Plenty to capture our attention on the worlds richest days racing.
The Dubai World Cup will round off proceedings with a cool $10 million up for grabs. A look at the ante post market tells you just how open this is with the shortest price being 9/2 and the the longest being 20/1 . There’s no stand out horse, pity Game On Dude isn’t back after his awesome performance in the Big Cap at Santa Anita on March 9th. Then we’d have a proper favourite.
The outsiders in the field are Red Cadeaux and Treasure Beach. The former looked to have lost his way in 2012 albeit in top races including the Coronation Cup, Melbourne Cup and Japan Cup before coming good when winning the Hong Kong Vase in December.
Treasure Beach an Epsom Derby second and Irish Derby winner when in the hands of Aidan O’Brien also lost his way and has transferred to Mike de Kock. He ran a steady pleasing run on his debut here for his new trainer wh
en beaten 4 1/2 l by Hunters Light on Super Saturday in R3 of the Al Maktoum Challenge. Particularly pleasing was the way he ran on after the line suggesting his form is on the way back and he liked the Tapeta experience. He’s a very live outsider and could well place off an inside draw and a positive ride.
The European team is completed by Plantuer, Meandre and Side Glance. Planteur and Meandre both changed hands during the week for probably shed loads. Planteur won the Lingfield Winter Derby Trial as a prep beating nothing but in a record time winning from the front as he liked. His third here last year definitely gives him a chance after the Lingfiled confidence booster. Andre Farbe’s Meandre could only manage fourth in his prep on the Chantilly polytrack leaving you relying on the genius of the trainer to see him win this. The Qatar financed Pearl Bloodstock run Side Glance and will have been encouraged by the flourish he showed when running fourth behind Sajjhaa in the Jebel Hatta however a first try on Tapeta is certainly a question mark.
The top of the market is Hunters Light the winner of both R2 and R3 of the Challenge. Both were won in similar circumstances with the Godolphin horse shaping handily running clear to the line without any fuss. He’s discovered maturity and confidence but has yet to do it in a top class test.
The local challenge is supported by the incumbent Monterosso, Capponi, African Story and Kassiano. Monterosso will have needed the run he got in R3 but he will need to come on a ton to win this again. We haven’t seen Capponi since coming second last year so it will be a stunning training feat to pull this off while Kassiano’s form operated at a level suggesting this step up will be too far. African Story is possibly the most interesting of the home challenge. He’s 4/5 on the Meyden Tapeta and would be 5/5 had luck played it’s part. He overcame an absence of 307 days to win the Burj Nahaar here on Super Saturday having won the same race the year before. The big concern is the trip. He’s never been beyond a mile in fourteen starts over three years racing. Maybe with maturity he’ll see out the 1o f here but….
The three Americans bring some hard nosed form. There headed by the Bill Mott trained Royal Delta a Dirt horse through and through. She’s a top class mare on her home surface winning a Breeders Cup Ladies Classic this last twice. Her prep in the Sabin Stakes shows she’s as good as ever however the obvious concern is her run here last year on the Tapeta where she trailed in ninth to Monterosso albeit having been seriously hampered by a back peddling Transend.
Dullahan hasn’t won since August when he bagged the TVG Pacific Classic on the polytrack at Del mar from Game On Dude. He’s tried twice on turf since in the Jamaica Handicap at Belmont and in the Breeders Cup Turf at Santa Anita where he finished down the field a length in front of Treasure Beach.
Animal Kingdom is a class act. A winner of the Kentucky Derby and second in the Preakness in 2011 he displayed he retains his class when second in the Breeders Cup Mile to Wise Dan and second to Point Of Entry in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. Good form on Turf both times. Can he handle the Tapeta?
When you look at it you can see why it’s priced tight by the bookmakers. No standout, nearly all in with a chance. Do you rely on track form, those proven on the surface or look at the class of the others even if they’ve previously failed here before?
Planteur should ensure a descent pace leaving it to the speedsters to overhaul him. Hunters Light might be short of gears when push comes to shove and if you go local and proven on the track then African Story might write the final chapter.
If it’s hard nose your after then the stars and stripes brigade are where you look. All three could win it. Royal Delta sitting off Planteur might get away in the last 2 f and see it out. Dullahan in the hands of Gary Stephens could show the defeat of Game On Dude was no fluke and the plan since has always been about this. Animal Kingdom’s turn of foot could be the deciding factor. Boxed in he didn’t get out in time in the Breeders Cup Mile. When he eventually saw daylight he flew. Drawn wide here is usually bad news but it might just work out to come late.
In the end the desert may be the Animal Kingdom.
Recommendation : Animal Kingdom 11/2 win
Treasure Beach 20/1 e/w
Reverse F/C on the two
Times and Races From Meyden Saturday 30th March 2013
|GMT Time||Status||Pattern Race||Distance||Age||Purse|
|1.10||G2||Godolphin Mile||1600 Meters (E)||Three Year Olds & Up||$ 1,000,000|
|1.45||G3||DRC Gold Cup||3200 Meters (E)||Four Year Olds & Up||$ 1,000,000|
|2.25||G2||UAE Derby||1900 Meters (E)||Three Year Olds||$ 2,000,000|
|3.05||G1||Al Quoz Sprint||1000 Meters (T)||Three Year Olds & Up||$ 1,000,000|
|3.45||G1||Dubai Golden Shaheen||1200 Meters (E)||Three Year Olds & Up||$ 2,000,000|
|4.40||G1||Dubai Duty Free||1800 Meters (T)||Three Year Olds & Up||$ 5,000,000|
|5.20||G1||Dubai Sheema Classic||2400 Meters (T)||Three Year Olds & Up||$ 5,000,000|
|6.05||G1||Dubai World Cup||2000 Meters (E)||Three Year Olds & Up||$ 10,000,000|
- 13 horses running in world’s richest horse race (journaltimes.com)
- What a Dubai World Cup Victory Would Mean to Each American Runner (looseonthelead.com)
- Animal Kingdom leads field in Dubai World Cup (3news.co.nz)