The Dubai World Cup is one of the more recent additions to the worldwide schedule of major horse races. Since its debut in 1996 it's grown exponentially in significance and is now the richest horse racing event in the world ahead of the Breeders' Cup. The prize purses for the Dubai World Cup now amount to $29.5 million US and that big payday helps attract top racehorses from all over the world.


Since 2010 the Dubai World Cup has been held at the plush new Meydan Racecourse which has an all weather synthetic surface as well as a turf course. The Dubai World Cup is held annually in late March and includes nine races with eight thoroughbred contests and one reserved for purebred Arabian horses. Racing in Dubai operates under the jurisdiction of the Emirates Racing Authority. The Emirates Racing Authority is chaired by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who is also the Minister of Presidential Affairs for the United Arab Emirates. One of the unique aspects of the Dubai World Cup is that it is the only major horse racing event in the world with no betting at the track. Like most Muslim nations, gambling is illegal in Dubai though the event still manages to draw 60,000 fans each year. Outside of Dubai, however, it's a completely different story. Dubai World Cup betting is popular throughout the US and Europe and the event is broadcast live by TVG in the United States. The Dubai World Cup races are very unique handicapping challenges for a number of reasons—big fields drawn from all over the world on an unfamiliar track with a synthetic surface (Tapeta) that many horses have never run on.


California Chrome Heading Home Soon&h=223&w=348&zc=1

Added on March 28, 2016 , in Dubai World Cup Betting

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While the race features many horses with Dubai ownership the overwhelming majority are bred and trained in the United States or Europe. In the main event of the card—the Dubai World Cup race—16 of the 18 all time winners have been bred in the United States or Europe. A horse bred in Brazil won in 2007 while a Japanese bred horse won in 2011. These two horses are also the only two winners of the big race that did not have American or Dubai owners—each country has won 8 of the 18 races.


With no on track Dubai World Cup betting and the majority of wagering action coming from the United States or Europe there are a few general strategies the handicapper can use to make this unique situation work in his advantage. Keep in mind that there will be many unfamiliar horses in the field and this means that horses bred in Europe and particularly the United States will be overbet. This is especially true among horses that have had some success in their career—bettors naturally gravitate toward familiar names. The flip side is also true—lower profile horses often offer value and shouldn't be dismissed when making your Dubai World Cup bets.


At one point the United States bred horses had a significant advantage in the dirt races in Dubai but that edge has been eliminated with the switch to the synthetic Tapeta surface that came about with the opening of the Meydan Racecourse in 2010. Since no other major race tracks have a Tapeta surface (the only American tracks that do are Golden Gate Fields and Presque Isle Downs) you won't find many horses with experience on the surface. The American horses are at a significant disadvantage in the turf races held in Dubai—in fact, no American bred horse has ever won one of these races.