Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Let the Dubai Carnival start

A totally lacklustre Arsenal side lost at Ipswich for an absolutely shocking result! I wonder what excuses Wenger will come out with this time... No excuses from me; my bad for having a totally misplaced faith in a team that does not seem to have the hunger to win when being under pressure, and giving out a bad recommendation on them. This result is as disappointing as they come. Fortunately "trusty" Barcelona easily won against Betis and limited the damage. Messi got another hat-trick and it's just amazing how easily he and Ronaldo are racking up hat-tricks. We are at a unique moment in the history of football where two phenomenons are at the peaks of their powers at the same time, and leaving everything in their wake. Whether you're a Madrid or Barcelona fan or none, it's just time to sit back and enjoy that spectacle.

Let's talk racing now and I'm pretty excited as the Dubai Carnival gets underway at Meydan on Thursday. From a punting point of view, the racing over there can be very hard to assess for many reasons; the horses are coming in from a long break and therefore it is hard to gauge their actual form and fitness, particularly during the first meetings;  it's also difficult to handicap many of the horses because they come from different places such as South America, South Africa, Europe etc; finally, the fields are usually very big and tactics and draw play an important role in the outcome of the races. Still, the main appeal of Dubai racing for me, is that Godolphin and Mike de Kock have been overly dominant for the past years, and I find value in identifying races where the horses from those 2 yards run against unmatched rivals. Easier said than done, but as long as this trend of domination continues, I think it will pay to follow those 2 powerful stables very closely. For, this year in particular, Mike de Kock is bringing his strongest team yet, with the likes of River Jetez, Our Giant, Irish Flame, Bold Silvano etc, as the big guy really wants to win the big race(Dubai World Cup) which so closely elluded him last year.

Consistent with my approach of avoiding punts where there are too many question marks, I will abstain from giving a recommendation on this first meeting. Tomorrow will be more a learning exercise as to which horses are already on song, which ones are nicely coming along, and which ones are close to or past their sell-by date.

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