Dubai World Cup: Saturday 30th March
In a meeting where local track experience is definitely an advantage, these tend not to be races we’d really get involved in from a betting perspective with a lot of overseas challengers. It’s hard enough to collate all the UK based form for our racing let alone from all over the world.
Still it’s a cracking spectacle, so as we’ve done with a few of the Meydan meetings, with a few nice successes, we have reviewed the meeting below with a few suggested bets.
Godolphin Mile, 12.15
It’s hard to look past Muntazah who’s taken his form to another level on his last 2 runs. He’s always shown a decent level of ability and has clearly thrived for the switch to Dubai. Whilst his last 2 victories have only been at Group 3 level, he’s been beating his main local market rivals with ease, and the impression he made wen bolting up by ten lengths last time was a lasting one, whilst also breaking the track record. Connections seemingly toyed with the ideal of going for the World Cup race itself. That may well be on the cards next season if he continues to perform to his recent level and he should be hard to beat. The improving African Ride could run well at a nice price.
No Bet Advised: Muntazah is a shorter price than we’d want to be getting involved in and whilst African Ride could run into a place, stall 8 makes it a little tricky.
Gold Cup, 12.50
An interesting race with 3 really strong contenders in Call The Wind from France, the winner of the Group 1 Prix Du Cadran last season an fit from a sharpener over a shorter trip at Chantilly. Ispolini has progressed significantly since stepped up in trip and put in a really big performance when winning last time. Cross Counter makes his reappearance having landed the Melbourne Cup last time; albeit from a relatively light weight. Whilst the other two have won at Group 1 level, Ispolini has really impressed when winning at this track already and would be our preference.
No Bet Advised: Whilst we just about have slight preference for Ispolini, this is to tight to call.
Al Quoz Sprint, 1.30
The market revolves around Blue Point who was very impressive last time and will be hard to beat, but isn’t a betting option at odds on with some strong opposition. Sands of Mail returns having finished last season off with victory in the Champions Sprint at Ascot and always looked like he’d improve with age. At a big price the progressive Ekhtiyaar can run a big race, really impressive when winning a handicap in February, he ran very well when 2nd to Blue Point last time and is very much an upward curve. Stormy Liberal 2nd in this last year when racing away from the action and not getting the clearest of runs is another who could serve it up to the Fav. The Breeders Cup Sprint winner looks to have had a couple of prep runs to get him spot on for this.
Add in Wishful Thinker a multiple winner in Hong Kong and Brave Smash over from Australia this race looks to have quite a bit of depth to it.
Advised Bet: Stormy Liberal at 10/1 & Ekhtiyaar at 20/1 both each way.
UAE Derby, 2.05
The draw on the dirt track has been so influential this season that you really need to be low to have much of a chance in this events, unless you’re able to blast out of the gates and get over early; which isn’t an easy ask. Therefore, Walking Thunder who created some impression when winning the UAE 2000 Guineas trial looks a major player from stall 1. He then came up second to Esthidaaf last time but got caught out a little wide and still ran a very good race. If he’s able to secure a nice position from stall one, he must go close with the extra distance also looking a positive. Jahbath is a very interesting contender for William Haggas and having raced at Kempton and Southwell he’s gained some valuable artificial surface experience, but you’d perhaps have preferred to have seen him run on this surface previously, albeit he’s sure to have worked on it since being in Dubai. Divine Image is justifiably favourite after her impressive win last time and she’s improved a good deal each time she’s stepped onto the racecourse. Stall 6 is okay without being ideal and if she can get over to the rail and get a toe into the race as she did last time then she’ll be hard to beat.
Advised Bet: Walking Thunder at 6/1 (Skybeyt) each way, generally 11/2
Golden Shaheen, 2.40
With Roy H now a non-runner, X Y Jet runner up in the last year and in 2016 looks the one to beat. Well drawn, he’s likely to be able to get to the lead and dominate from the front. A nice easy preparation win last time looks to have put him spot on and he should be pretty hard to beat. Imperial Hint 3rd in the Breeders Cup Sprint, but fairly easily beaten by Roy H is perhaps the main danger. If they go off too fast up front then Promises Fulfilled could be the one to pounce.
No Bet Advised: Having no real in-depth knowledge of the US sprinters, we’ll watch rather than bet.
Dubai Turf, 3.20
All eyes on the darling of Japan in Almond Eye who put in an extremely good performance when winning the Japan Cup for a horse having only her 5th ever race. She’s unbeaten and held in such regard that she’s already quoted by bookmakers as a major contender for the Arc in October. She’s expected to handle this step back in trip and if she’s as good as “they clam” then she’ll be very hard to beat. Dream Castle is starting to come of age, winning 3 on the bounce here, but he’s not beaten anything you’d consider a top class grade 1 performer yet. Of the short prices Fav, Almond Eye is probably the one we’d be tempted to get involved in as the rest of the field are perhaps a little shy of the standard required.
Advised Bet: Almond Eye – Best price 5/4, Bet365 & Skybet, generally 11/10
Sheema Classic, 4.00
Old Persian goes into this as the favourite following his victory here last time where he did really well to get up having met trouble in running, whilst Racing History got first run on him. Magic Wand tends to run her race and can be considered a danger, although the main treat would probably be Rey De Oro. A grade 1 winner in his home country he ran 4th in this last year, but that was a far better renewal this this year with Hawkbill beating Poets Word and Cloth of Stars. The race suited those three all up with he pace, so Rey De Oro is perhaps slightly better than that run as he didn’t really have a chance to land a blow. A tough one to call with perhaps slight preference with the Japanese horse.
Dubai World Cup, 4.40
With a stall 12 draw this will be vary hard for last years winner Thunder Snow. Whilst he managed to win last year from stall 10, once he got to the front he was given an easy lead and that won’t happen here. He’ll most likely struggle to get to the front with Capezzano who beat him comprehensively last time well drawn in 2. North America is a player following couple of impressive wins, but again he’s had thing his own way and struggled in this last year when missing the break. That said he’s looked very good this year. The stand out for us is Capezzano; having been a fairly decent animal, he’s looked a completely different proposition on his 3 starts this year putting in some monster performances. He looked an improver when winning a handicap here in January, doing really well having raced wide from off the pace, but that was still way below what you’d need for this race and in all likelihood a race like this probably wasn’t even in connections minds. He then contested another handicap from a mark of 101, and from a decent draw made the running and gave similar horses to the time before an real beating. He cruised round the home turn when everything behind was being rigorously ridden and pulled clear to win by 10 lengths. The step up from handicap company to grade 1 last time looked a fairly tall order, especially from stall 9, but having broke quickly he did exactly the same again, but this time to some very decent horses. He and Thunder Snow had the rest if the field in trouble and whilst Thunder Snow slowed following the high race tempo, Capezzano powered away again to win by ten lengths. From an inside draw, he’s likely to get to the front and he’ll take some pegging back.
Advised Bet: Capezzano, 5/1 Bet 365, generally 4/1.
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