The full fields to the US$30 million (Dh110.2m) World Cup night have been released and Arrogate, who arrived in Dubai late on Tuesday with stable companion Hoppertunity, will spearhead a 14-strong American challenge across the nine races.
Furia Cruzada will be the only mare in the line-up, and is the lowest-rated runner on 108. As a contrast, Arrogate is rated the world’s best horse on 134. Special Fighter, who was fourth 12 months ago, is rated 115 and will give the new Oasis Stables trainer the biggest night of her fledgling career.
Both horses had to give way to Salem bin Ghadayer’s Long River 11 days ago in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3, but the trio will renew the rivalry with Move Up, who was fourth and will be Godolphin’s only representative in the $10m contest.
Behind the UAE and USA, Japan have had the most World Cup runners out of any other nation and struck with Victoire Pisa in 2011. They will have four challengers next weekend in Awardee, Apollo Kentucky, Gold Dream and the recalcitrant Lani, last season’s UAE Derby winner who was tailed off in the Al Maktoum Challenge.
Sheikh Mohammed Obaid’s Postponed will face just seven rivals in the $6m Dubai Sheema Classic, in what will be the smallest field since the race was first run in 1998.
Last year’s winner was only second on his reappearance run in Dubai on Super Saturday when he finished second to Godolphin’s Prize Money in the Dubai City Of Gold and the two will do battle again in the 2,410-metre turf race.
Overall O’Brien comes with a strong group of horses and has eight runners on the most valuable night in world racing.