Frankie Dettori: one of 12 jockeys set to take part in Meydan MastersPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Top jockeysbattle it out for Meydan Masters
AS WELL as kicking off the 2012 Dubai Carnival, Thursday's meeting also includes the first of four races that comprise the 2012 Meydan Masters International Jockey Challenge, which concludes on Friday.
The 12 riders are Mickael Barzalona, Maxime Guyon and Christophe Lemaire from France; William Buick, Ryan Moore, Colm O'Donoghue and Tom Queally from the UK and Ireland; Italy's Mirco Demuro and Frankie Dettori; Kenichi Ikezoe from Japan; Andrasch Starke from Germany and Australia's Craig Williams.
Combined, the Meydan Masters' jockeys have won a staggering 61 Group 1 races around the world during 2011 and include the winning riders from the Dubai World Cup, Caulfield Cup, W.S. Cox Plate, Melbourne Cup, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
There are also seven who won Classics in 2011 which include the Derby, St Leger, 2,000 Guineas, 1,000 Guineas, Hong Kong Derby, Japanese Derby and Irish Derby.
Meydan CEO and chairman Saeed Al-Tayer said: "To have such illustrious names competing in the Meydan Masters further advances horseracing in Dubai on the world's stage."
Points are accumulated based on the riders' finishes in the race, and the winner is determined by the highest point total secured in those races. Richard Hills wonthe inaugural event in 2010 and Calvin Borel was champion in 2011.