Horses from 16 countries accepted to 2023 Dubai World Cup Carnival

Nearly 150 horses from 16 countries have been accepted to run at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, which gets underway on Friday, January 6th at Meydan Racecourse.

Dolkong trotted over the Meydan dirt track.
Dolkong trotted over the Meydan dirt track. Picture: Dubai Racing Club

With millions in prizemoney up for grabs across nine weeks of racing, the Carnival promises some excellent action on the turf and dirt tracks at the UAE's flagship racecourse. The action builds up to the Dubai World Cup, which takes place on Saturday, March 25th, for which a separate set of nominations will be received.

The cosmopolitan nature of the entries reflects the success of the 2022 Carnival, which welcomed winners from the UK, France, Uruguay, Bahrain and the USA. The 2023 renewal sees 147 horses accepted, including nine individual Group/Grade 1 winners.

California-based trainer Doug O'Neill enjoyed an excellent Dubai stint in 2022, saddling four winners from just 19 runners. He has nominated a team of 11, including Grade 2 winner and Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile third Slow Down Andy , as well as Get Back Goldie , winner of the Oud Metha Stakes at Meydan last season, and three-year-old B Dawk, sixth in the G1 Pennsylvania Derby.

Joining O'Neill from the US could be fellow Classic-winning trainer Dallas Stewart, who has nominated Grade 2 winner Long Range Toddy, while US-based Turkish trainer Mertkan Kantamaci has entered Evvie Jets and Stage Left.

South America enjoyed plenty of success at the 2022 Carnival and they are back again, with Grade I winners La Validada, Nino Guapo and El Musical nominated by Argentina-based trainer Juan Saldivia, while Ricardo Colombo  brings over the exciting Loreley, winner of the local Group 1 Gran Premio Polla de Potrillos in Uruguay in September.

Australian trainer Will Clarken made an impact at Meydan last season with He's A Balter running fourth in the G2 Blue Point Sprint and he has nominated the gelding again, along with Beau Rossa and Ironclad.

South Korea, successful at the Carnival in the past with the likes of Listed Curlin Stakes winner Dolkong , are set to return to Dubai after a break of a couple of years. Trainer Youn Gu Park has nominated Haengbok Wangia, while Young Kwan Kim has put forward another US-bred, King Of The Match.

The Carnival, which began back in 2004 at Nad Al Sheba racecourse, often welcomes back returning stars and the Charlie Hills-trained Equilateral is set to visit for a third time, alongside stablemate Khaadem, a Group 2 winner since running at Meydan last season. Hills' fellow British trainer Richard Hannon has put forward Group winners Chindit and Happy Romance; the latter having enjoyed Dubai before when she was second in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint.

Commenting on the 2023 Carnival, Stephanie Cooley, International Liaison for Dubai Racing Club, said: "We are delighted with the strength of nominations which we have received from across the world for the Carnival. To have nations such as South Korea, who have suffered from Covid restrictions in recent years, returning is gratifying, and its also superb to welcome back many returning equine stars as well as some new faces from the UK, Ireland and the USA."

The full list of accepted horses can be seen here:

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