Friday, March 25, 2022

Dubai World Cup Night 2022

 Yay, exciting times indeed as Meydan hosts Dubai World Cup night, which heralds the return to the Flat season! So much to look forward again this year, with the likes of Baaeed in England, Life in Good state-side and the possible coming of the Australians at Royal Ascot, to say the least. Here are my thoughts on the Meydan card.

Mubakker looks over-priced in the Godolphin Mile and looks a good each-way punt. He was gunned down over course and distance in his last race but the winner had the benefit of the rails. The son of Speightstown has one of the most solid forms in the field and should be in the thereabouts.

Manobo is a banker bet for the Dubai Gold Cup. The son of Sea the Stars should stroll in this company and get on to serious top-level staying races in Europe. This is a name to watch over the course of the year.

Man of Promise looks a winner for the Al Quoz sprint and the main danger could be his stable companion Creative Force. The son of Into Mischief has won twice convincingly during the festival and should be hard to beat if he has maintained his level of form. Creative Force is a Group 1 winner but might need the run after a 161-day absence.

I don't have much conviction for the UAE Derby but the chances are that it will either go to an American or Japanese-trained horse, based on the history of the race. In that regard, it could end up being a match between Combustion and Pinehurst.

The Dubai Golden Shaheen usually goes to a fast American horse and Dr Schivel and Drain the Clock look very well placed here. Wondrwherecraigis could be the other American playing spoiler here.

I like Schnell Meister from Japan to take the Dubai Turf. This is a proven Group 1 winner that looks to enhance Japanese reputations as top-class middle-distance runners. I doubt the American turf champion Colonel Liam is of the same standard.

The Dubai Scheema Classic looks a fantastic race and again here the Japanese look strong but the British can hold their own too. To have to pick from the quality bunch can be an excruciating exercise but Authority, Glory Vase, Alenquer and Dubai Honour have a great chance to add to their glowing reputations.

Life is Good could prove to be way too good in the Dubai World Cup. Unless this turns out to be an upset result like the Saudi Cup, this should turn out to be a duel between Life is Good and Hot Rod Charlie. I think the former is the best horse dirt in the world and has no-one within touching distance at the moment. He should win this and give Pletcher a first World Cup.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

EPL 21/22 - Week 29


Brighton v Liverpool - Away

Brentford v Burnley - Away

Man Utd v Spurs - Draw

Chelsea v Newcastle - Draw

Everton v Wolves - Home

Leeds v Norwich - Draw

Southampton v Watford - Home

West Ham v Aston Villa - Home

Arsenal v Leicester - Home

Crystal Palace v Man City - Away

Although they lost their last match against Newcastle, Southampton have one of the best form of recent weeks. They cannot be opposed as they host Watford, who look decidedly set for the drop. This should be a simple home win here.

I think Chelsea will lose points against the afore-mentioned Newcastle as the Magpies are also in red-hot form and there is a big question mark with Chelsea at the moment. Not on the pitch, but rather off the pitch with the Ambramovich saga. While these players are professionals, they are bound to be somewhat affected by the events hitting the club this week and the questions revolving around the change in ownership and potential bankruptcy etc. This is a distraction the players could do without but as things stand, they also have a difficult match-up against a rejuvenated Newcastle side that is rapidly racking up wins of late. The finance from the Saudis seems to be paying dividends and the team has strengthened during the transfer window. This is going to be a tight match and a spoil of the results could very well be on the cards.

Win: Southampton

Draw: Chelsea/Newcastle

Friday, March 4, 2022

EPL 21/22 - Week 28

 Leicester v Leeds - Home

Aston Villa v Southampton - Draw

Burnley v Chelsea - Away

Newcastle v Brighton - Home

Norwich v Brentford - Home

Wolves v Crystal Palace - Home

Liverpool v West Ham - Draw

Watford v Arsenal - Away

Man City v Man Utd - Home

Tottenham v Everton - Home

What looked like a facile route to the title a few weeks ago for Man City is no longer that certain with the gap now to 6 points from pursuers Liverpool with the latter having a game in hand.  This title race is far from over. And things could easily move in different directions this week-end as the Citizens host their city rivals Red Devils while Liverpool host West Ham. On paper, it looks like City have the greater chance of losing points but a Kop win against the Hammers is far from being a given. Liverpool have been on a tear lately, winning the Caracao Cup in the process but they have scraped through those matches rather than dominating them. I think some kind of comeuppance is in store for them and at current odds, West Ham look great value to snatch at least a point from Anfield. Be it as a draw-no-bet or outright win, it could be rewarding to side with the Hammers, who are in good form of late in their pursuit of the 4th UCL spot.

Win or draw-no-bet: West Ham