Dubai World Cup night at Meydan next Saturday has been canceled with the organizing committee citing the need to safeguard the health of all participants during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The fixture, which plays host to six Group 1s and two Group 2 contests including the Dubai World Cup and Dubai Sheema Classic, is the latest global sporting event to be canceled with the pandemic continuing to escalate.

Among the star-studded contenders set to have lined up were 2018 Melbourne Cup scorer Cross Counter, Japanese superstar Almond Eye, the globe-trotting Benbatl and recent Jebel Hatta winner Barney Roy.

Having announced that the meeting, which has a total prize fund of US$35 million (£30.04m/€32.52m), would be held behind closed doors earlier in the month, the organizing committee on Sunday decided to call off the stellar card.

Saeed Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board of Meydan Group LLC, said: “Due to the ongoing global health implications of the coronavirus and precautionary measures being implement by the UAE government, the organizing committee regrets to announce the cancellation of the Dubai World Cup 2020 meeting at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday, March 28.”