Highlights of Dubai World Cup 2021
  • # Keiba blog
March 27 marks the day of the Dubai World Cup 2021. The results are in. Congratulations to Mystic Guide for becoming this year’s champion!

March 27, 2021 marks the 25th run of the Dubai World Cup which was established in 1996. It is the most highly-anticipated flat race around the world with a purse of $12 million (¥1.3 billion)! Despite being such a prestigious event, the Dubai Racing Club had to limit entry to the Meydan Racecourse. 


There are no spectators allowed in the stadium as a precaution to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were no tickets sold. Only racing officials, contestants, and accredited media and sponsors were invited. This event is sponsored by Emirates Airlines. 


Nevertheless, the event was well documented and broadcasted for international horse racing news outlets. The people around the world still saw Mystic Guide secure first place in this year’s Dubai World Cup! 


Top Four Winners

The Dubai World Cup 2021 is a 2,000 metre left-handed round trip on dirt turf with 14 contestants coming from different countries. Unfortunately, two of those horses were removed from the competition due to misbehaviour, leaving the race with only 12 starters. For those who missed the game, here are the names and performances of the top four racers. It also comes with a few important details for those who are not familiar with them:


Mystic Guide

Mystic Guide is a 4-year-old colt so he is only in his 2nd year on the racetrack. He has never fallen outside of the top three in all 8 of his races. This track record is very similar to his parents’ Ghostzapper and Music Note. On March 27, he passed racing veterans such as Chuwa Wizard and Magny Cours who are both 6 years old.


Mystic Guide is owned by Godolphin in the United States which also owns many first-place winning horses. The difference is that he is still young and has yet to reach his full potential. Nevertheless, he left a large margin between the first and second places. Mystic Guide’s jockey is Luis Saez from Panama who won the Saudi Cup with the horse Maximum Security in 2020. 


Chuwa Wizard

Chuwa Wizard is a champion of the Japanese Racing Association’s (JRA) dirt racing category in 2020. He is Japan’s only representative for this race. Chuwa Wizard’s records have been stellar as he doesn’t fall behind 4th place. However, his last race didn’t end favourably as he only secured 9th place in the Saudi Cup. Winning 2nd place in the Dubai World Cup is an amazing recovery of his career. 


Chuwa Wizard is owned by Nakanishi Shinobu from Japan and his jockey was Tosaki Keita. He is one of the most successful foals of King Kamehameha, a Hall of Fame indoctrinate and two-time leading sire for the JRA. He is considered one of the best dirt course racers in his home country. 


Magny Cours

Magny Cours is a 6-year-old gelding representing Godolphin, the same farm where Mystic Guide is from. Despite his age and how he has raced for five years, he has only participated in 8 races. This year, he won 1st place three times in a row in Prix Drashaan, Gala Stakes, and Prix de Montretout. His streak was cut now that he placed 3rd in Dubai World Cup.


Magny Cours is a progeny of Medaglia d’Oro and Indy Five Hundred. The sire is one of the greatest racehorses in the US but the dam didn’t have a fulfilling career in the same field. The damsire, however, is A.P. Indy who was a legendary racer from Kentucky.



Hypothetical is a contender from Ireland under the ownership of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum. He is only 4 years old but the Dubai World Cup 2021 is the 9th race of his two-year-old career. Prior to the prestigious Al Maktoum Challenge Road, Hypothetical has only participated in G3 and handicap races.


He had a rough start in 2020 but he hasn’t fallen off from the top 4 placings throughout 2021. It certainly hasn’t stopped now and this streak won’t be broken anytime soon as the young colt is still improving in his training. 


Hypothetical’s sire is Lope de Vega with Peut Etre as the dam. Both only had relatively few race appearances. Hypothetical doesn’t have much fame outside of his home country but that is bound to change as he participates in more international events.


Scratched Horses from the Competition

There was an unfortunate event that happened right before the featured Dubai World Cup 2021 began. Two contenders had to be removed from the competition due to misbehaving in the stadium. Great Scot was reported to be quarrelsome with the other horses. This intimidated the other contenders, including the winners Mystic Guide and Luis Saez. 


Military Law broke free from the starting station while the racers were being placed. He ran around the stadium without his jockey, Fresu Antonio. It took a few minutes before he was apprehended the bay gelding. 


Both Military Law and Great Scot had to be removed from the $12-million-dollar competition. Therefore, there were only 12 racers for the highly-anticipated event instead of 14 as promised. 


Closing Ceremony 

The closing ceremony of the entire event was amazing as always. The skies of the Meydan Racecourse was decorated with a stunning light show! Several very recognizable figures appeared over the stadium such as a horse, a horse’s head with a crown, and a few recognizable logos. 


Aside from the pretty lights, the closing ceremony was also dedicated to the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He served as the Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance. He passed away peacefully on March 24, Wednesday at the age of 75.


Sheikh Hamdan is an enthusiast of horse racing and breeding. He doesn’t just focus his attention on Thoroughbred flat foot racing as he has also invested in the Arabian breed. His honour will be represented by Al Zahir in the traditional Kahayla Classic on the day of the Dubai World Cup 2021.


Summary of Other Races of the Day

The Dubai World Cup 2021 is the featured race of the day and it is scheduled as the final race at around 8 PM. Due to the trouble with the two misbehaving horses, the featured $12-million event was pushed to almost 9 PM. 


Nine races took place before the main event. All of these are top-class races in Dubai. Some of them are exclusive to local participants while others feature the Arabian breed rather than Thoroughbred. 


Kahayla Classic

The prestigious event starts with the Dubai Kahayla Classic. This is the 22nd run of the Kahayla Classic which has ¥109.7 million sponsored by Mubadala Investment Company. It is a G2 race for Purebred Arabian horses. It is a 2,000-metre race on a left-handed dirt track for a 5-year-old and older Arabian breed. Here are the top four placers:

  1. Af Alwajel from the United Arab Emirates
  2. Al Rhoba’a Al Khali from Oman
  3. Al Zahir from France
  4. Brraq from France

Godolphin Mile

The 27th running of the Godolphin Mile is a G2 flat foot race for 3- and 4-year-old Thoroughbreds. The race is a 1,600-metre long dirt track. It has a purse of ¥109.7 million sponsored by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City - District One. Here are the top four placers:

  1. Ambassadorial from the United States
  2. Avant Garde from the United States
  3. Blown By Wind from the United Kingdom
  4. Chiefdom from the United States

Dubai Gold Cup

The 25th run of the Dubai Gold Cup is a G3 flat race with a purse of ¥82 million sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, the leading full-service new and pre-owned car dealership in the UAE. This race is a battle of endurance as 3-year-old and older Thoroughbreds have to compete through a 3,200-metre left-handed turf track. Here are the top four placers:

  1. Away He Goes from Ireland
  2. For the Top from Argentina
  3. Global Heat from Ireland
  4. Mekong from the United Kingdom

Al Quoz Sprint

This is the 15th run of the Al Quoz Sprint. It is a G1 flat foot race on a straight turf race track. The race is only 1,200 metres long so sprint is the key factor to winning. It is open for Thoroughbreds that are 3 years old and older. This event has a purse of ¥109.7 million sponsored by Azizi Developments, the leading private developer in the UAE. Here are the top four placers:

  1. Extravagant Kid from the United States
  2. Final Song from Ireland
  3. Acklam Express from Ireland
  4. Equilateral from the United Kingdom

UAE Derby

The UAE Derby is a G2 race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds. This is only its 22nd run since its inauguration in 2000. It is a flat foot racing race on a left-handed dirt track for 1,900 metres. This event has a purse of ¥274.2 million sponsored by Emirates NBD Bank PJSC. Here are the top four placers:

  1. Rebel’s Romance from Ireland
  2. Panadol from the United States
  3. New Treasure from Ireland
  4. Takeru Pegasus from Japan

Dubai Golden Shaheen

The 25th run of the Dubai Golden Shaheen is a G1 flat foot race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds and older. It has a 1,200 metre, left-handed turf track. This event is sponsored by Gulf News which gave it a purse of ¥219.3 million. Here are the top four placers:

  1. Zenden from the United States
  2. Red Le Zele from Japan
  3. Canvassed from Ireland
  4. Wildman Jack from the United States

Dubai Turf

This is the 25th run of the Dubai Turf, otherwise known as Dubai Duty Free. It is a G1 flat foot race on a turf surface. The race is 1,800 metres long, left-handed, and for 4-year-old thoroughbreds or older. It has a purse of ¥547 million, the same as the Dubai Sheema Classic. This event is sponsored by Dubai Port World, a local multinational logistics company. Here are the top four placers:

  1. Lord North from Ireland
  2. Vin de Garde from Japan
  3. Felix from the United Kingdom
  4. Epic Hero from France

Dubai Sheema Classic

The Dubai Sheema Classic is a G1 flat foot race for 4-year-old thoroughbreds or older. It has a turf surface, a distance of 2,400 metres, and a left-handed run. It was first inaugurated in 1998 which means this is the 23rd run of the Dubai Sheema Classic. It has a purse of ¥547 million, making it one of the most lucrative horse racing events in the world. It is presented by Longines, a luxury watchmaking company in Switzerland. Here are the top four placers:

  1. Mishriff from Ireland
  2. Chrono Genesis from Japan
  3. Loves Only You from Japan
  4. Walton Street from the United Kingdom

The Dubai Sheema Classic is the last race before the main event, the Dubai World Cup. All of the races above are top-class events where only the best contenders are invited to compete.


Schedule Summary

March 27, Saturday, was a very eventful day in 2021. It is the day of one of the most prestigious events of the horseracing industry in the world. Congratulations to all the top four winners of every race! 


The day officially began at 1:57 PM as streaming started to feature the venue and the racers for the event. The first race of the day is the Kayhala Classic which began at 3 PM. It was a bright sunny evening. 


It was soon dark enough to open the lights at around 6:20 PM during the Dubai Golden Shaheen. It was completely dark by the time the event ended which is why the closing ceremony had a wonderful light show.


These are the highlights of horse racing news for the Dubai World Cup 2021. A round of applause for the contenders who did their best for this year’s series of amazing events. Apologies to the owners of Great Scot and Military Law because they were unable to participate this year.