Anticipation is amplifying as a mere two weeks remain before the commencement of the UAE racing season. A night of exciting launches in multiple ways, the 2019-2020 season commences at Meydan Racecourse for the first time and at its earliest date doing so, October 24. It also features the first race for the classic generation of 2020, a 1200m maiden affair that is an important stepping stone to the ramped-up $4,325,000 sophomore stakes programme hosted by Dubai Racing Club.
Culminating with the 1900m UAE Derby (Group 2, $2.5 million) on the historic and highly anticipated 25th anniversary of the Dubai World Cup card, Mar. 28, the 12-race series includes an impressive breadth of races, including turf, dirt, sprint, route, colt and filly fixtures—all with a minimum purse of $100,000.
The series kicks off with three one-turn races, the 1400m UAE 1000 Guineas Trial for fillies on opening night, Jan. 2, the 1200m (turf) Dubai Trophy on Jan. 9 and the 1600m UAE 2000 Guineas Trial, also on Jan. 9. Last year, Phoenix Ladies Syndicate’s Walking Thunder parlayed an opening night maiden victory into a similarly dominant result in the 2000 Guineas Trial.
Turf runners have three more races throughout the season, the 1400m Meydan Classic Trial ($100,000) on Feb. 6, 1900m Meydan Trophy ($100,000) on Feb. 13 and 1600m Meydan Classic (Listed, $175,000). In 2019, Simon Crisford-trained Group 3 winner Sporting Chance landed the Meydan Classic, while Ahmad bin Harmash-conditioned Meydan Classic Trial winner Golden Jaguar went on to earn a spot in the UAE Derby.