Free race previews and betting tips for each race of Dubai World Cup night at Meydan on Saturday 29th March.
On Saturday, Meydan will host the world richest race night where the total prize money will amount to a staggering £16million. This is a showcase of some of the greatest horses in the world and is contested by runners from as far east as Japan and Hong Kong and as far west as the USA and Argentina. The meeting is truly the world cup of horse racing with the highlight the £6million Dubai World Cup. Here are my thoughts and tips for each and every race!
The action gets under way with the Godolphin Mile, a race run over 1m. Last year’s winner – Soft Falling Rain (7/2 Stan James) reappears after disappointing over shorter on his return this season and can’t be backed on either of his last two runs. Shuruq (7/2 William Hill) and Variety Club (11/1 BetVictor) were first and second in the Burj Nahaar and are likely to challenge but, for me, FLOTILLA (12/1 Betfred) represents the best bet. The double figure price currently on offer is huge for a proven Group 1 winner who also finished ahead of Shuruq in the Cape Verdi. Japanese runner Brightline (20/1 Coral) could prove best of the rest.
The Dubai Gold Cup over 2m is next and is headed up by the consistent CAVALRYMAN (11/4 William Hill), a horse who loves Meydan and claimed this race 12 months ago. He should have enough fire power to see off his rivals once again. Irish raider – Simenon (7/1 Betfred) finished well behind my selection last time and hasn’t won since 2012 while the other Irish hope Ernest Hemingway (13/2 Stan James) needs to improve on previous form. Songcraft (12/1 Coral) has disappointed over longer trips and the only one who could challenge the favourite looks to be Joshua Tree (9/1 Stan James) who is a consistent performer at the top level.
The UAE Derby for 3yo’s over 1m1f follows and it looks a match between LONG JOHN (15/8 BetVictor) and Giovanni Boldini (3/1 Betfred). Australian import Long John looked impressive last time out and the dual Guineas winner will take some beating. Giovanni Boldini represents Aiden O’ Brien who has trained the winner of the last two renewals of this race, and the Breeders Cup runner-up will have every chance. The only other dangers look to be the Argentinian raider – Cooptado (16/1 Coral) who could be a complete unknown and the Aiden O’Brien second string – Sir John Hawkins (14/1 bet365).
The next two races are the sprinting contests and first is the Al Quoz, run over 5f on the turf. Shea Shea (11/8 William Hill) is the current favourite and won on a return to Dubai. However, at short odds Shea Shea doesn’t particularly appeal from a betting point of view. Sole Power (7/1 Ladbrokes) represents the Irish and on a repeat of his best form should figure highly, however he is more likely to be primed for Ascot. With that in mind, AMBER SKY (7/1 bet365) looks to be the pick. This horse ran 5f in 55.86s last time in a Group 1 and a repeat performance will ensure victory for this speedball from Hong Kong. Prix De L’Abbaye second and third, respectively, Catcall (14/1 BetVictor) and Hamza (25/1 Ladbrokes) are another two to keep an eye on.
A return to Tapeta for the Golden Shaheen over 6f, a race which this year looks to be a poor renewal and is likely to be dominated once again by Hong Kong horses. Rich Tapestry (3/1 Ladbrokes) beat last year’s winner Reynaldothewizard (5/1 Stan James) comfortably last time out and will have chances. However he should have it all to do with STERLING CITY (11/4 bet365), a horse who finished fifth in the Hong Kong sprint. Best of the rest are the Irish raiders Balmont Mast (14/1 bet365) and Jamesie (16/1 Coral).
The Dubai Duty Free over 1m1f looks the best race on the card with the field including more than 10 Group 1 victories between them. Vercingetorix (8/1 Coral) is unbeaten and won the Group 1 Jebel Hatta last time out which gives him a solid chance in what looks to be a far tougher contest. Tasaday (16/1 Ladbrokes) and Mshawish (7/1 bet365) are good French imports but of the two, the latter looks more likely to contest the victory after a win in the Group 2 Zabeel Mile last time out. Just A Way (7/2 Betfred) has been dominating in Japan and must be respected after his win in the Tenno Sho. THE FUGUE (7/2 Stan James) is a superb mare and has only finished out of the top three placings on two occasions in 14 starts. Last year’s Irish Champion Stakes winner has the best form in the field and if on song can claim victory for owner Lord Lloyd Webber and trainer John Gosden. Dank (6/1 William Hill) cannot be forgotten either and has the profile to improve and have a big say in the race.
The Sheema Classic is the big race over 1m4f on the turf and Breeders Cup Turf winner – Magician (3/1 Betfred) heads the field. Connections would love another win after the ill-fated St Nicholas Abbey’s win in this last year and we can only expect more improvement from this horse. Gentildonna (4/1 Coral) is another strong contender after her second place finish last year but, since then, her form has dropped off. Cirrus Des Aigles (7/1 Ladbrokes) is a world class horse hoping to return to the form needed to win this race for a second time but age and recent performances are negatives. Of the others; Excellent Result (16/1 bet365), Mount Athos (20/1 Coral) and Dunaden (14/1 Stan James) all hold chances but for me DOMINANT (16/1 Ladbrokes) is a horse who could spring a surprise. The Hong Kong raider has great form over this distance, with a win in the Hong Kong Vase, and he could well have enough class and ability to claim victory here.
The last race on the card is the Dubai World Cup and this year’s renewal looks to be a good quality competitive affair. Prince Bishop (10/1 Ladbrokes) and African Story (12/1 bet365) head up the home team with the former looking to have the best chance despite normally struggling at this meeting (previous form reads 7th & 10th on this race card). Military Attack (7/1 BetVictor) and Akeed Mofeed (9/1 Coral) represent Hong Kong, are closely matched and are both likely to run big races. Ruler Of The World (4/1 Stan James) is the Epsom Derby winner and the current market favourite, despite this he is probably best seen at 1m4f. RED CADEAUX (25/1 BetVictor) offers plenty of value for a horse so adept at travelling the globe. He finished second in this race last year and is consistently written off by the bookmakers. At odds of 20/1+ he should give each-way backers a good run for their money.
STERLING CITY (NAP) (11/4 bet365)
CAVALRYMAN (NB) (11/4 William Hill)
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