The Dubai World Cup Carnival reaches the halfway stage with plenty of well known faces on show including Barney Roy, Dee Ex Bee and Dream Castle. There’s also a pair of Group races on the card and I’ve previewed all the main action.
A failed career in the breeding sheds has lead Barney Roy back into training. Under the guidance of Richard Hannon in 2017, he was a 3yo of the highest calibre. The son of Excelebration has shown plenty of his old zest in three runs for Charlie Appleby. An impressive Listed victory at Longchamp saw him sent of favorite for the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot. He shaped there as If a mile was no longer suitable and a step up to middle distances was needed. The nine furlong trip here is likely to suit well and William Buick should be able to guide him home ahead of Saeed Bin Suroor’s Dream Castle.
Dee Ex Bee is the star turn here and his presence sees most of his rivals racing from out of the handicap. If he is “on song” he will get the job done, but there is reason to believe he could be vulnerable. He is best over 2 miles or more, and this trip may prove on the sharp side. He was a late entrant to this race after it was re-opened so that shows that he may not be ready to rumble, with loftier targets in the pipeline. Dubhe is a horse who is unexposed at staying trips but he did win over 2 miles here last year. Brett Doyle will take the reigns as Charlie Appleby’s regular riders can’t ride at 53kgs. Dubhe is likely to be a fair bit better than his current mark of 104 and could get an easy lead.
Golden Goal won over course and distance in December and made a strong impression in doing so. That win came off a mark of 84 and he re-appears here six pounds higher. Chiefdom who went down fighting in second place that evening has since gone on to win twice, including at G3 level and is now rated 102. The third home was Above Normal who has run two big races in defeat at the carnival. The fourth horse was George Villiers, that one bolted up last Thursday and is now rated 96. Simply put, Golden Goal’s form is razor sharp. Sam Hitchcott takes the ride in place of Pat Dobbs who can’t do the weight.
Good Fortune ran well on January 9th but the rain softened ground on that evening probably wasn’t ideal. William Buick wasn’t overly hard on him once his winning chance had gone and he is now likely to build on that effort. His handicap mark of 96 is more than workable and Charlie Appleby’s colt has been kept fresh with an assault on the carnival at the forefront of his plans.
Drafted suffered from hoof problems in the early part of the season and missed his intended comeback in December’s Garhoud Sprint. He was ring rusty in The G3 Dubawi Stakes on the opening night of the carnival, racing further off the pace than normal. His closing sectionals were quite impressive and with that effort under his belt, he should now improve past Gladiator King and reaffirm his dominance over Ibn Malik. The Swedish challenger I Kirk is a real speed machine and the fractions that he is likely to set in the early part of the race should set the table for Drafted.
Mick Halford’s Simsir was a very unlucky loser over this course and distance a fortnight ago. The imposing son of Siyouni took some time to lengthen and quicken after finding trouble. This can be put down to inexperience and he should be a lot more streetwise this time around. Certain Lad and First Nation will be formidable opponents but neither have the latent talent and star potential of Simsir.