UAE Racing Season Countdown

Earliest start ever

Anticipation is amplifying as two weeks remain before the commencement of the UAE racing season.

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 the 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, March 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, January 2, the 1200m (turf) Dubai Trophy on January  9 and the 1600m UAE 2000 Guineas Trial, also on 9 January.

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 February  6, 1900m Meydan Trophy ($100,000) on February 13 and 1600m Meydan Classic (Listed, $175,000).

In 2019, Simon Crisford-trained Gr3 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.

Males taking the dirt route to the UAE Derby have lucrative prep options in the 1900m Al Bastakiya Trial ($100,000) on Jan. 23, 1600m UAE 2000 Guineas (Group 3, $250,000) on 1900m Al Bastakiya (Listed, $300,000) on Super Saturday, Mar. 7.

Fillies have the option of staying within their sex and competing in the 1600m UAE 1000 Guineas (Listed, $250,000) on Jan. 23 and 1900m UAE Oaks (Group 3, $250,000) on Feb. 20 before possibly stepping up against the boys in the UAE Derby.

In 2019, standout Godolphin filly Divine Image dipped into both pools, winning the UAE Oaks and Al Bastakiya before starting favoured in the UAE Derby

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