NO LESS THAN 34 horses arrived at Dubai World Cup Quarantine on 5 January, including last year’s Group 1 Jebel Hatta winner Lord Glitters. Lord Glitters, who is likely to begin his Dubai campaign in the Group 2 Al Rashidiya on 21 January, was joined on the flight by his David O’Meara-trained stablemate Summerghand, winner of 13 races, including the Group 3 Abernant Stakes in April.

Also returning, this time for a fourth attempt, is the David Marnane-trained Freescape, part of a four strong Irish contingent, with the Ado McGuinnesstrained pair of Harry’s Bar and Pierre Lapin, as well as 3yo JJ Jumbo for trainer Darren Bunyan.

As well as carnival regulars, this year’s international extravaganza will welcome several trainers to Meydan Racecourse for the first time. These include Newmarketbased handler Alice Haynes, who sends over a pair of 3yos, Freyabella and Mr Professor.

Upwardly mobile trainer Amy Murphy will also saddle her first Dubai runner when Abalone Pearl makes her UAE debut, while Heather Main will be represented by Highland Brave, contender for the staying races and a winner 11 times.

France will also once again be well represented and carnival-winning trainer Nicolas Caullery has sent over Batwan, while Pia Brandt brings the filly Pessemona. Henri-Francois Devin has two in Dubai: Wild Majesty and Listed winner Integrant.

The current French contingent is completed by Manjeer, trained by Carina Fey, and Pevensey Bay, trained by Hiroo Shimizu. The newcomers join around 20 carnival horses already based at Meydan’s extensive stabling complex and Stephanie Cooley, international liaison for Dubai Racing Club, is delighted at the turnout.

“We’re very happy to have such a strong bunch of Europeans here in Dubai in time for the first carnival meeting on Friday,” she said. “They join those already here, which includes horses from Sweden, Norway and Uruguay. We have more flights scheduled over the next couple of weeks, including from the USA, bringing a team for Doug O’Neill, as well as Australia and Argentina.”

The Dubai World Cup Carnival runs for eight meetings, with $7.5 million in prize money up to and including ‘Super Saturday’ on 5 March. The prestigious Dubai World Cup fixture, worth $30.5 million across nine races, takes place on 26 March. Free nominations are now open.