Ruler of the World could live up to his name in the $10 million Dubai World Cup when he starts as the 9-2 favorite at Meydan Racecourse.
Winner of last year's Epsom Derby, he enjoys top billing in the world's richest horse race, which has two of the world's three top-ranked thoroughbreds in Military Attack and Akeed Mofeed, both from Hong Kong.
It's very difficult to know whether Ruler Of The World will handle this surface, but he has a great attitude and won the Derby in only his third ever start.
Notably, the main race does not feature any American horses and connections, which have triumphed in eight of the previous 18 Dubai World Cups, including last year's win by Animal Kingdom.
A total of 16 horses will start the 2,000-metre race on the synthetic Tapeta track, which will be preceded by two $5 million Group 1 races in the Dubai Duty Free and the Dubai Sheema Classic.
Ruler of the World, co-owned by Qatar-based Al Shaqab Racing, is making his first start of the season.
"It's very difficult to know whether Ruler Of The World will handle this surface, but he has a great attitude and won the Derby in only his third ever start," said rider Joseph O'Brien, the son of the trainer.
Military Attack, ranked second in the world behind American horse Game On Dude, and number three Akeed Mofeed have form going for them while not having had much of a break.
The Emirates' hopes of a sixth home victory through the Godolphin stables rest with Prince Bishop and African Story, both trained by Saeed bin Suroor, and U.S.-bred Cat O'Mountain.
Japan is represented by Belshazzar and Hokko Tarumae, and four British horses are in the field, including the Ed Dunlop-trained Red Cadeaux, last year's runner-up.
Meydan wouldn't confirm reports that the Tapeta track, blamed as the biggest reason why the American connections have stayed away, will be removed next year.
Support for Tapeta's removal came from Sheik Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the brother of Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the owner of Godolphin and ruler of Dubai.