It’s the Dubai World Cup this weekend and there are 8 races to enjoy from Meydan in total with some top class thoroughbreds on show including the highest rated horse in the world right now Arrogate (134).
I am going up nice and early with the tips, I have taken into account the fact that there is the possibility or rain overnight but it’s due to be around thirty degrees tomorrow. Racing starts at 15.45 their time which is 11.45 here on Saturday morning. The big one is due off at 20.45 in Dubai so 16.45 here in Blighty; here’s to a great afternoon of racing even if I do only get to watch on the TV with Racing UK.
11.45 Godolphin Mile (Group Two) Dirt:
North America has done nothing but improve with each run having moved from the yard of Charlie Appleby (Godolphin) to Satish Seemar in Dubai and is now rated 31lb higher than he was in November last year. During that time he has gone unbeaten winning a maiden, followed by two handicaps and then the Group Three Firebreak Stakes last time all over track and trip. I would expect to see the same front running tactics here again today and think he can hold them all off once more; I have taken the 2-1.
12.50 Dubai Gold Cup (Group Two) Turf:
Michael Bell-trained Big Orange is a huge favourite at Triple G Towers and he has every chance in this, he is available anywhere between 8’s and 11-2 so shop around. As long as his globetrotting hasn’t taken its toll he is more than capable of winning this. He went down battling by a nose in this last year to Vazirabad, giving the winer 6lb, and though the Aga Khan horse is fancied by many to retain his title I am on Big.
1.25 UAE Derby (Group Two) Dirt:
Thunder Snow has been jolly for this for a while and I actually took the 9-4 NRNB with Paddy Power on Thursday as most others were going 15-8 and 7-4. The Saeed bin Suroor trained Godolphin colt won the Group Three UAE 2000 Guineas with the minimum of fuss having signed off his 2yo season by winning the Group One Criterium International in France. Lancaster Bomber was ahead of him over 7 furlongs in the G.1 Dewhurst and is naturally feared on the back of his second in the G.1 Breeders Cup Juvenile.
2.00 Al Quaz Sprint (Group One) Turf:
Ertijaal has won five of his six starts since concentrating on sprinting, his only defeat when second in this last year. It’s a further furlong now being over six and that is the limit of his stamina but he is drawn bang in the middle and should be able to bounce out and lead them. I have the 6-4. Jungle cat is feared most.
2.35 Golden Shaheen (Group One) Dirt:
This is a tricky heat. Mind Your Biscuits blotted his copy book when he couldn’t win a weak looking race at Gulfstream as his prep and fellow yankee St Joe Bay has yet to prove he is G.1 class. With the British raiders looking below the level required as well I am taking a chance with Hong Kong based Not Listenin’tome. The John Moore trained six-year-old has been going well back at Sha Tin and I think can be in the shake-up so have backed him each-way, he could even nick this, at a very decent looking 20-1.
3.30 Dubai Turf (Group One) Turf:
Zarak looked potentially decent last year chasing home Almazor a couple of times and began to show what he can do when trotting up in the G.3 Dubai Millennium Stakes last month. The Aga Khan owned colt does still have it to prove at this level but I fancy this could be his breakthrough win at the top level and have taken 9-4. Ribchester is feared on official ratings but lacks a prep run as does Mutakayyef.
4.05 Dubai Sheema Classic (Group One) Turf:
Postponed is on a recovery mission having been beaten last time in the G.2 Dubai City Of Gold. To my eye it was not the best ride Atzeni ever gave a horse but the good news is on the back of that defeat the six-year-old is 2-1 for this when he would have been odds-on if he hadn’t been turned over. The horse will be fresher for that run and Atzeni is unlikely to make the same errors again! He is fancied to repeat his success of last year. Highland Reel and Jack Hobbs would both be feared but neither have had a prep and this is a big ask first time out.
4.45 Dubai World Cup (Group One) Dirt:
Arrogate is odds-on at 4-11 and for good reason. Bob Baffert's four-year-old arrives for the 10-furlong contest on the back of three successive Grade One victories having landed the Travers Stakes last August before following up in the Breeders' Cup Classic and then taking the inaugural Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream in January. On all known form it should be Arrogate first the rest nowhere as they say.
Ryan Moore partners Japanese challenger and big outsider Lani. He told Betfair: "Arrogate was 2-5 in a place earlier in the week and, if he still is, then that's a good price. The Breeders' Cup Classic winner has 16lb in hand of this field and will go round on the bridle here if in that kind of form. Outside of him this looks a pretty modest race for the money - Gun Runner and Awardee are the next highest-rated horses on 118 - so hopefully my mount Lani can get into the places."
Veteran sprinter, and huge favourite down at Triple G Towers, Dinkum Diamond will make his debut for new trainer Andrew Slattery having moved from Henry Candy in the Naas Racecourse Launches The 2017 Flat Season Handicap over six furlongs on Sunday at you guessed it Naas.