Public to be excluded from Dubai World Cup meeting

Almond Eye and Christophe Lemaire winning the 2019 Dubai Turf. Photo: Mathea Kelley

The Dubai World Cup meeting at Meydan on March 28 has joined the list of race meetings that will be run without spectators because of the international coronavirus crisis.

All supporting Dubai World Cup events, including the Post-Position Draw (Wednesday, March 25), Breakfast with the Stars (Thursday, March 26) and Welcome Reception (Thursday, March 26), have been cancelled. Race-day events, including entertainment, have also been cancelled. 

Only horse connections, racing officials, accredited media and sponsors will be permitted entry. All races will be contested and regulated in a standard fashion and results will be recorded officially.

The situation is being monitored on a daily basis as the Dubai Racing Club continues to coordinate and adhere to the guidelines from the UAE government.

Spectators are also being excluded from watching racing in Japan, Hong Kong, Ireland, France and several major U.S. tracks as the virus continues to spread globally.

The situation has prompted world #3 rider Christophe Lemaire, who is based in Japan, to give up a big weekend of rides there in order to fly to Dubai ten days ahead of the World Cup meeting so he doesn’t risk missing the ride on Almond Eye in the $6 million Dubai Turf, which she won last year, according to

“She is the most important thing because she is a horse of a lifetime for me,” he said. “If I could not get on her, I would go crazy.”

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