Friday, March 25, 2011

10 Predictions for Dubai World Cup Night

One more day to go before the big night at Meydan. The fields are competitive and there are definitely no clear-cut banker or sure winner to hand pick. Luck in running will be a factor. Here are my 10 predictions for the night, along with some recommendations.

1. In the big race, Gio Ponti and Musir will be in the first 3. It will still pay if you go for Gio Ponti and Musir to Place (couple), and only one of the two actually does. So I recommend both to Place. My assessment on Gio Ponti on a post a couple of days ago hasn't changed and I think he'll run a big race. Musir's colors were dampened after being beaten by Twice Over, but any lack of true pace in the race will play in his favour. He's got speed, class, courage, and will be in the thereabouts at the finish.

2. According to bookmakers, Cape Blanco is second-favourite. For me, he's massively overpriced and won't even make it in the first 3. First time on Tapeta, no prep run, that's a lot of asking for a decent Group 1 horse who is no superstar. He's the first big lay (I have another one below).

3. Irish Flame can spring an upset in the Scheema Classic. The South African champion has been disappointing in his 3 runs in Meydan, but will be sporting blinkers for the first time (according to his jockey, Kevin Shea, he's acting better with it). It remains to be seen if that makes a massive difference for him, but looking at the field, if he runs to the best of his ability, he could be a danger. A Place chance, but only for those who fancy a long-shot punt.

4. Going back to my post yesterday, the Duty Free will go to a mare. It will be between River Jetez, Raihana and Strawberrydaiquiri. My mind hasn't changed; in fact Mike de Kock's comments that his 2 representatives are flying, are all the more encouraging. All 3 recommended to Place, and if only River Jetez places at her current odds, it will be like money-back. If any one or both of the other 2 Place, the returns are huge at their current odds.

5. Rocket Man will Place. That looks certain and a safe recommended punt. Chances are that he will win it altogether.

6. Mahbooba and Reem will be at the finish. At their current odds, a Place on both will pay dividends even if only one of them Places. So a couple Place on both is recommended.

7. Mendip will not win the Duty Free. He's never run on turf, he's by Harlan's holiday with a dirt pedigree, he's already been bested by Raihana (and Musir) last year in his only defeat to date. He's massively overpriced and is a big lay.

8. Mike de Kock will have a huge night. From the above, it's obvious that I'm thinking he's got great chances in at least 2-3 races.

9. Godolphin will win one or two races; either with Rileyskeepingfaith in the Godolphin Mile, and/or Khawlah in the UAE Derby. Rewilding is their next best chance but I think he might be found wanting without a prep race, although the connections are keen to point that he runs very well fresh.

10. Above all, enjoy this racing night. Of all my recommendations above, only the Place on Rocket Man at #5 is the safe one by the principles that I adhere to on this blog. Because of the competitive nature of the race cards, the returns are big if the other ones come in good, that's why I'm giving them out (Plus it's DWC night, I'm relaxing my rules this once). So, I suggest using the cautionary mantra "only punt what you can afford to lose" on the other recommendations, in hope of a nice return.

Place: Rocket Man, Gio Ponti/Musir, River Jetez/ Raihana/ Strawberrydaiquiri, Mahbooba/Reem


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