Friday, March 30, 2012

Dubai World Cup 2012

This week-end is all about the Dubai World Cup meeting. An absolutely sublime race-card where every race looks to be hotly contested. There are definitely no certainties, but here are my thoughts on the races.

Godolphin Mile - Godolphin have a strong hand in this race with African Story, Sandagiyr and Do It All. My preference goes to the first 2 as they have solid form on the Tapeta surface. African Story has been the subject of rave reviews from the team in blue and looks set to go at very short odds. I believe Sandagiyr as a Place looks good value here.

Dubai Gold Cup - This is a truly open race with at least 5 real contenders. Opinion Poll is a genuine performer and will be suited by the distance. Fox Hunt has been impressive and perfect in his 2 outings at Meydan this year. Zanzamar from the de Kock team isn't without a chance as well. The one to lay and who looks to have nothing to do in this race is Grand Vent, who was a well-beaten favourite last time out. Dettori has chosen Opinion Poll with whom he has a superb record, and they look provide the best value as a Place.

UAE Derby - A race with a lot of intrigue with newcomers Wrote and Daddy Long Legs from the Ballydoyle contingent and Helmet from Australia. The latter is a beautiful horse but I have strong reservations he will last the distance. He is a big lay for me and this is how I am going to tackle this race. The winner could come from anywhere really.

Al Quoz Sprint - this race is like the Group 1 sprints in Britain where each takes turn to win. Best to avoid this race completely.

Golden Shaheen - Everyone is hyping Rocket Man but I just don't think he's the same horse as previous years. I really like the horse but I have no reservations saying that he is a lay for me in this contest. The Factor is also overly hyped from the American base and his chances will vanish if he's involved in a speed duel from the start. He's unproven on the Tapeta, no matter how encouraging his works on the surface have been. The horse to beat in this race, in my opinion, is Sepoy, who brings solid form from Down Under. The only issue with him is how well he's adapted to the Tapeta. If he does, he will be at the finish. It might be worth having an each-way punt on Sepoy.

Dubai Duty Free - this is Mike de Kock's best chance for a winner with Musir and Mutahadee. Musir's last race was a disappointment and there is certainly the danger that he's lost form or is no longer the horse he was earlier in the Carnival. If he is on top form, he'll be in the whereabouts. Mutahadee has been one of the surprise packages of the Carnival and looks well-fancied by connections. The main danger for them will come from Ambitious Dragon, the star from Hong Kong. It would not be a surprise if he won this. One that has no chance in my books is Delegator, for which the distance looks to be too long. I have no idea why Godolphin placed him in this race. He is one of the biggest lays of this meeting. If Musir looks good on race day, a Place on him might be rewarding given his odds.

Sheema Classic - I like the Ballydoyle horses here in Treasure Beach and St Nicholas Abbey. The former is a tough horse who always gives the best of himself. He looks like a good Place punt. If St Nicholas Abbey reproduces his form of last year's Breeders Cup, he will be a serious contender. Cirrus des Aigles will also be a major player if he holds his form of last year. He was well beaten on his seasonal appearance on a synthetic surface in France, explaining his switch to this race from the DWC. Songcraft is a honest performer and it would not be surprising if he were to snatch a place at the finish.

Dubai World Cup - this does not seem to be the popular way to go, but I do not give much chance to Royal Delta or Game On Dude. The first one has won on synthetic and from reports, has looked impressive in the morning workouts at Meydan. Those are the only positives I can see. She's been trounced on her seasonal appearance a few weeks back and she looks over-hyped from her Breeders Classic (Ladies version) victory last year. She's a big lay. Game On Dude is unproven on the surface and doesn't look like he will be able to free-wheel in the lead. I see his efforts petering out as they enter the straight. For me, if So You Think is at his best and takes to the surface, he'll be the one to beat. I hope that this year Aidan O'Brien manages him as he deserves. Obviously, any of the Godolphin horses can spring an upset, particularly Monterosso who's bound to improve from his encouraging last outing. Although it is hard to assess their true form, the Japanese also can play a major role and it would not surprise me if they were to celebrate again at the end, just like they did with Victoire Pisa last year. The value for me when I look at the exchanges is Master of Hounds. He is proven on the Tapeta and his No 1 draw might not be as bad as others think as long as he breaks well and keeps up with the pace. I think he's a good but hopeful Place punt.


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  2. Thanks for tuning in. Glad it was helpful.