The US$10 million Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline jumps on Sunday morning (AEST), although from an Australian perspective, all eyes are on the Group 1 sprint a few hours earlier.
The G1 Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by Azizi Developments has been won previously by the likes of Australian sprinters Ortensia and Buffering, and in 2018, the US$1m race features Illustrious Lad (barrier four), Faatinah (one) and Music Magnate (12).
The Peter Gelagotis-trained Illustrious Lad, a Group 2 winner on Derby Day in 2016, has usual hoop Anthony Darmanin in the saddle, and Blake Shinn is in Dubai to partner 2016 Doomben 10,000 winner Music Magnate for trainer Bjorn Baker, while 2016 Bobbie Lewis Quality winner Faatinah will be ridden by his locally-based hoop Jim Crowley for a third time this preparation for Lindsay Park.
The Al Quoz jumps at 6:05pm Saturday local time (1:05am AEDT Sunday).
Warwick Farm-based trainer Baker got a look at his six-year-old Written Tycoon gelding after arriving in Dubai on Tuesday, overseeing his work on Wednesday morning.
"I arrived yesterday and got my first look at him this morning and he looks great," Baker said on Wednesday (local time), via emiratesracing.com.
"Today he went out just past 5am and had a look at the grass again. We gave him a little blow-out and he went in what we call three-quarter 800s in about 15 seconds per furlong.
"I won't do any schooling in the paddock or the gate with him. He's always been a good gate horse and we won't change anything with him. From here, we'll just keep him in the routine until Saturday."
Music Magnate is the best-fancied of the Australian runners as a $6 second-favourite with CrownBet in the Al Quoz, with Illustrious Lad and Faatinah both at $34.
Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby is expected to be prominent in the 1200-metre sprint, with Blue Point ($2) and Jungle Cat ($7).
The Dubai World Cup's prize pool is about AUD$13,060,000, a rich pool for the 2000-metre dirt-track contest - the race in which Arrogate set his world-leading rating that kept Winx at bay in the Longines rankings all last year.
Like the Al Quoz, there is a clear-cut favourite in the World Cup - the Bob Baffert-trained West Coast representing the US, with Javier Castellano taking the reins.
Baffert is aiming to win the race for a fourth time, after Silver Charm (1998), Captain Steve (2001) and Arrogate (2017).
The legendary horseman, who won the US Triple Crown with American Pharoah in 2015, has been just one part of the American assault on the Dubai World Cup, with US-trained horses winning the race on 11 occasions in its 22 editions. The locals have won it eight times, while Great Britain, France and Japan have had one winner each.
The Americans are well-represented in the race outside of hot favourite West Coast, with stablemate Mubtaahij, Gunnevera (Antonio Sano), Forever Unbridled (Dallas Stewart) and Pavel (Doug O'Neill).
Breeders' Cup Turf winner Talismanic is French-trained (Andre Fabre), British-bred and locally owned as one of Godolphin's pair in the race, along with the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Thunder Snow.
Bin Suroor has won the race a record seven times, most recently in back-to-back years in 2014-15 with African Story and Prince Bishop.
The Japanese are represented by the Mikio Matsunaga-trained Awaredee, to be ridden by legendary hoop Yutaka Take.
Thunder Snow and North America (Satish Seemar) are the two UAE-trained gallopers in the race, Christophe Soumillon and Richard Mullen the respective riders.
Chilean galloper Furia Cruzada is back for another tilt at the World Cup, having been well-beaten in the race last year by Arrogate. The globetrotter has not won a race since the G2 Al Maktoum Challenge (1900m) at Meydan in the lead-up to last year's World Cup.