The Dubai World Cup is a thoroughbred horse race that was first held in 1996, and was the idea of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE, and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. The sheikh owns Godolphin Racing, one of the world's leading thoroughbred breeding and racing operations, and five Dubai World Cup winners have come from Godolphin.
The race is held every March at Dubai's Nad Al Sheba Racecourse, which is a 10-furlong (two kilometer) dirt track, with a grandstand that seats 60,000. The invitation- only event is the world's richest race, and in 2008, its seven races had a total purse of US$21.25 million.
The seven races include five Group 1 races (i.e., Classics and other races of major international importance) and two Group 2 races (i.e., less important international races). The Group 1 races are the Dubai Kahayla Classic, Dubai Golden Shaheen, the Dubai Duty Free, the Dubai Sheema Classic, and the Dubai World Cup. The group 2 races are theGodolphin Mile and the UAE Derby.
The race is open to Northern-Hemisphere-bred four-year-olds and older and Southern-Hemisphere-bred three-year-olds and older.
For more information on horseracing in the UAE, see:
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