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Dubai course conditions, concerns, and changes

With the expectation of rain this evening and some microbursts over the past few days, there are many concerns about the main dirt track and turf course.  Let us discuss. 

The 1997 Dubai World Cup was postponed for four days after a week of storms ravaged the course, including on the originally scheduled race night.  According to an observer who was working for the Dubai Racing Club then and still is now, the differences in the track are dramatic comparing then to now.  Following those issues, both courses were raised over approximately three meters and sit on a pedestal, allowing them to drain well. 

For turf racing, the conditions were good or good to firm all year and you cannot compare the going here to anywhere else in the world as these courses are used for all of 11 nights a year for the turf and 21 for the dirt course.  Comparisons to Monmouth Park for the 2007 Breeders’ Cup are sure to abound – but such comparisons CANNOT be considered legitimate.  Rain pounded Monmouth for four consecutive days with very little break and three full days of training and racing were conducted over the boggy conditions, opening the dirt track up to allow moisture to penetrate it.  The dirt track here has been open only for training and sealed constant for the remaining time. 

I have no concerns over the going, and my hypothesis is that the Dubai Racing Club does not either.

There was one night of racing here over sloppy dirt conditions this season and that took place on December 4, 2008 during the Winter Racing Challenge.  I charted the races from afar and in six races run, the results varied with no noticeable bias; winners came from on the lead and from well behind.  The track is fair. 

I will be heading to Nad Al Sheba in a few hours and post more there, if possible.  On Dubai World Cup night, wireless internet conditions are often snail-like (hopefully a change for Meydan) and could limit my ability to post pictures until after the races. 

We all have visions of a flooded Nad Al Sheba tonight, but who knows what is going to happen.  I’ve considered the possibility that the global feed goes out.  Yesterday, the track cut power to test backup generator systems, graciously alerting the media when it was to happen.  If I can, I will update conditions as often as possible here on the site. 

The Gulf News reports this morning that up to 100 millimeters of rain are possible over the next three days, with heavy and very heavy rains possible.  Of course, to those in the US and UK, those amounts are regularly absorbed without much concern, and we may not even consider it “heavy.”  Yet, if there is one thing that Dubai isn’t built for, it’s drainage. 

Click HERE to view the changes, which includes a few rider amendments.  As of now, there is only one defection outside of the previously announced Arabian scratching.  In the UAE Derby, #13 PASO DE GLORIA is now a non-runner.  Golden Shaheen runner BLACK SEVENTEEN may scratch as race time approaches, his morning lethargy has bothered trainer Brian Koriner and is considered a last minute decision.

One comment

  1. Hi Pat,

    I’ve enjoyed reading DubaiRaceNight, I hope you do it again nect year!

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