Pillar Partner, Emirates Airline Backs Carnival Double Header at Meydan

Mubtaahij, the Mike de Kock-trained 2016 $10m Dubai World Cup contender, was the winner of the Super Saturday Al Bastakiya sponsored by Emirates in 2015 under jockey Dane O`Neill. He will have his final prep for the world`s richest race in the Al Maktoum Challenge on Saturday March 5, 2016. Photo: Andrew Watkins

Ten Group Races Feature on Thursday and Super Saturday Cards

Emirates Airline is to return to Meydan Racecourse not once but twice this weekend with sponsorship of a huge double-header of racing in the Dubai World Cup Carnival.

The final two meetings of Dubai Racing Club’s international season prior to the Saturday March 26 Dubai World Cup, feature ten Group races including the final rounds of the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge series for Purebred Arabians and Thoroughbreds. The Group 1 Jebel Hatta, the Group 2 Balanchine for fillies and mares and the Group 3 UAE Oaks all highlight.

Racing on the Thursday meeting gets underway at 7pm and racegoers can take advantage of Italian Night in the Parade Ring Restaurant, which offers all you can eat pasta and pizza with two glasses of grape for AED150.

Staged as the dress rehearsal for the $30m Dubai World Cup day, racing on Super Saturday will start at 4pm. Racegoers can also take advantage of the popular all inclusive AED300 Terrace Brunch, held for the last time this season.

Each of the seven races on Super Saturday correspond to a race on Dubai World Cup day and for some runners a good performance could earn a coveted place in one of the final fields on the big day. The timing of Super Saturday, held three weeks before Dubai World Cup day, allows the horses that run on both days adequate recovery time.

The biggest race of the weekend is the featured Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3, which is held on Super Saturday over the same course and distance as the Dubai World Cup. Dubai Millennium (2000), Street Cry (2002) and Electrocutionist (2006) won the Al Maktoum Challenge R3 before going on to win the Dubai World Cup in the same year.

Interestingly, Prince Bishop, the 2015 Dubai World Cup winner won the Al Maktoum Challenge R3 in 2014, while fellow Godolphin star, African Story the 2014 World Cup winner, won the Al Maktoum Challenge in 2015. The Purebred Arabian version of the Al Maktoum Challenge R3, the official prep race for the Dubai Kahayla Classic, takes pride of place on Thursday’s card.

Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Centre said: “Emirates is proud of its association with the Dubai World Cup Carnival. In the same way as Emirates has, this event has been a success since day one and every year they both continue to grow and break records. Emirates is committed to this sponsorship and support of horseracing around the world.”

Malih Al Basti, Vice Chairman of Meydan Group and Chairman of the Meydan Racing Committee said: “While Super Saturday is the official prep for the Dubai World Cup, it also stands alone as an important day of racing on the global calendar. It offers trainers the chance to put the finishing touches to their campaigns for the Dubai World Cup but also provides a significant prize purse making it an attractive proposition in its own right.

“Emirates Airline has been a valued supporter of this sport since the beginning of international racing in Dubai and backs this industry at every level, from the opening of the season to the biggest stage of all – the Dubai World Cup.”

Visit the Parade Ring Restaurant following the last race on Thursday and Saturday for live music and AED25 drinks.

General admission to Meydan Racecourse is free and there are hospitality packages to suit every budget.
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