Dubai World Cup Picks

To get an idea of who to pick in the Dubai World Cup, look at the results of the Breeders’ Cup from the previous year, as well as the Japan Cup in Tokyo, and the Hong Kong International Races in early December. Those races are typical previews of the kind of horses that show up for the Dubai World Cup and its undercard races each year.

The Godolphin operation does very well, as do Japanese and American-based runners. The Japanese contingent usually includes a host of horses, some of whom are well regarded and others are there for the experience. The American runners do better in the dirt races and very rarely do well in the turf races.

If not going to the Japanese or Godolphin runners, the turf races are often won by horses from Ireland, England, and even South Africa. Trainers such as Aidan O’Brien and Mike De Kock bring arsenals of strong runners to the event, which has recently seen an uptick in entrants from South Korea and Australia.

As for jockeys, William Buick, Frankie Dettori, Pat Dobbs, Christophe Soumillon, Connor Beasley, Richie Mullen are some of the top riders, especially locally. The Ortiz brothers Irad and Jose from New York and Mike Smith from California are the best options for shippers from overseas.

Dubai World Cup racebooks

Dubai World Cup Field and Odds

The Dubai World Cup card with its field and odds are drawn the Wednesday before the event, which will be March 27, 2021. The card includes the UAE Derby (G2), a stepping stone to the Kentucky Derby. The race for three-year-olds offers 100 points to the winner towards the Derby. The race often pits the winners of the UAE 2000 Guineas (colts) and the UAE 1000 Guineas (fillies) against each other.

Godolphin Racing and Saeed Bin Suroor have won the race eight times. Mike de Kock has won it six times, and Aidan O’Brien has won it three times.

Japan’s Lani, the 2016 UAE Derby winner, finished 9th in the 2016 Kentucky Derby. Thunder Snow spooked at the start of the 2017 Kentucky Derby on an off track and did not complete the race. In 2018, Mendelssohn finished last in the Kentucky Derby, with trainer O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore remarking they had never experienced anything like it. The first American-based winner, Plus Que Parfait for trainer Brendan Walsh in 2019, finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby.