The US$5 million Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic sponsored by Longines, one of the chief supporting races on the 2012 Dubai World Cup card has attracted 254 nominations from 14 countries.

This will be the 15th running of the 2,410m contest (first run in 1998) that annually attracts some of the world’s greatest turf stayers. Last year trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni, registered his first win in the Dubai Sheema Classic and will be seeking to defend his title with 14 entries. They are led by French Navy, Dubai Prince and Casamento.

Fellow Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor, the only trainer to win the event twice (Stowaway 1998 and Sulamani 2003), has 13 entries, lead by recent Meydan winner Prince Bishop, Cavalryman, Campanologist and Holberg.

The Group 1 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf (USA) and Coronation Cup (GB) winner St Nicholas Abbey will be seeking to add Dubai to his list of international wins. Trained by Ireland’s Aiden O’Brien, he is joined by stable companions Treasure Beach and Await The Dawn in the entries.

Numerous entries have come from the USA (18), Great Britain (14), and Japan (11). France is represented by five nominees, notably 2011 Melbourne Cup winner and Hong Kong Vase and Dunaden.

There are also entries from 2011 Dubai World Cup night runners bidding to return for another round – Monterosso (3rd Dubai World Cup), Redwood (2nd Dubai Sheema Classic), Chinchon (5th Dubai Sheema Classic) and Zanzamar (4th Dubai Golden Shaheen).