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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 April, 2003, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
World Series Racing Championship
Frankie Dettori and Grandera
Grandera won the World Series in 2002
The World Series Racing Championship was set up in 1999 to link some of the world's most prestigious horse races and create a world championship for thoroughbred racing.

Very much the brainchild of Sheikh Mohammed, who has long advocated the globalisation of racing, the event has not surprisingly been dominated by Godolphin.

They were responsible for the first four world champions to date while Frankie Dettori has been champion jockey for all of the five years.

The World Series comprises of 12 races run between March and December in nine countries over four continents.

Those countries are: Hong Kong, England, the USA, Ireland, Germany, France, Canada, Australia and Japan.

2003 WORLD SERIES SCHEDULE
27 April: Hong Kong QEII Cup
26 July: King George
16 August: Arlington Million
6 Sept: Irish Champion Stakes
7 Sept: Grosser Bugatti Preis
5 Oct: Prix de l'Arc
19 Oct: Canadian Int'l
25 Oct: Breeders' Cup Classic
25 Oct: Cox Plate
25 Oct: Breeders' Cup Turf
30 Nov: Japan Cup
14 Dec: Hong Kong Cup
After each race, points are awarded to the top six finishers. The horse with the highest total after the final race is crowned the Thoroughbred Champion of the World.

Daylami won the inaugural championship, which consisted of nine races and were successful again in 2000 when Fantastic Light won a 10-race championship.

The colt defended his title in 2001 in a series extended to 12 races.

In 2002, two more events were added: the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong and the Singapore Airlines International Cup.

And Godolphin again triumphed, this time with their four-year-old colt Grandera.

The World Series has been slow to take off although European owners and trainers are now catching on to the fact that there is big prize money to be won.

However, it may be that Sheikh Mohammed's own enthusiasm for the series is waning.

The Dubai-based airline, Emirates, ended their sponsorship of the race last year and the Dubai World Cup, which is the usual curtain-raiser to the competition, was dropped from the schedule.

Another blow for the World Series came when the second leg, the Singapore Airlines International Cup, was cancelled because of fears over the Sars virus.


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