When the gates for the first race at the Dubai World Cup open on Saturday, the thunder of hooves on the track will send a wave of excitement not only across the Meydan Racecourse but also among millions tuned in for the broadcast.
The 27th Dubai World Cup is an unmatched drawcard for talent in the sport, bringing together 129 horses from 13 countries.
A total of 78 international and 51 Emirati horses including those from the fabled Godolphin stable, will be contesting for a prizemoney of $30.5 million.
Playing out on the tracks is not only a match-up of equine athleticism but also scientific expertise and specialised equine know-how, areas in which Dubai has emerged as a global frontrunner.
Sheikh Rashed bin Dalmook Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Racing Club, credited His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for the "long-term roadmap for horse racing" that created "the world’s largest and most global racing team, Godolphin, and the largest horse breeding operation, Darley".