2011 Carnival to be best yet

A record number of international horses will be arriving in Dubai in the coming days as the countdown continues to the start of the richest horseracing carnival in the world - the 2011 Dubai International Racing Carnival.

The eighth renewal, with total prize money of over US$37 million, opens at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday, January 13th with the US$200,000 first round of the Al Maktoum Challenge (Group 3).

The Dubai International Racing Carnival is spread over 11 racemeetings and culminates on March 26th, with the sixteenth running of the US$10 million Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline.

Following on from the success of the past editions of the Carnival, a large number of trainers have decided to return to Dubai with an increased number of horses for the 2011 Carnival.

“We couldn’t be happier with both the quality and quantity of horses that we have at the Carnival this year, not only those that have come from abroad but those stabled locally as well,’ said Dubai Racing Club CEO, Mr Frank Gabriel Jr.

“Since the Carnival began it has strengthened the racing scene in Dubai significantly and that was highlighted by Ali Rashid Al Raihe preparing Al Shemali to win the Dubai Duty Free last year.”

Returning trainers include Eduardo Martins, who has a team of six horses this time, John Gosden, Jerry Barton, Alain De Royer Dupre, Andre Fabre, Freddy Head, Mike de Kock, Herman Brown, Mick Channon, Mark Johnston, as well as Ed Dunlop and Luca Cumani.

American Ben Cecil will send horses to the Carnival for the first time with Crowded House and Ferneley arriving from the USA in the coming weeks.

De Kock and the UAE’s Saeed bin Suroor have fought close battles in all previous Carnivals and that looks set to continue with the South African bringing his largest team to Dubai.
Included in that team are last year’s Derby and Oaks winner Musir and Raihana whilst his new recruits include the Durban July winner Bold Silvano, South African Derby winner Irish Flame along with a number of quality three-year-olds including Zanzamar and Mahbooba.

Fellow South Africans Herman Brown has 2010 Al Fahidi Fort winner Bankable headlining his team, and Lucky Houdalakis comes for the first time, bringing with him one of the world’s top sprinters, JJ The Jet Plane.

Great Britain will be very well represented with the Cumani-trained team already settled in, having arrived in mid-December. Among the Cumani Carnival raiders is the multiple Group winner Presvis.
2010 Dubai World Cup winning trainer Pascal Bary is one of 10 French trainers heading to Dubai, along with Stephane Chevalier who has already enjoyed some local success during Meydan’s Winter and Spring Meets this season.

Rodolphe Collet, Xavier Nakkachdji, Francios Doumen, John Hammond, Mikel Delzangles, Alain De Royer Dupre and of course one of France’s most renowned trainers, Andre Fabre will all do their best to carry their flag high.

Jerry Barton, who is based in Saudi Arabia, has again set his sights on the Dubai International Racing Carnival with Deem, a consistent filly winner of both the 2009 Cape Verdi and 2010 Balanchine