Qualification: 4yr olds and up by invitation only.
Distance: 1800 metres
Race Record: 1:50.84 Al Shemali 2010
Track: Turf, left handed.
Track Bias: Start is the point where the back chute joins the back straight. This allows all horses to take up their planned position before the first corner. The fairly tight turn tends to string out the field making it hard for the back markers to overhaul the field once they turn into the home straight. There is a long stretch to the finish and winners need to be able to maintain fast final sectional times, will be best placed for this running close to the lead as the field turns for home.
History: First run in 1996 at Nad Al Sheba racecourse over 2000m as a dirt race. It was moved to the turf track and reduced to 1800m in 2000 and upgraded to Group 1 status.
Past Winners: 2010 Al Shemali, 2008 Jay Peg, 2005 Elvstroem, 2001 Jim and Tonic.
Lead Up Form: Many horses will have campaigned in the last part of the previous year and succeeded at distances beyond this. Runners are sometimes resuming after a spell or early in their preparation and can go on to longer races. Look for recent success in a good quality race ideally around 1600m.
Related Races: The Dubai Duty Free is a featured race on Dubai World Cup night which also includes the US$5 million Dubai Sheema Classic, the Group 3 Al Quoz Sprint, worth US$1 million, to be run over 1200m on turf, the Dubai Golden Shaheen and UAE Derby, both worth US$2 million, and the US$1 million Godolphin Mile. The evening kicks off with the Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic for Purebred Arabians.
Top Jockeys & Trainers: Saeed Bin Suroor has trained 4 winners in this race, Godolphin have had two winners. Difficult to compare times for the race as it was run under different conditions on a different track and apparently over a slightly shorter distance, which is why we have opted for the first running at Meydan in 2010 as the new race record.
About the Track: "Meydan" is the Arabic word for meeting place. The grandstand is the longest in the world at 1.6km. There are no on course tote or bookmaker facilities as gambling is not permitted in the UAE. Punters who live outside of the UAE can bet on Dubai racing with our recommended online bookmaker Sportsbet.com.au.
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