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Dubai World Cup rescheduled for Thursday

March 30, 1997

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ The Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race that was washed out Saturday by torrential rain, will be run Thursday.

The rain left the Nad Al Sheba dirt race track waterlogged and threatened to cancel the $4 million race. But Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid, Crown Prince of Dubai, met with organizers and trainers Sunday and salvaged the event.

However, the race will be run with one less horse, losing some of its glitter with the withdrawal of European champion Helissio.

Elie Lellouche, Helissio’s trainer, took the horse out after Saturday’s storm. Rain earlier last week twice closed the track to training.

``We’ve checked the weather forecast and there is to be no more rain through to Friday,″ said Michael Osborne, chairman of the Dubai World Cup committee.

The race was expected to attract a crowd of 30,000 and be watched by more than 100 million TV viewers from around the world.

More rain in the next five days would almost certainly result in the cancellation of the race. But the Dubai weather center predicted sunny and cool weather for the next few days.

``Provided we have dry weather, the track should be open by Tuesday and raceable by Wednesday night,″ track maintenance manager Steve Grigg said.

Cigar won the inaugural Dubai World Cup last year. U.S. horses Siphon, Sandpit and Formal Gold are the top three favorites this time.

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