Dubai World Cup Night – Race By Race Preview & Tips

Dubai World Cup Night takes place on Saturday and RaceBets already has live betting markets for all 8 of the thoroughbred encounters. Read on for a preview of each race and our top tip!

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Godolphin Mile

Group 2

For 4 year olds and upwards

Distance: 7f210y

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There are no British or Irish-based runners in this contest, which looks an open renewal. Chad Brown’s Economic Model could well start as the marginal favourite. The horse beat Irish War Cry by almost 2 lengths when winning the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope Stakes, at Gulfstream Park last month.

“Everything is fine and he’s doing very well ever since we got here. I don’t see any change in him at all. It’s amazing how well he’s handled all of the travel and what we are asking from him. He’s digging into the feed tub every day. I think he’s sitting on a big race. Everybody expects that and I hope he runs well.” says assistant trainer Guezel Cruz.

Doug Watson’s Kimbear has shown consistency at Meydan and has been busy, with 4 outings in 2018 already. He was the surprise winner of the Group 2 Burj Nahaar, a race that featured Heavy Metal who has also enjoyed plenty of market-support for the Godolphin Mile.

This trio look a cut above the rest, although Rosa Imperial, Adirato, Musawaat and Special Fighter are not without a chance.

Tip: Economic Model

UAE Derby

Group 2

For 3 year olds

Distance: 1m1f98y

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If this contest runs to form, a terrific duel is on the cards between Charlie Appleby’s Gold Town and Aidan O’Brien’s Mendelssohn. Gold Town, already a gelding, is unbeaten in his last 3 starts. After winning a modest nursery race, at Headquarters in August, he was sent to Dubai and fully-justified his short price when comfortably defeating Roland Rocks in a UAE 2000 Guineas Trial. Gold Town went on to win the UAE 2000 Guineas itself, crushing the field by a full 10 lengths. He’s being talked-up for the Kentucky Derby.

“We are all going to find out at the same time whether Gold Town will be going to Kentucky. This is his chance to book his ticket. He needs the points from the UAE Derby to get to Churchill Downs. He was a useful two-year-old, but gelding him has brought him forward more. He ticks all the boxes coming into the UAE Derby. I think the step up in trip is going to suit him, and I hope the ‘home’ advantage at Meydan will be something he can exploit. His draw (gate 5) is good, and I expect there to be pace early.” Appleby told reporters, on Tuesday.

The Scat Daddy-sired Mendelssohn has flourished under Ryan Moore, winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and then a Listed encounter on the Dundalk polytrack, earlier this month.

“We’re not guaranteed for sure that he will get a mile and a quarter, but we’re going to find out a lot more in Dubai. Ryan was very happy with him in Dundalk. He travelled well and went there, but he doesn’t do a lot when he gets to the front. He’s a brother to Beholder. Scat Daddy is obviously an influence for speed, but American racing is very different and the most important thing of all is speed. You just hope for stamina after that, but if you don’t have pace it’s a waste of time.” opined O’Brien, last week.

Both Seahenge and Threeandfourpence could also start for the peerless Irish trainer, while Steve Asmussen will be represented by the handy Reride.

Tip: Gold Town

Golden Shaheen

Group 1

For 3 to 10 year olds

Distance: 5f212y

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We often hear of trainers who have recently endured a tough time, for one reason or another, but what Peter Miller has been through certainly puts matters into perspective.

A horrific fire at his base in California led to the loss of 46 horses and serious injuries to 3 members of staff, back in December. Needless to say, there will be a huge ovation if Roy H can land the Golden Shaheen for Miller on Saturday. Kent Desormeaux will partner Roy H and he was bullish after they undertook some light work together, on Tuesday.

“The horse is very aggressive, he gets in to the bridle and wants to do it all for me right now and it was my job to slow him down. It is my job in the race to slow Roy H down. I spend more time trying to slow Roy H down than pushing him forward. When we came around the turn it looked like we were going to go through the front door of Meydan but then we cornered for home and we were just skiing down the lane. It was a very impressive exercise, perfect rhythm and silky smooth.”

X Y Jet finished runner-up to Muarrab, in the 2016 renewal of the Golden Shaheen. The grey gelding is unbeaten in his last 3 starts and looks sure to go close again. Fawzi Nass’ Jordan Sport and Chad Summers Mind Your Biscuits should also run big races.

Tip: Rob H

Charlie Appleby

Al Quoz Sprint

Group 1

For 4 year olds and upwards

Distance: 5f212y

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Charlie Appleby has a couple of aces up his sleeve, in a race that’s loaded with British and Irish runners. Jungle Cat‘s last 2 appearances were both at Meydan and a brace of victories were achieved. The 6-year-old narrowly beat the unfancied Janoobi, in the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort, before the classy Ertijaal was put to the sword in the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint earlier this month.

Blue Point looks the one to beat, however. The Shamardal colt won a strong renewal of the Group 3 Bengough Stakes at Ascot, which featured the likes of Magical Memory, Danzeno and Projection. Blue Point was beaten by Ertijaal in the Group Two Meydan Sprint, but that loss came after 138 days off the track so a little rustiness was understandable.

“We were very pleased with the performance of Blue Point. We felt beforehand that he would come on for his seasonal return and he has lost nothing in defeat. He has galloped out strongly tonight and 6 furlongs at Meydan is going to suit, so all roads will now lead to the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night.” said Appleby, following the defeat.

If you want to back a British/Irish raider at long odds you can take your pick from Conquest Tsunami, Washington DC, Baccarat, Stormy Liberal, Richard’s Boy and Hit The Bid.

Tip: Blue Point

Dubai Gold Cup

Group 2

For 4 year olds and upwards

Distance: 1m7f200y

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As with the Sprint, the Gold Cup has plenty of British representatives but Alain de Royer-Dupre’s Vazirabad (the 2017 winner) will fly the flag for France and the Aga Khan-owned horse has been extremely consistent – finishing 1st or 2nd in his last 8 contests. Defeat to Ice Breeze in the Grade 1 Royal Oak, at Saint-Cloud, was a setback though and he also lost out to Rare Rhythm in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy earlier this month. The pair meet again in this race.

“What happens in the race, the tactics of the race, will be very important for him. I think we have three big opponents: Big Orange, Torcedor—he looks very good—and Charlie Appleby’s horse [Rare Rhythm].” his trainer remarked, on Thursday.

Big Orange beat Order Of St George by a short-head to win the Ascot Gold Cup, last June. He gave almost a stone to Stradivarius, in the Goodwood Cup Stakes, but this proved too much and John Gosden’s horse came out on top. Big Orange will be having his first race since looking out of sorts in the Long Distance Cup, at Ascot in October.

There are several others with realistic chances, including Dal Harraild, Torcedor and David Simcock’s Sheikhzayedroad.

Tip: Big Orange

Dubai Turf

Group 1

For 4 year olds and upwards

Distance: 1m209y

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Saeed bin Suroor’s Benbatl has enjoyed a terrific Winter in the Middle-East and 3 runs at Meydan have yielded 2 wins. He was too good for Emotionless, in the Group 3 Singspiel Stakes and Bay Of Poets was no match for the 4-year-old in the Group 2 Al Rashidiya. Benbatl was expected to complete a hat-trick, by winning the Group 1 Jebel Hatta, but he was thwarted by the underrated Blair House.

Lancaster Bomber goes for Aidan O’Brien in this encounter and the War Front colt is long overdue a victory. He’s been expensive to back since winning a maiden at Leopardstown way back in August of 2016. Under a variety of top jockeys, Lancaster Bomber has finished runner-up on 5 occasions since then and though plenty of prize-money has been secured for connections it really is time we saw this frustrating individual inside the winners enclosure.

“Lancaster Bomber has progressed well from 3 to 4. He ran at this meeting last year when a good fourth in the UAE Derby. 9 furlongs might be as far as wants to go but we will see how he goes at the weekend.” said O’Brien, on Tuesday. War Decree is his 2nd-string, in the Dubai Turf.

John Gosden’s Monarchs Glen is another that cannot be ruled out.

Tip: Blair House

Dubai Sheema Classic

Group 1

For 4 year olds and upwards

Distance: 1m3f216y

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Hawkbill, winner of the 2016 Eclipse, at Sandown, did go off the boil immediately after that race but Charlie Appleby’s charge is in good form once again and looks in with a shout. He beat Frontiersman when winning a Group 2 encounter at Newmarket last July and confirmed superiority over his stablemate by repeating the trick, here at Meydan 3 weeks ago.

“They fought it out well and it was a good race. I had quite a tough trip and the horse did really well, having to cover a bit of ground. It was a really good performance and he’s an exciting horse, who seems to get better with age.” jockey William Buick told reporters, after the race.

Sir Michael Stoute will have high-hopes for Poet’s Word, winner of the Glorious Stakes at Goodwood and runner-up to Cracksman in the Champion Stakes. He was somewhat disappointing in the Hong Kong Cup, but the booking of Frankie Dettori certainly won’t do his chances any harm in the Sheema.

Andre Fabre’s Cloth Of Stars looks likely to go-off as favourite, although the 5-year-old has been beaten in his last 3 starts (all at Chantilly). Stablemate Talismanic became his latest bête noire, after causing a minor upset in the Darshaan Stakes.

Idaho goes for Aidan O’Brien, but does look held in this company – as do Khaladi, Best Solution and Desert Encounter.

Tip: Poet’s Word

Dubai World Cup

Group 1

For 4 year olds and upwards

Distance: 1m1f207y

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While it is no longer the world’s richest horse race, its purse having been trumped by an upstart – the Pegasus World Cup, this remains one of the most-important contests on the global calendar. Bob Baffert won with California Chrome in 2016 and Arrogate last year. Can the brilliant US trainer make it 3 in a row with West Coast?

“This race has the quality of the international field akin to that of a race in the Breeders’ Cup. You can’t come in here with a ‘B’ horse. I’m really excited and it’s a privilege to be here, but this race is a challenge. You can’t be afraid to get them beat.” says Baffert, who is clearly taking nothing for granted.

Saeed bin Suroor’s Thunder Snow might be the one to cause an upset. His last win at Meydan accounted for both North America and Heavy Metal, although positions with North America were reversed last time out. The colt is a Prix Jean Prat winner, however, so he must be respected.

As must Dallas Stewart’s mare, Forever Unbridled, who will be ridden by last year’s winning jockey Mike Smith.

“What we’re real happy about is how she’s doing here. Her energy is great. Her appetite is good. The Post Position should be fine. She’s comfortable, so I’m comfortable. It’s going to be a great race. She’s going to need to bring her best race to win this,” said Stewart, on Wednesday.

Antonio Sano’s Gunnevera looks to have at least a puncher’s chance, while Bob Baffert’s 2nd-string (Mubtaahij) should appeal to each-way backers.

Tip: West Coast

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