Desert Diary: World Cup is flying high – literally

The Dubai World Cup is up for grabs on Saturday

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) World Cup available while in the air
By Lewis Porteous in Dubai 3:45PM 24 MAR 2017

THE Dubai World Cup has long been a pioneer but it appears its reach will stretch further, not to mention higher, than ever before on Saturday.

With broadcasters from 150 territories signed up for a piece of Saturday's action, the $30 million racecard will be available to over a billion homes across the globe.

The comfort of your living room couch is not the only place to catch the action though, with the Dubai World Cup becoming the first race to be broadcast live on airlines.

Yep, you heard that right, 580 aeroplanes will show the race live via the Sport 24 channel while cruising at 36,000ft above the ground. Just imagine jetting off on your dream holiday, while watching one of the biggest races in the world. Does it get any better?

Fly At Dawn (UAE Derby) and High On Life (Golden Shaheen) would certainly be topical winners if you are going to be watching from the skies.

Spargo specials

The news that Saturday's World Cup will be the last for commentator Terry Spargo (featured in Thursday's diary) prompted a note from one eagle-eyed bookmaker rep alerting me of a specials market with a difference on the big race.

Paddy Power (it had to be) has created a Spargo DWC bingo market, referring to what phrases Terry will use during the live commentary of the big-race.

There are short prices about some of his favourite lines like "they're racing in the Dubai World Cup" and "all in gates closed is the call", while at 6-1, "put the cue in the rack" is the longest price quoted.

Whatever the call, it will be the end of an era for one of the most distinguished voices in racing. Surely Spargo will have a fitting finale in store, won't he?

Stay safe

No big meeting, Flat or jumps, would be the same without the customary late fitness scare for one or two of the protagonists and it was no different in Dubai on Friday.

There was a persistent murmur that all was not well with Al Quoz Sprint favourite Ertijaal but connections soon batted that notion away with the local favourite "fine" and on-track.

Closer to home, Michael Bell's Big Orange has also had a scare after running a slight temperature on Thursday, but it was under control today and he too is set for his race in the Dubai Gold Cup.

It probably won't be but fingers crossed that's the last of the scares and all runners get their chance on one of racing's most extravagant stages. Now all we need are some winners. Happy punting.

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