Meydan: Dubai World Cup night entries are down on 2014PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Dubai World Cup entries down on new surface
THE controversial switch from a synthetic to dirt surface at Meydan, designed to attract stronger American representation in the world's richest race, appears to have met with mixed results as entries for the Dubai World Cup revealed fewer US horses than in 2014.
The 24 US-trained possibles (down from 30 the previous year) do include some of the nation's best and most famous horses, including Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome and Breeders' Cup Classic winner Bayern. The formerly British-trained Main Sequence, now a major star stateside, also features.
Overall, nominations for the $10 million race fell from 341 to 296, with entries from several major racing nations falling.
British possibles, which include Dubai World Cup regulars Side Glance and Red Cadeaux as well as UAE Derby winner Toast Of New York, are down from 25 to 14. France's contingent fell from six to two, Hong Kong from four to one, Japan from 16 to ten and South Africa from 27 to just three. Ireland again has seven representatives, while Australia has two possibles compared to none last year.
The Dubai Golden Shaheen, the other dirt Group 1, also has fewer US entries than in 2014 - down from 27 to 14. Likewise, the two remaining dirt races, the UAE Derby and Godolphin Mile, are down from 27 to ten and 33 to 17 US-trained entries respectively.
Each of the eight thoroughbred races on Dubai World Cup night has fewer entries than in 2014. Total nominations stand at 2,081, down more than 10 per cent on the previous year.
Nevertheless, many of the world's best are in the running for Dubai World Cup night, with 13 of the world's 20 highest-rated horses featuring. Japan's Epiphaneia, the top-rated horse in training, has entries for the Dubai World Cup, Sheema Classic and Turf.
Among the other notable European entries are the John Gosden-trained Romsdal in the Dubai Sheema Classic, Kevin Ryan's The Grey Gatsby in both the Sheema Classic and Dubai Turf, and Eddie Lynam's Sole Power in the Al Quoz sprint.