Frank Gabriel Jr, the Dubai Racing Club’s (DRC) Vice President of Racing, believes the Dubai World Cup has contributed significantly to the growth of Dubai and the UAE.
“We can firmly say today Dubai is known the world over for the sports we host, and the Dubai World Cup is definitely right there on top,” he told media at Meydan Racecourse ahead of Saturday’s 20th running of the world’s richest race.
“If in 1996 we managed to create an awareness of what Dubai is, today we can confidently say that we have at least a 30 per cent jump in tourism due to the horse racing.”
Gabriel, who as the CEO of the DRC oversaw the construction of the world’s largest racecourse, has also played an important role in helping grow the Dubai World Cup, which is regarded as one of the best race meetings in the world.
This year’s nine-horse field features American Horse of the Year and Kentucky Derby (G1) winner California Chrome and Lea, trained by the legendary Bill Mott — who saddled the mighty Cigar to win the inaugural Dubai World Cup.
Also lining up to challenge for the $10 million (Dh36.7 million) contest on Saturday is the Japanese duo of Hokko Tarumae and Epiphaneia and British hope Side Glance, who returns for a third shot at the prize.
“We have had a few horses dropping off due to injuries, but we are fortunate to have some of the best horses in the field this year led by the likes of the best American horse [California Chrome], the two horses from Japan, and of course the man who trained Cigar,” Gabriel said.
“Everything has been sold out and that says a lot of this race. This facility has really matured and the Dubai World Cup is one event that is on everyone’s calendar today.
“The Dubai World Cup has grown into a class act over the years and today we can look back with satisfaction that we have contributed to the growth of Dubai and the UAE.”