inspiration for countless others over the years, with the most obvious examples coming in the form of the likes of the Kentucky Derby in America and the Melbourne Cup in Australia. One of the most recent additions to this list is the one that we’re talking about here, which is the Dubai World Cup. Created in 1996, it is considered to be one of the foremost thoroughbred races in the Arabic world, coming at the end of the Dubai World Cup Night of races.

The race is the responsibility of the Emirates Racing Authority, which boasts the owner of Manchester City Football Club and the Minister of Presidential Affairs in the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as its Chairman. The other eight races of Dubai World Cup Night are also the ERA’s responsibility.

The first thing you’re likely to want to know is the format of the main race. Run left-handed over two thousand metres, which is about ten furlongs, the Dubai World Cup takes place on a dirt track. Qualification for the event is open to three-year-olds and over from the Southern Hemisphere and horses aged four and up from the Northern Hemisphere.

There is a weight of fifty-four and a half kilograms on the three-year-old horses from the Southern Hemisphere and fifty-seven kilograms on all other horses. The Group 1 flat race takes place in late March every year at the Meydan Racecourse in Dubai and is only open to thoroughbreds.

Sheikh Mohamad Creates the Dubai World Cup

Billboard in Dubai Featuring Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

By A.Davey, flickr

Given that it has only been taking place since 1996, it’s entirely fair to say that the Dubai World Cup doesn’t have as illustrious a history as some of those classic races referred to before. It was the brainchild of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who was the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and the Ruler of Dubai at the time. He had long enjoyed a fascination with horse racing, owning Darley Stud & Godolphin Racing. That is considered to be one of the best thoroughbred racing and breeding operations anywhere in the world.

Meydan & Nad Al Sheba Racecourse

Approach Road to Meydan Race Club in Dubai

By p.lange,

From the race’s inauguration up until 2009 the race was hosted by Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in Dubai, but it was closed in 2009 in order to completely revamp the venue. When it reopened it was renamed as Meydan Racecourse, meaning that the race has taken place at the same location but on two different courses since its inception. When the Meydan Racecourse was first used it had an artificial surface known as Tapeta and this was the surface that the Dubai World Cup was raced on until 2015. The surface proved to be unpopular, especially with American racing enthusiasts, and so in 2015 the dirt track was reinstated at the course.

As with most things in Dubai, Meydan Racecourse is an impressive site and sight. The course’s grandstand is more than a mile long and has the ability to welcome more than sixty thousand spectators. It boasts the world’s first five-star hotel on the side of a racetrack. There’s also plenty of restaurants, as you’d expect, as well as seventy-two corporate suites and a racing museum.

Those corporate suites come into their own when the racecourse is not in use and it serves as a centre for business and conferences. To give you some idea of how spectacular the venue is, it was used as the shooting location for a docking bay that housed the USS Enterprise for the film Star Trek Beyond. Numerous musicians have performed at the racecourse over the years, including Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue and Elton John.

Cigar – The Inaugural Winner

The Racehorse Cigar at the Kentucky Horse Park

By Jean, flickr (cropped)

Outside the barn of Bill Mott at Belmont Park in the United States of America hangs a plaque dedicated to the honour of Cigar. The thoroughbred race horse won an impressive twelve major honours between 1994 and 1996, including the Breeders’ Cup and the Pimlico Special.

In 2002 he was welcomed into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame, giving you an indication of just how special he was. When a list of the top one hundred American race horses of the twentieth century was collated, Cigar came eighteenth. It’s perhaps little surprise, then, that he was the inaugural winner of the Dubai World Cup.


Interestingly, at the time of writing only one horse has won the race more than once, Thunder Snow in 2018 and 2019 for the Godolphin team.

The most successful jockeys, meanwhile, are Jerry Bailey and Frankie Dettori. Bailey won the first race on Cigar and then repeated his trick on Singspiel the following year. He won another two races back-to-back in 2001 and 2002. Only one of his wins, the 2002 victory on Street Cry, came on the back of a horse belonging to the most successful owner in the race’s history.

Dettori’s first three wins all came for Godolphin between 2000 and 2006. He joined Jerry Bailey at the top of the jockeys chart in 2022 when riding Country Grammer to victory for US trainer Bob Baffert. The only other jockey to win more than one World Cup is Belgian rider Christophe Soumillon.

Chart that Shows the Jockeys With the Most Dubai World Cup Wins Between 1996 and 2023

Godolphin Racing have owned nine winners to date, with eight of those having been trained by Saeed bin Suroor, who is the race’s most successful trainer thanks to his nine wins.

Chart That Shows the Owners of the Dubai World Cup Winner Between 1996 and 2023

Other Dubai World Cup Night Races

As mentioned earlier, the Dubai World Cup is a race that comes at the end of a spectacular day of racing at Meydan Racecourse. Unsurprisingly for an event that takes place in the United Arab Emirates and in Dubai specifically, it is the richest single day of thoroughbred racing anywhere in the world. The event features eight thoroughbred races as well as a single race specifically for Purebred Arabian horses. We’ll look at the remaining races, other than the Dubai World Cup that we’ve already covered, in turn now:

Dubai Kahayla Classic

Race Number Distance Grade Prize Fund
1 1m 2f Arab Group 1 $1 million

It is that solitary race for Purebred Arabian horses that kickstarts proceedings. Having started life as the Mashreq Bank Handicap, this race lasted just one year under that title before becoming the Dubai Arabian Classic in 1997. Three years later and it underwent another name change when it became the Dubai Kahayla Classic, keeping that title since. It became a Group 1 race in 1999 was originally run on dirt before shifting to Tapeta along with the rest of the races when Nad Al Sheba Racecourse became Meydan Racecourse in 2010.

Godolphin Mile

Race Number Distance Grade Prize Fund
2 1m Group 2 $1.5 million

This Group 2 flat race is run on dirt over sixteen hundred metres and was inaugurated as the Nad Al Sheba Mile back in 1994. It got its current name in 2000 and is for three-year-olds from the Southern Hemisphere and four-year-olds from the Northern Hemisphere. As with a number of the other races, it boasts a purse of $1.5 million.

Dubai Gold Cup

Race Number Distance Grade Prize Fund
3 2m Group 2 $1.5 million

The Dubai Gold Cup might share a name with its famous counterpart that takes place at the Cheltenham Festival every year, but that’s all that the two races share. It was inaugurated in 2012 and didn’t enjoy the best of starts, having to be re-run later in the evening after a fatal injury was sustained by Fox Hunt the first time around. It was a Group 3 race until 2014 when it moved up a level. Run left-handed on turf over a distance of three thousand two hundred metres, the race is open to horses aged three and up.

Al Quoz Sprint

Race Number Distance Grade Prize Fund
4 6f Group 1 $2 million

This race was originally part of the Dubai International Racing Carnival, only moving to the Dubai World Cup Night when Meydan Racecourse opened in 2010. That was just its fourth year of racing, having been inaugurated in 2007. It’s a Group 1 race that is for three-year-olds and over. It was originally run over twelve hundred metres, shortening to one thousand metres in 2011 before returning to its initial length in 2017.

UAE Derby

Race Number Distance Grade Prize Fund
5 1m 1½f Group 2 $2.5 million

The name suggests that this race has links to other Derby races and that is correct; it can earn winners points for the Kentucky Derby and is used as a warm-up race for that event by many. First run in 2000 over a distance of eighteen hundred metres, it was lengthened to two thousand metres in 2002, the same year that it earned its Group 2 status. The length dropped back down to eighteen hundred metres in 2004 and then increased to nineteen hundred metres five years later. It’s for thoroughbreds aged three and over from either hemisphere and has a purse of $2.5 million.

Dubai Golden Shaheen

Race Number Distance Grade Prize Fund
6 6f Group 1 $2.5 million

Another Group 1 race for thoroughbreds, the Dubai Golden Shaheen is open to horses aged three and over regardless of which hemisphere they’re from. It takes place over twelve hundred metres, which is the equivalent of about six furlongs. First run as the Nad Al Sheba Sprint in December of 1993, it was moved to March in 1996 in order to be part of the Dubai World Cup Night and got its current name in 2000. It has been the third-leg of the ten race Global Sprint Challenge series since 2012.

Dubai Turf

Race Number Distance Grade Prize Fund
7 1m 1f Group 1 $6 million

Along with the Dubai Sheema Classic, this is one of the richest races in the world thanks to its purse of $6 million. First run in 1996 under the title of the Dubai Duty Free, it received its current title in 2015 after it received sponsorship from DP World Signs. It originally took place over two thousand metres but dropped to one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven metres in 2000. Two years after that it achieved Group 1 status and then in 2006 it became part of the four race Asian Mile Challenge. It has been run over eighteen hundred metres since moving to Meydan Racecourse in 2010.

Dubai Sheema Classic

Race Number Distance Grade Prize Fund
8 1m 4f Group 1 $6 million

This Group 1 flat race is run left-handed and is open to thoroughbreds aged three and up from the Southern Hemisphere and four and over from the Northern Hemisphere. It is run over around a mile and a half, or two thousand four hundred and ten metres in local money. It was first run under the title of the Dubai Turf Classic in 1998 but was renamed at the turn of the millennium. It received its Group 1 status in 2002 and boasts a purse of $6 million. That means that it is worth the same amount as the Dubai Turf and only The Everest in Australia is worth more to the winners.

Interesting Facts

Pin in Dubai on Map

Whilst the individual races all boast a number of interesting facts all of their own, those that belong to the Dubai World Cup itself are somewhat limited. We’ve already told you about the race’s most successful owner, jockey and trainer, so we’ll give you some other information now.

  • The fastest runner of the race when it was hosted at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse was Dubai Millennium, coincidentally winning the event on its outing in the millennium. The winning time was 1 minute 59.5 seconds in 2000.
  • On the synthetic track at Meydan Racecourse, the fastest time was 2 minutes 1.61 seconds. That was achieved by African Story in 2014
  • The dirt track hasn’t been in place for long at the time of writing, but the fastest winning time so far on it was the 2 minutes 1.38 seconds managed by Thunder Snow in 2018
  • When the Dubai World Cup was broadcast on the TVG Network and HRTV and then later shown on ABC, it was the first time that the race had been available on national TV in the US