Dubai World Cup Meeting Preview

Our trader goes over the races at Meydan this Saturday

Steve, Senior Trader

Steve, Senior Trader

1 year ago

All prices correct at the time of publication.


Last year’s winner Bathrat Leon will obviously be popular here, while Prince Eiji also looks to have every chance given that he should have the race run to suit. However, the former had a hard race four weeks ago and is maybe a bit better fresh, while there doesn’t look to be much juice in the price of the latter. Most appealing at the odds is WIN CARNELIAN (11/1). He’s not far off the best of these on ratings and beat someone genuine Group 1 horses last time, impressing with the way he kicked clear over a furlong out. He is unproven on dirt but the Japanese runners seem very adaptable regarding surface, and his forward-going nature and good gate speed should be advantages.


This looks likely to be a tactical affair. Siskany was impressive enough last time but had a 90-rated horse close enough behind, while he has generally struggled in races of this quality. He’s pretty exposed and is what he is, and doesn’t make any real appeal at the prices. We know plenty about most of these and there is a real paucity of Group 1 form on offer, so the suggestion is to side with a potential improver. Giavellotto is an interesting one having been third in a St Leger, but perhaps more interesting is EL HABEEB (12/1), who has improved hand over first since joining Kevin Philippart De Foy and beat Giavellotto pretty fairly at Ascot. He, too, ran a fine race in the St Leger and looked like he would relish two miles last time out, while a good draw and a prominent running style should see him getting a good setup. Subjectivist has comfortably the best form on offer here but backed out of things too tamely last time to be of major interest.


A hot-looking renewal of the Al Quoz with the exciting Al Dasim in action. He looks a worthy favourite and should go close, while Al Suhail has been in blistering form this spring and has a chance if he can translate his seven furlong form to this distance from an unfavourable draw. This is not a race where I have a strong view, and the tentative selection is the well drawn SIGHT SUCCESS (3/1), who has some top notch from in Hong Kong and should get an excellent toe through the race from Miqyaas. He gets a big jockey upgrade with Ryan Moore taking over and should run his race.


Cairo was fairly unimpressive when winning on his return at Dundalk. He is in the best possible hands and has the pedigree to improve a fair bit still, but doesn’t make much appeal at a short price. Worcester has some good numbers in America but the selection here is DURA EREDE (7/1), who is a confirmed Grade 1 horse having won at the level in Japan last time out and has won on dirt. There is a slight concern that the Japanese horses didn’t cut much ice in the Saudi Derby last month, but DURA EREDE is a lot better than those runners on his home form and looks to have the right running style and physique to cope well with this test.


Another tricky race where many of the favoured horses are drawn out wide, including Gunite. Lemon Pop looks a worth favourite on the best of his Japanese form and clearly has a bit more speed than his pedigree, but Lemon Drop Kid is hardly known for siring top level sprint winners and the safe bet is last year’s winner SWITZERLAND (9/2). This guy is in the veteran stage now aged 9, but ran a career best when making a winning return last time out and was value for a lot more than the winning margin last year. This strong-travelling sort should get a dream trip around.


A wide open race, particularly with Do Deuce out. Lord North will go well in looking to repeat last year’s win but this looks a stronger renewal. Several of these caught the eye last time out, including Master Of The Seas who has a big chance following a fine run against the flow last time out and some good back class, while Nations Pride continues to improve and Real World would have a chance if bouncing back from a dull effort last time. Serifos has just about the best form on offer and should improve again for this extra furlong, which would make him pretty formidable, but it’s worth taking a small chance on JUNKO (10/1). He beat two good horses on the bridle last time out and could be anything this year having run into Group 1 colts twice at the back end of last season, and this big horse looks the type to make hay as a 4-year-old. The small concern for him in a potentially tactical affair is that he often hits a flat spot, but he still came home in under 34 seconds last time out, throwing in a sub 11 second final furlong despite cruising on the bit, so is clearly not slow.


Another race where the Japanese hold a strong hand. EQUINOX (Evens) is not a backable price but he looks the real deal and should be able to see off Rebel’s Romance.


Far from a vintage renewal of the Dubai World Cup and Japan can round off another successful Dubai World Cup meeting with USHBA TESORO (9/1). Japanese runners have a good record in this race from limited runners and this late-developing 6-year-old was super impressive when beating the highest rated dirt horse in Japan, T O Keynes, last time out. He made a big move there and was idling in front, and still has scope to rate even higher. Country Grammar sets a fair standard but is very beatable, while Algiers is drawn wide and faces much stronger opposition than the last twice, for all he has looked a very good horse in two wide-margin wins.