Twenty-three races after Cigar won the first Dubai World Cup, the purse for the biggest event in the UAE’s sporting calendar has multiplied three folds after His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, increased the prize money of the world’s best horse race to $35 million on Wednesday.
Sheikh Mohammed issued directives to increase the prize money of the main Dubai World Cup race to $12 million (Dh44 million), and the total prize money awarded at the various races held during the Cup to $35 million (Dh129million).
Additionally, he increased the total prize money given away at other races held at the Meydan Racecourse to $1.83 million (Dh6.7 million), for the new 2018-2019 racing season.
Saeed Humaid Al Tayer, the Board Chairman of Meydan Group, thanked Sheikh Mohammed for his continuous support for the development of horse racing and the Dubai World Cup, which was first held in 1996.
Al Tayer added that the increase in the event’s prize money highlights Sheikh Mohammed’s keenness to support the growth of horse racing, and ensure that the UAE has a superior infrastructure for the development of sport in general and horse racing in particular. “His Highness’s directives provide further impetus to the global prestige of the Dubai World Cup and its status as the richest horse racing tournament in the world,” he added.
Horse racing in the UAE is deeply rooted in the nation’s cultural heritage. The UAE is considered one of the leading nations in the sport, largely due to the global prominence achieved by the Dubai World Cup, which attracts horse racing fans and professionals from across the world.
The Dubai World Cup has come a long way to be counted as one of the most prestigious horse race around the world.
Twenty-two more races have been held since Cigar won $4 million on 10 furlongs dirt track at the Nad Al Sheba racecourse in 1996.
Earlier in March, Thunder Snow added the 11th Dubai World Cup triumph for the UAE when the four-year-old bay colt from Helmet, the mount of Christophe Soumillon, ended Emirati handler Saeed bin Suroor’s two-year drought, winning the 10-furlong race by a five-and-three-quarter of a length over strong favourite – West Coast, who failed to add to the eight crowns won by the American horse.