The world’s richest day in horse racing, the Dubai World Cup 2014, takes place on Saturday March 29.
Held at Meydan racecourse, this year's edition will offer incredible total prize money of US$27.25 million across a nine-race card, per Dubai World Cup.
It brings an end to the three-month long Dubai World Cup Carnival, a festival of international racing with total prize money of more than $36m over 11 race meetings.
Three of the nine races on World Cup Day account for the majority of the money on offer: the US$5 million Dubai Sheema Classic, the US$5 million Dubai Duty Free, and US$10 million Dubai World Cup.
For the racing connoisseur, it is the day that has everything, from first moment to last.
To help get patrons in the mood for a great evening's racing, proceedings will get underway via an opening ceremony that will consist of a number of special theatrical performances and end with a spectacular fireworks display.
In keeping with this prestigious annual event, no expense will be spared to keep the expected 80,000+ crowd entertained, but the organisers may have to go some way to beat last year's effort:
The visual and aural spectacular is sure to bring the atmosphere to a fever-pitch in good time for the evening's main events.
The first race of the day, the Dubai Kahayla Classic sponsored by Emaar, is due to start at 4:30 p.m. local time.
Feature race and most expensive horse race in the world, The Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline, is scheduled for a 10:05 p.m. start local time, and it will complete the day's racecard.
A full schedule of races can be found below:
|Dubai World Cup 2014: Saturday March 29 Schedule|
|4:30 p.m.||Dubai Kahayla Classic Sponsored by Emaar|
|5:10 p.m.||Godolphin Mile Sponsored by Meydan Sobha|
|5:45 p.m.||Dubai Gold Cup Sponsored by Al Tayer Motors|
|6:25 p.m.||UAE Derby Sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group|
|7:03 p.m.||Al Quoz Sprint Empowered by IPIC|
|7:41 p.m.||Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored by Gulf News|
|8:39 p.m.||Dubai Duty Free Sponsored by Dubai Duty Free|
|9:17 p.m.||Dubai Sheema Classic Presented by Longines|
|10:05 p.m.||Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline|
The penultimate race of the day, the Dubai Sheema Classic presented by Longines, could well produce a grandstand finish.
Per James Burn of The Racing Post, jockey Ryan Moore will be reunited with Japan Cup winner Gentildonna but will be up against Magician, whom Moore rode to victory in the 2013 Breeder's Cup.
Both horses come into the race in fine form, but with many tipping Moore as the world's best jockey, Gentildonna has the edge.
Ambivalent, the Roger Varian trained Irish horse is an outsider in the field, but Varian is confident of an upset per The Racing Post:
She loves fast ground and runs so well abroad.
She's going to have to improve a pound or two, but she's a year older and that's not impossible. I think the track and ground will suit her.
In the main race of the evening, the Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline, the owners of English gelding Side Glance are optimistic of a higher finish than last year's fourth place.
Leanne Masterton, who was recently crowned Employee of the Year at the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards and who is looking after the horse in Dubai, told James Burn of The Racing Post:
Side Glance seems in great form. We were really pleased with his run on Super Saturday. He usually needs a prep race after a break just to take a bit of the freshness out of him.
I'm getting very excited now, it's a hot field in the World Cup, but Side Glance never lets us down. He seems to love the Tapeta surface and with a good draw and a bit of luck I really think he has a place chance.
Aidan O'Brien might have something to say about that. The Irish trainer has hopes that in-form Ruler of the World will give him his first victory in the world's most expensive horse race.
Sheikh Joaan Al Thani's Al Shaqab Racing have acquired a 50 per cent stake in the horse who remains a contender for the top prize.
The going will suit him and if he is able to open up in the final furlongs then O'Brien may well get his wish.
Closing Ceremony/Jennifer Lopez
As usual, the action doesn't end with the conclusion of the final race of the day.
US singing legend Jennifer Lopez has been confirmed to play a full-length concert to bring the curtain down on this year's event.
It's a decision that's likely to please racegoers, her last performance in Dubai proving extremely popular with the locals:
Forbes magazine named Lopez their most powerful celebrity and she is People Magazine's first Most Beautiful Woman in the world. Her status therefore sits well in an event of such magnitude.
Per Emirates 24/7, the singer, who noted that she would be debuting a brand new show for this event, said:
I travelled to Dubai on my Dance Again World Tour and had one of the most exciting shows and electrifying nights on stage.
I am looking forward to returning to Dubai and joining the celebrations for the Dubai World Cup.
It promises to be a thrill-a-minute for racegoers as always, and you can follow all of the action via Dubai Racing Club.
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