|The Dubai Duty Free is a 1777m
(1 mile 194 yards) flat turf horse race held in late March each year in
the United Arab Emirates, and is run at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in
Dubai. Open to four-year-old thoroughbreds and up, the Dubai Duty Free
is part of the Dubai World Cup Night and offers a purse of $5 million.
Inaugurated in 1996, the Dubai Duty Free - named after its sponsor - was
run on dirt over a distance of 2000m (1 mile 2 furlongs). In 2000 it was
shortened to its current distance and changed over to turf. In 2003 it
was awarded its Gr 1 status and in 2006 chosen as the second leg of the
four-race Asian Mile Challenge.
Like the Dubai Sheema Classic which is held on the same day, the Dubai
Duty Free is one of the richest horse races in the United Arab Emirates
and as such attracts many entrants from around the world. For instance,
the winner of the 2008 Dubai Duty Free, Jay Peg, was bred and trained in
The fastest time in the Dubai Duty Free is 1:47.61 which was set in 2003
by another Southern African horse, Ipi Tombe, who was born and bred in
Zimbabwe, trained by leading South African trainer, Mike de Kock, ridden
by top-rated South African jockey, Kevin Shea, and owned by Team Valor.
Only one jockey, Gary Stevens, has won the Dubai Duty Free twice - in
1996 aboard Key of Luck and in 1998 aboard Annus Mirabilis. Trainer
Saeed bin Suroor has chalked up the most wins with four - in 1997, 1998,
1999 and 2000, while owner Godolphin Racing has two wins - in 1997 and