Dubai World Cup 2022 - Meydan the Dubai Carnival

Dubai World Cup 2022 Ante-Post Portfolio

Dubai World Cup - Life Is Good 10-11 NRNB

Al Quoz Sprint - Man Of Promise 9-4 NRNB

Dubai Sheema Classic - Yibir 3-1 NRNB

Dubai Gold Cup - Stay Foolish  7-1 NRNB each-way 

Godolphin Mile -  Storm Damage  7-1 NRNB


A disappointing evening in Dubai as I find only one winner and end -2.8 to level takes. 

Best bets for Dubai World Cup night at Meydan the Dubai Carnival 2022

It is the big meeting in Dubai this Saturday at Meydan Racecourse as it is Dubai World Cup Night.  

As you would expect it is a card full of top-class action with eight races, five Group One’s and three Group Two’s, with the Dubai World Cup naturally taking centre stage. Luckily for us it is a card that sits nicely on a Saturday afternoon here in the UK and I am very much getting involved. My fancies in all eight races follow. 

Dubai World Cup night best bets at Meydan Racecourse

12.20 Group Two 1m Godolphin Mile Sponsored By Nakheel – Dirt

Quite a tricky opener in which local hope Al Nefud is the obvious place to start having won a couple over track and trip before finding Dubai World Cup bound Hot Rod Charlie too good in round two of the Al Maktoum Challenge over 1m1½f. That looks decent form on paper but nothing much has come out of the race since and he may have been flattered by his proximity to Hot Rod Charlie in what was a prep race for that colt. The two Steve Asmussen trained American raiders Bankit and Snapper Sinclair are actually the officially top-rated pair, the latter finished fourth in this last year and are also worth a look. Last year's winner Secret Ambition goes again and has to be shortlisted but is perhaps passed his best at nine. Storm Damage arrives off the back of a couple of wins over seven on the Turf and wasn’t beaten far back in January in the G.2 Al Fahidi Fort, also over seven furlongs. He won a couple of races at Newmarket over the mile as a three-year-old and he looks to have a solid each-way chance the big question of course being will he like the Dirt track? He did win on Polytrack on his racecourse debut as a two-year-old. Saeed bin Suroor explained the thinking on the Godolphin website earlier this week “Storm Damage has broken the seven-furlong course record twice this year. We felt after the Ras Al Khor that stepping back up to a mile would be no problem, although this will be his first run on dirt. We want to see if he can handle the surface as it would open up some options for him next season.” His grandsire on the dam side, he is out Sundrop, is the great Sunday Silence who before being a leading sire in Japan was of course the Champion U.S. three-year-old who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes so hopefully he takes after his old granddaddy on his mother's side! I was prepared to take a chance at the 7-1 NRNB that was about on Thursday that the Godolphin owned four-year-old will take to the dirt as if he does, he has a big chance.  

12.55 Group Two 2m Dubai Gold Cup Sponsored By Al Tayer Motors -Turf  

Manobo will be a warm order for this having won the G.3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy as he liked when odds-on and he will be odds-on here again. On paper he has a bit to find but gets 6lb from his main market rivals under the race conditions and the lightly raced four-year-old looks likely to remain unbeaten. Stay Foolish won the G.3 1m7f Longines Red Sea Turf Handicap at Riydah on his first try at staying trips having finished fifth in the G.1 Longines Hong Kong Vase prior to that. He looks the obvious one to me for an each-way punt and if the jolly falters potentially the one to take advantage. I am on at 7-1 NRNB each-way (3 places, 1/5)

1.35 Group One 6f Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored By Azizi Developments - Turf

I am a fan of Creative Force and the five-year-old is one of my Dirty Dozen this season and has an obvious chance on bare form having won the G.1 British Champions Sprint when last seen in October. It would be a big ask though on seasonal debut to win this and his best form is on softish going though he has some handicaps wins on firmer. I found it interesting that Charlie Appleby said this week “we are very much working back from the G1 Platinum Jubilee in June with him. We’re really looking forward to getting him back to race in Europe, but we thought this would be a very good starting point for his season.” suggesting this aint the main aim. Suesa would also be feared if it rained getting weight as a filly but she aint going to get heavy ground here. Man Of Promise has looked very well winning twice this Carnival including when taking the G.3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint last time on Super Saturday – tipped on here. That really was an eye-catching performance and a similar effort here should prove more than enough. I took the 9-4 NRNB on Monday. One of my concerns was a poor draw but he has been drawn high again as he was for his last two wins and I am really quite confident about this one. Trainer Charlie Appleby said on the Godolphin website this week “It was a big performance that he put up there last time, and if he can repeat that, it’s going to make him the one to beat, without doubt. I’m obviously delighted the way he has come out of the race, and we look forward to Saturday. He’s drawn well in 12, which I’m pleased about, and he’s got home advantage as he has won three times over course and distance”

2.10 Group Two 1m1½f UAE Derby Sponsored By Emirates NBD - Dirt

This looks wide-open to me and possibly the hardest betting heat on the card. Top-rated officially, and by some way, is Irwin winner of the G.1 Gran Premio Nacional Stakes at Palermo in Argentina over 1m4f last year. Now trained in Brazil by Antonio Cintra Pereira the trainer has three at this meeting including Quality Boone in this race. They and Kiefer have to give 9lb to the three-year-olds though and look up against it. Godolphin owned, but over from Japan, Combustion is interesting stepping-up slightly in trip but it is difficult to know what he has been running against in the land of the rising sun. Pinehurst won the G.3 Saudi Derby, Sekifu half-a-length second closing late, and both have to be shortlisted. Pinehurst is unlikely to hang about up front, breaking from stall six if he is to lead, he’ll have to go quick early and may set this up for a closer. G.3 UAE 2000 Guineas winner Azure Coast is trained by Russian Pavel Vashchenko and has been aimed at this meeting. Following the Guineas win Vashchenko said “We never raced here and this is one of the best racetracks in the world, so it was always the dream to come and race here. We were specifically preparing these two horses (stablemate Suvorov) to campaign them in Dubai. It’s a huge honour to win a race like the UAE 2000 Guineas, it’s very special. He’s still a young horse and if he has come out of this race he definitely is in for UAE Derby.” Antonio Fresu rides again and he said after the Guineas “Today, I took my time I didn’t ask him for too much in the beginning. In the last furlong it was very easy. He will get better over distance.” It certainly looked that way as he came from a mile back; I was on Kiefer expecting him to do just that but this colt even picked him off! This could be run to suit him perfectly and I have a bit of the 13-2 overnight.  

2.45 Group One 6f Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored By Gulf News – Dirt

The Yanks look to have a strong hand here. Drain The Clock has been unfortunate enough to come up against an in-form Jackies Warrior a few times, did beat him once, and that form aint too shabby. He is perhaps just below real top level class though and looks to be running for place-money. Wondrwherecraigis has a host of 1’s next to his name and has been mopping up some nice prizes out in the States but is as yet very much unproven at the highest level. For the home team as such former Mark Johnston inmate Meraas is in form, two from tow this carnival, and was a winner over this course and distance last month, beating Canvassed. Dr Schivel aint been seen for a while, disappointing somewhat at Santa Anita in December, but was beaten just a nose in the G.1 Breeders Cup Sprint before that and has to be shortlisted on that form. The colt is wearing a tongue-tie and blinkers for the first time here with connections clearly looking to gain an edge. Commenting on how the race might unfold for Dr Schivel, drawn in gate nine, trainer Mark Glatt told the Dubai Racing Club website “Depending upon what they are doing on the front end, our rider Flavien Prat will be able to choose what he wants to do. He will be able to see the majority of the field in the early stages. Our horse has gone wire-to-wire in the past and also come from four or five lengths out of it. We trust Flavien. He's ridden the horse magnificently every time and we expect he will make the right decisions." I am on at 5-2 overnight.  

3.20 Group One 1m1f Dubai Turf Sponsored By DP World - Turf

Lord North is back to defend his crown, surprised me when he won last year, and the build-up aint been great finishing second to Alenquer in the G.3 Winter Derby in February – one of the few times I have backed the bugger! Saffron Beach is officially rated 115 and getting the 5lb fillies allowance she has every chance on her best form and she may improve yet this season as she is relatively lightly raced for a four-year-old. Literally all her form is on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket though and this left-handed oval promises a very different test. The Japanese raider Schnell Meister is the jolly and has been mixing it with some big names back in Japan. Having finished second to the recently retired champion mare Gran Alegria in the G1 Mile Championship at Hanshin in November he has to be on any shortlist. Todd Pletcher has been picking up plenty of big prizes this year already and he sends two-time G.1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes winner Colonel Liam for this. A wide draw hasn’t helped his chances but as he showed when winning the Pegasus Turf he is happiest stalking leaders so it’s not a disaster. Talking on the Dubai Racing Club website after Thursdays track work Racing manager Jacob West said “We know no American horse has ever won the Dubai Turf before but we'd love if trainer Todd Pletcher became the first to do it. We thought his win in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes was just what he needed and he should come on from that run.” I think the grey is a little overpriced at 10-1 overnight with Hills and have taken that.  

3.55 1m4f Group One Longines Dubai Sheema Classic Presented By Longines - Turf

This looks a really good renewal with Hukum, Winter Derby winner Alenquer and a gaggle of Japanese raiders lining-up plus a favourite here at Triple G Towers G.1 Breeders' Cup Turf winner Yibir. It should be noted connections of Pyledriver have booked Frankie Dettori to ride with regular jockey Martin Dwyer side-lined with a knee injury. Japanese hopes are headed, I think, by Glory Vase who beat Pyledriver in the Hong Kong Vase in December whilst Shahryar, winner of the Japanese Derby, is also over for a run. Hukum won his prep (tipped on here) but only just, talking earlier this week jockey Jim Crowley said “It was a very nice prep in the City Of Gold and I expect him to improve considerably from that. He’s only run once in a Group One when fifth in the St Leger and while I would have preferred an inside draw, I’m hoping to get a nice pitch early on.” I am a fully paid-up member of the Yibir fan club, tipped him at the Breeders cup amongst other races, and barring a blip on soft at Goodwood he got better and better last year after being gelded. He is actually drawn outside of Hukum in 12 but it is possibly less of a concern with him, he’s last two victories he has come from last place to pick them all off! I took 3-1 NRNB on Wednesday and I expect to see Buick drop him in behind and stalk them all before storming home. Talking on the Dubai Racing Club website it is clear William Buick believes that the best is in front of Yibir ahead of a four-year-old season that begins in the Sheema Classic on Saturday. “He looks great,” Buick said. “Obviously, it’s his first run since America so he has to live up to that run but it does look a good race for him. We all know what he can do. He’s got plenty of experience now, he’s been to the States twice and he’s had more racing. I think he’s a horse that, even after the Breeders’ Cup Turf, we haven’t quite seen the best of yet which is quite exciting.”

4.30 Group One 1m2f Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline - Dirt

Six Group or Grade One winners line up in the $12million contest, representing six different countries. Life Is Good has looked very, very good recently winning the Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and then the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes – tipped on here for both victories I am happy to say. This is of course a furlong further than the Pegasus (two than the mile) but he wasn’t stopping at Gulfstream Park and I see no reason why he shouldn’t get home here; in fact, I would say the biggest danger is he goes too quick too early but I can’t see that mistake being made. Lightly raced in his stellar career thus far by trainer Todd Pletcher, I believe it is unlikely we have seen the best of him yet. I took 10-11 NRNB on Monday happily. Stall one is pretty much perfect for a horse that likes to blaze a trail and he should win without seeing another horse. Todd Pletcher told the Dubai Racing Club website “I’m very happy with him, his weight looks good, I think he handled the ship in perfectly, The Pegasus was his first time at a mile and an eighth and he handled that well, so we’ve focused on just some good, stamina-building breezes and strong gallop outs. He does everything so willingly; he likes doing it, enjoys his job, and all his work has been super good.”


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24th March 2022:

I have gone through the form time and again for the Godolphin Mile and have come to the decision that you need to be on the Godolphin one in the shape of Storm Damage at 7-1 NRNB. You can make a case for a few in this but the Saeed bin Suroor trained four-year-old has been burning up the Turf track, broken the seven-furlong course record twice this year, and if he goes on Dirt will take some catching.  He did win on Polytrack on his racecourse debut as a two-year-old and has won over the mile trip at Newmarket so the surface is the only concern. His grandsire on the dam side, he is out Sundrop, is the great Sunday Silence who before being a leading sire in Japan was of course the Champion U.S. three-year-old who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes so hopefully he takes after his old granddaddy on his mothers side!   

23rd March 2022:

The draw has been made out in Dubai and has moved a few of the markets with the stall positions now known. I have backed Yibir for the  Dubai Sheema Classic at 3-1 NRNB as despite being drawn wide in stall 12, something many connections might have feared, I don't think it matters for the gelding; in he’s last two victories, including the G.1  Breeders' Cup Turf, he has come from last place to pick them all off so I would expect to see Buick drop him in behind and stalk them all before storming home. I have also had a piece of Stay Foolish at 7-1 NRNB each-way (3 places, 1/5) in the Grade Two Dubai Gold Cup. Manobo will be a warm order for this, already 1-2 in most places, and as he's unbackable Stay Foolish looks the solid each-way punt off the back of his win at Riydah; if the jolly falters he is potentially the one most likely to take advantage as well. 

21st March 2022:

I have placed a couple of early ante-post bets for Dubai World Cup night this weekend as I think both are only likely to get shorter unless the draw ruins their chances or there is a freak thunderstorm wo ruin the going (has happened). For the big on the Dubai World Cup I simply have to be on Life Is Good having tipped him when he won the G.1 Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and then the G.1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes.  This is of course a furlong further than the Pegasus (two than the mile) but he wasn’t stopping at Gulfstream Park and I see no reason why he shouldn’t get home here, I expect him to win without seeing another horse. As for the  Al Quoz Sprint I am on Man Of Promise who really impressed me winning the  G.3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint last time on Super Saturday - also tipped on here. Trainer Charlie Appleby said before that race “Man Of Promise has produced some pretty solid efforts out in Dubai and was very impressive on his latest start. He has enjoyed a nice break heading into this and looks fantastic. This is a stronger race compared to the Dubai Sprint but he is a young sprinter on an upward curve, so we are pretty confident that he will run a big race.” He did, and Appleby looks to have another star sprinter on his hands.