THE 2020 Dubai World Cup night at Meydan next Saturday has been cancelled with the organising committee citing safeguarding the health of all participants during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The fixture, which holds six Group 1s and two Group 2 contests including the Dubai World Cup and Dubai Sheema Classic, is the latest global sporting event to be cancelled with the pandemic continuing to escalate.

Among the star-studded contenders set to have lined up were 2018 Melbourne Cup scorer Cross Counter, Japanese superstar Almond Eye, the globe-trotting Benbatl and recent Jebel Hatta winner Barney Roy.

Having announced that the meeting, which has a total prize fund of US$35million (£30.04m/€32.52m), would be held behind closed doors earlier in the month — the organising committee on Sunday decided to call off the stellar card.

“To safeguard the health of all participants, the organising committee of the Dubai World Cup 2020 has decided to postpone the 25th edition of the global tournament to next year.”

The announcement followed the cancellation of the Randox Health Grand National meeting, due to be held at Aintree next month, while the Kentucky Derby has been postponed until September 5. All racing in Britain has been cancelled until the end of April, while French racing will not start up again until April 15 at the earliest.

It was announced on Thursday that Aidan O’Brien would not be sending his powerful team out to the meeting due to travel concerns over the virus.

As of Sunday afternoon, coronavirus cases had reached over 315,000 across the world with more than 13,500 deaths recorded.


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