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NBC Sports to Broadcast Dubai World Cup Which Features Strong American Interest

The 2018 Dubai World Cup from Meydan Racecourse will be screened live on NBC Sports next month and is set to feature a number of American horses who are in contention to win the prestigious dirt race which is run over 2000 metres.

This year’s contest will be the 23rd edition of the thoroughbred flat race in which 11 American-trained horses have been successful since its inauguration in 1996. In 2017, Arrogate was the latest runner from the US to add its name to the roll of honour in the UAE.

Credit: Pegasus World Cup via Twitter

West Coast goes into the race in March as the +175 favourite at William Hill, where, if successful, he will continue legendary trainer Bob Baffert’s fantastic record. The former Triple Crown winner has been victorious on three occasions in this dirt race. Silver Charm in 1998 provided him with his first win, and three years later Captain Steve ended up in the winner’s enclosure, while Arrogate capped off what was a brilliant career on the track last March with first place.

Baffert’s latest star rose to prominence last season with two Grade One victories. As a three-year-old, he finished out on top in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga, where he made all with Mike Smith on his back. The following month, he travelled to Parx to land the Pennsylvania Derby by an emphatic seven lengths.

Despite his age, Baffert took a chance with West Coast in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar where he was not let down by his talented colt who finished third behind Gun Runner and Collected respectively. In his most recent outing in the Pegasus World Cup in Florida, the American horse came home second behind Gun Runner in an improved performance.

With Gun Runner now retired from the track, West Coast has the opportunity to establish himself as the world’s leading dirt horse in the Dubai World Cup. It will be his first trip outside of the United States, therefore, he will have to prove he can handle the conditions in the UAE, while challengers are also likely to come from the UK, France and Japan this time.

Thunder Storm Expected to Run Well for Godolphin

Godolphin always have a strong number of entries in the Dubai World Cup each year and their best chance of success next month looks to be with Thunder Storm, who has been in the UAE since January and has already recorded a victory at the carnival.

Credit: Meydan Racing via Twitter

The four-year-old colt won the Grade One Prix Jean Prat last season at Chantilly, in what was a solid campaign for the Saeed bin Suroor-trained runner. The Irish-bred horse is very experienced at Meydan as he has raced there on four occasions, with three victories coming from those outings.

Thunder Storm is expected to be partnered by Belgian jockey Christophe Soumillon who is still searching from his first ever win in the Dubai World Cup. Bin Suroor, on the other hand, holds the record for the most victories as a trainer in the race with seven to his name already.

This year’s Dubai World Cup takes place on Saturday, March 31 in which the card will also include the Dubai Sheema Classic and a host of other Grade One races.