The Dubai World Cup was the world’s richest horse race until the Saudi Cup began in 2020. It is held as a night meeting at the end of March each year on a fantastic evening of racing featuring international runners.

  • Race Type: Group 1 Flat Race, 3YOs & up
  • Distance: 2000 metres
  • Track: Meydan Racecourse, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Date: Saturday 30 March 2024

Sponsored by Emirates Airlines, the Dubai World Cup was the world’s richest horse race, with prizemoney of USD 10 million since 2010, until the Saudi Cup was introduced in 2020. The race began in 1996 at Nad-Al Sheba racecourse in 1996 when 11 international horses came together for the inaugural race, won by Cigar, who was North America’s ‘Horse of the Year’ for 1995. In 2010 the race was moved to the new Meydan Racecourse. The 2020 race was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The race is held over 2000 metres. Originally run on dirt it moved to the all-weather surface for many years,then went back to dirt for 2015. The race is for northern hemisphere horses that are four-year-old and up and for southern hemisphere horses that are three-year-olds and up. This allows for the different timing of the breeding seasons to ensure horses are mature enough to run the distance.

There is a field limit of 16 runners and the Dubai World Cup is invitation-only. It has quickly become one of the world’s top racing challenges and attracts huge crowds. Dubai World Cup night features 9 races, where the first is a Group 1 race for purebred Arabians only. The rest of the card has five Group 1 races, including the Dubai World Cup, two Group 2 and a Group 3 race. Some of these races are run on turf while others are run on the all-weather surface.

Past Winners of the Dubai World Cup

American ‘wonder horse’ Cigar came from last when he won the first Dubai World Cup to hold a head-to-head battle with Soul Of the Matter, and stamped the race as a great contest. Many past winners have come from the United States, who have had the majority of the runners, particularly in the earlier years. In 2011 it was won by a Japanese horse for the first time. Thunder Snow is the only horse that has won more than once, although a couple have placed and then gone on to win the following year.

Year Winner Second Third
2024 Laurel River Ushba Tesoro Senor Buscador
2023 Ushba Tesoro Algiers Emblem Road
2022 Country Grammar Hot Rod Charlie Chuwa Wizard
2021 Mystic Guide Chuwa Wizard Magny Cours
2020 ** Race not held **
2019 Thunder Snow Gronkowski Gunnevera
2018 Thunder Snow West Coast Mubtaahij
2017 Arrogate Gun Runner Neolithic
2016 California Chrome Mubtaahij Hoppertunity
2015 Prince Bishop California Chrome Lea
2014 African Story Mukhadram Cat O’Mountain
2013 Animal Kingdom Red Cadeaux Planteur
2012 Monterosso (GB) Capponi (GB) Planteur
2011 Victoire Pisa (JPN) Transcend (JPN) Monterosso (GB)
2010 Gloria de Campeao (BRZ) Lizard’s Desire (SAF) Allybar (IRE)
2009 Well Armed (USA) Gloria De Campeo (BRZ) Paris Perfect (SAF)
2008 Curlin (USA) Asiatic Boy (ARG) Well Armed (USA)
2007 Invasor (ARG) Premium Tap (USA) Bullish Luck (USA)
2006 Electrocutionist (USA) Wilko (USA) Magna Graduate (USA)
2005 Roses In May (USA) Dynever (USA) Choctaw Nation (USA)
2004 Pleasantly Perfect (USA) Medaglia D’Oro (USA) Victory Moon (SAF)
2003 Moon Ballad (IRE) Harlan’s Holiday (USA) Nayef (USA)
2002 Street Cry (IRE) Sakhee (USA) Crimson Quest (IRE)
2001 Captain Steve (USA) To The Victory (JPN) Hightori (FR)
2000 Dubai Millenium (GB) Behrens (USA) Public Purse (USA)e
1999 Almutawakel (GB) Malek (CHI) Victory Gallop (CAN)
1998 Silver Charm (USA) Swain (IRE) Loup Sauvage (USA)
1997 Singspiel (IRE) Siphon (BRZ) Sandpit (BRZ)
1996 Cigar (USA) Soul Of The Matter (USA) L’Carriere (USA)