So Much for Social Distancing and Watching Racing on TV


According to TDN, a few days ago, the Dubai World Cup is the latest sporting event to fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Dubai Racing Club on Sunday confirming that the 25th edition of the world’s richest day of racing, set for next Saturday, Mar. 28, has been cancelled.

A statement from the Dubai Racing Club read, “To safeguard the health of all participants, the higher organising committee of the Dubai World Cup has decided to postpone the 25th edition of the global event to the next year. Further to the UAE government’s precautionary measures against the virus, we believe it is our duty to help protect the well-being of residents and guests.

Eight group races for Thoroughbreds and one for Purebred Arabians were scheduled, worth a total of $35-million.

“We have to put this into perspective. What is happening around the world is shocking, and the government has made the right decision to look after people. We just have to hope this thing clears up as quickly as possible. It will take time, but hopefully, all around the world, people get better.

“For our sport, that is so important as we need our horses to run–that means everything for us–but at the same time we have a responsibility to look after our people.”

All racing in Britain has been cancelled through April, and bin Suroor said he will remain in Dubai to oversee his horses there for the time being.

The undercard was set to include horses like Defoe (GB) (Dalakhani {Ire}), Ghaiyyath (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) and Star Catcher (GB) (Frankel {GB}) in the $6-million Dubai Sheema Classic; Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) and Barney Roy (GB) (Excelebration {Ire}) in the $6-million G1 Dubai Turf and Group 1-winning stayers Call The Wind (GB) (Frankel {GB}) and Cross Counter (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) in the $1.5-million G2 Dubai Gold Cup.

As of Sunday, there were 153 reported cases of COVID-19 in the UAE, and two deaths. The Dubai-based Emirates Airlines announced on Sunday it would suspend all passenger flights from Mar. 25. Cargo flights will continue to operate.

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