Horse Racing

2024 Dubai World Cup Betting Odds and Contenders Preview

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numberFire Racing
2024 Dubai World Cup Betting Odds and Contenders Preview

The Dubai World Cup happens on Saturday, March 30, at Meydan in Dubai. Dubai World Cup night is the culmination of the winter carnival, a full season of world-class racing under the lights at Meydan, and the Dubai World Cup is the $12 million linchpin of the meet. One of the world’s richest horse racing events, it drew a full field of 12 top dirt horses from all over the world. To get the lion’s share of the purse, they will have to get a stamina-testing 1 ¼ miles over the dirt.

The top two finishers from the Saudi Cup (G1), United States-based Senor Buscador and Japan-based Ushba Tesoro, remain in the Middle East to square off again. Other major contenders in the race include up-and-coming Meydan star Kabirkhan, Breeders Cup Classic second-place finisher Derma Sotogake, and Santa Anita Handicap winner Newgate.

Some of the biggest stars in world dirt racing have won the Dubai World Cup, dating all the way back to its first winner: the great Cigar in 1996. Other winners of the Dubai World Cup over the years include Silver Charm (1998), Curlin (2008), Kentucky Derby winners Animal Kingdom (2013) and California Chrome (2016), and the only dual winner to date, Thunder Snow (2018-2019). If 2023 winner Ushba Tesoro prevails again, he can match Thunder Snow’s feat.

Dubai World Cup 2024 Information

  • Race Date: Saturday, March 30, 2024
  • Track: Meydan Racecourse
  • Post Time: 12:35 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time
  • Distance: 1 1/4 miles
  • Age/Sex: three-year-olds and up
  • Where to Watch: FanDuel TV, Fox Sports 2
  • Where to Bet: and FanDuel Racing

Dubai World Cup Odds

This is the field of 12 for the Dubai World Cup, including betting numbers, post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning-line odds. Note that horses are in betting-number order: unlike in North American tracks, post positions and betting numbers at Meydan are not the same.

Though the Dubai Racing Club does not offer on-track betting for the race, there is international pari-mutuel action through the World Pool and a morning line has been set for that.

ML Odds
17ClaptonChad SummersDylan Davis59-1
21CrupiTodd PletcherLuis Saez16-1
39DefundedAbdulaziz MishrefAdel Furaydi49-1
48Derma SotogakeHidetaka OtonashiChristophe Lemaire4-1
53Dura EredeManabu IkezoeBauyrzhan Murzabayev24-1
62KabirkhanDoug WatsonPatrick Dobbs7-2
712Laurel RiverSatish SeemarTadhg O’Shea11-1
View Full Table

Dubai World Cup Prep Results

Since the advent of the Saudi Cup, many horses have come from that race into the Dubai World Cup, and this year is no exception. Four of the 12 horses come straight from that race at King Abdulaziz in Riyadh: top two Senor Buscador and Ushba Tesoro, as well as Derma Sotogake and Defunded, who finished fifth and seventh, respectively.

Four others in the field last raced at Meydan. Military Law comes out of a victory in the Al Maktoum Classic (G2) on March 2, and Clapton finished third in that same race. Laurel River stretches out off of a win in the Burj Nahaar (G3) on March 2, a race more often used as a local prep for the shorter Godolphin Mile (G2). Kabirkhan has been freshened since a victory on January 26 in the Al Maktoum Classic (G1).

Two runners ship to the Middle East off of starts in the United States. Newgate most recently won the Santa Anita Handicap, while Crupi has been on a break since a third-place run in the Pegasus World Cup (G1). Two others come out of the February Stakes (G1) at Tokyo on February 18: Wilson Tesoro and Dura Erede finished eighth and twelfth behind Peptide Nile, and will try to bounce back.

Dubai World Cup Contenders

These are the contenders in the Dubai World Cup, organized by wagering numbers:

Clapton: A six-time winner in the United States, Clapton spent the winter season at the Dubai Carnival. He finished third in a pair of traditional lead-up races, the Al Maktoum Challenge and the Al Maktoum Classic. He has yet to prove that the stretch out to the Classic distance will bring out the best in him.

Crupi: Unproven at the top level heading into the Pegasus World Cup, he finished third in that race, though well behind National Treasure and Senor Buscador. As a four-year-old, he can still find improvement, and his pedigree appeals to the step-up in trip. Keep an eye on how the track is playing through the day: Crupi is a late runner, so make sure closers are getting a fair shake before jumping in.

Defunded: A Grade 1 winner with Bob Baffert, he is now trained in Saudi Arabia and finished a well-beaten seventh in the Saudi Cup in his first Middle East try. He comes second off the lay, he can show speed, and that top-level win did come at 1 ¼ miles, the same distance he tackles in the Dubai World Cup. Especially if speed is holding well, he has some long-shot potential.

Derma Sotogake: He has to improve off of a fifth in Saudi Arabia last out, but remember what he did last year. He was only third in the Saudi Derby after high expectations, but he came to the UAE Derby fitter for that run and won the race impressively. His second-place run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic over this distance last year was a strong effort, meaning the stretch back out to this trip could bring out the best in him.

Dura Erede: Perhaps the one-mile trip of the February Stakes last out was a little too short for him, as he did better over 1 ⅛-mile and 1 ¼-mile trips in other recent starts. He finished a close third behind Ushba Tesoro in the 1 ¼-mile Tokyo Daishoten (G1) two starts back, giving him some hope from a class perspective. He was also second to Derma Sotogake in the UAE Derby last year, showing he can handle the footing.

Kabirkhan: Defeated only once in nine starts in Kazakhstan, this son of California Chrome took well to Dubai, winning a 1 ¼-mile handicap January 12 before romping in the top-level Al Maktoum Challenge two weeks later. Stamina and ability to run over the course are proven, as is his ability to run well consistently, though his tendency to break poorly may set him back against a field that is, by far, the best he has ever faced.

Laurel River: A Grade 2-winning sprinter for Bob Baffert in 2022, he returned after a 17-month layoff to finish seventh in the Al Shindagha Spring (G3), but then bounced back nicely to win the Burj Nahaar. His form is on the upswing, but he has never even tried a distance longer than a mile on race day, and now he goes 1 ¼ miles against serious Classic-distance foes. His best chance will be if a speed bias emerges, since he does have true sprint speed.

Military Law: This 9-year-old Carnival horse may finally get his first tilt at the Dubai World Cup; he was supposed to run in 2021 but got loose before the race and had to be scratched. He turned back the years with a win in the Al Maktoum Classic, but that was his first victory in three years, and he faces superior company this time around. As the best story, Joe Hirsch would pick him, but it would be hard for a handicapper to do so.

Newgate: He handled the classic distance with aplomb when winning the Santa Anita Handicap last out for Bob Baffert, a trainer who perennially comes live to this race. This is a deeper Group 1 race than that, though Baffert has been bringing him along gradually and it is more likely that this was the goal, than that last race. He will likely be an overlay on the betting board because of the class he still needs to prove, and he shapes as a contender.

Senor Buscador: He had built a reputation for being the kind of horse who often got underneath shares at a price in top-level American dirt races, but he has been better than ever this year. He almost won the Pegasus World Cup, and then he finished like a freight train to win the Saudi Cup last out. The 1 ⅛-mile distance of the Saudi Cup may be better than this 1 ¼-mile trip, but he is in top form and should find the frame if the track is playing at all fairly.

Ushba Tesoro: He won this race in 2023 and comes into the race in sparkling form once again. He was defeated by Senor Buscador in the Saudi Cup last out, but the extra furlong benefits him significantly. With a nice middle post position (gate 5), it would be no surprise for him to work out a good trip and become the second-ever dual winner of this race.

Wilson Tesoro: Perhaps the mile of the February Stakes last out was too short for him, because he has shown much better form at distances like this. He does have tables to turn on Ushba Tesoro from the Tokyo Daishoten two back, where he finished second, and he has to handle a wide gate (post 11). But, at a square price, he has the quality to consider for exotics.

Dubai World Cup Past Winners Past Performances

Meydan Racecourse switched to dirt from the synthetic Tapeta surface in 2015, making the runnings since 2015 the most enlightening for figuring out patterns of who will win the Dubai World Cup now.

In the eight editions of the Dubai World Cup since Meydan laid down the dirt track, every horse has finished either first or second in their final prep for the race. Four of the eight horses took their final prep over the local course: Thunder Snow (2018, 2019) prepped for both of his victories with second-place finishes in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (G1), a race that was on the same place on the calendar as the Al Maktoum Classic is now. Prince Bishop (2015) also tuned up with a second-place finish in that same race. California Chrome (2016) settled in by winning the Curlin Handicap, an ungraded local prep.

Each of the other four winners has prepared at different tracks. Two came out of races in the United States: Arrogate (2017) won the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park and Mystic Guide (2021) won the Razorback Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn Park. Country Grammer (2022) finished second in the Saudi Cup the month before, while Ushba Tesoro (2023) won the Kawasaki Kinen at Kawasaki in Japan.

Dubai World Cup Undercard

The Dubai World Cup is the last of nine races on Saturday’s blockbuster card at Meydan. Every single race on the card is a group stakes with a seven-figure purse, making it one of the richest race days of the year. Other major features include the Dubai Turf (G1) for middle-distance turf horses, the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) for turf routers, the Dubai Gold Cup (G2) for marathoners, the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) for dirt sprinters, the Al Quoz Sprint (G1) for turf sprinters, the Godolphin Mile (G1) for dirt milers, the UAE Derby (G2) for Kentucky Derby-bound sophomores, and the Dubai Kahayla Classic (G1) for purebred Arabians.

With such important races at Meydan earlier in the day, and major cards at Gulfstream Park and Oaklawn into the afternoon, it is a great weekend to watch on FanDuel TV and wager through FanDuel and TVG!

About Meydan

Across the city from Dubai International Airport, the Meydan track opened in 2010 and was built to replace the less modern Nad al Sheba. The Dubai World Cup experience features some of the most glamorous accommodations in world horse racing. The sprawling venue includes a golf course, five-star hotel, and a horse racing museum. There are 285 rooms at the hotel, which overlooks the racetrack. The Meydan meeting runs from November through March each year, with the Carnival portion of the meet running from January through March, and then trainers go off to places like the United Kingdom, Germany, and South Africa to pursue the rest of the season.

Dubai World Cup FAQ

Q: When and where is the Dubai World Cup?

A: The Dubai World Cup will be run on Saturday, March 30, at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The featured race happens at 12:35 p.m. EDT, and is the last of nine races on the card.

Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the Dubai World Cup?

A: Saeed bin Suroor leads all trainers with nine Dubai World Cup wins, most recently in 2019 with Thunder Snow. Among trainers entered in 2024, Bob Baffert leads with four wins. He entered Newgate this year.

Q: Who is the favorite for the Dubai World Cup?

A: The 5-2 morning-line favorite is Ushba Tesoro, who won the race last year and comes in from a strong second-place run in the Saudi Cup. He should be favored off of that form, though make sure to note wagering action on Senor Buscador (7-1), Derma Sotogake (4-1), or Kabirkhan (7-2) in particular, as any of these could be close in the wagering.

Q: Who is the best Dubai World Cup jockey?

A: Jerry Bailey and Frankie Dettori are tied for the most wins with four each. Bailey is retired, but Dettori is still in the saddle, and he pilots Newgate.

Q: Who won the 2023 Dubai World Cup?

A: Ushba Tesoro won the 2023 Dubai World Cup for trainer Noboru Takagi and jockey Yuga Kawada, who bring him back for a repeat attempt this year.

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