Dubai Cup rained out by downpours Decision due tomorrow on rescheduling race

March 30, 1997|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Rain in the desert? How about torrential downpours that waterlogged the sand track at Nad Al Sheba yesterday and rained out the second running of the $4 million Dubai World Cup for perhaps several days.

The storm struck the track in the desert of the Persian Gulf land in midafternoon while the 13 international stars in the cast -- notably, Siphon and Sandpit -- were resting in their barns. Siphon and Sandpit were favored to repeat their winning finish in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap and to wave the flag, as Cigar did last year when he won the inaugural performance of the race.

After the rains struck, following a rather stormy week, the track was inspected by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum of Dubai and by racing officials. They decided that safety was at stake, so they postponed the racing program for the day. The Dubai World Cup Committee will meet today to consider when and if the world's richest race could be rescheduled later in the week.

They said an announcement would be made by noon tomorrow.But for the trainers and jockeys who traveled halfway around the world, it left some hectic redoing of the work regimens of their horses in addition to revamping their personal travel plans for going home.

Pub Date: 3/30/97

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