Dubai World Cup 2024 - Meydan the Dubai Carnival

Best bets for Dubai World Cup night at Meydan the Dubai Carnival 2024

Update: A great night for Triple G finding three winners on the card including the two big ones for a level stakes profit of 16 points!

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. The Arab race, the Dubai Kahayla Classic Sponsored By Emaar, gets the meeting underway at 11.30am. The first of the Thoroughbred races is at 12.05 with coverage of the meeting here in the UK on Racing TV and the Dubai Racing YouTube channel. My fancies in all eight races follow.

Dubai World Cup night best bets at Meydan Racecourse

12.05 Group Two Godolphin Mile By EMAAR (Dirt)

The first of the Thoroughbred races, the meeting is kicked off earlier with the Arab race. There is a slightly more international feel to this line-up than you might expect, perhaps not surprising that's there an American trained runner at the head of the market, but we also have a British trained runner in with a chance as well as the locals. Swing Vote has been running well out here for the Crisford team, won a G.3 at Jebel Ali on their dirt track, but this does look a big ask stepping up in class. On paper it looks to be between Isolate for Doug Watson and American raider Saudi Crown trained by Brad Cox. The American horse was last seen finishing third in the G.1 Saudi Cup over 1m1f where he lost out in the last 100 yards or so, a similar effort here would surely see the four-year-old take this. Down the field in the 1m2f G.1 Longines Breeders' Cup Classic last season, again fading out of contention having been prominent early, eight-furlongs looks his ideal trip and I am on at Evens.

12.40 2m Group Two Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (Turf)

Some familiar faces in far flung places line-up here in what looks a very competitive renewal. Few know their way round this track better than Siskany and the six-year-old arrives off the back of two victories this year here over 1m6f, the last in the G.3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy. Beaten a neck by Broome last year in this, that was his only defeat here in five runs and you simply cant ignore track and trip form like that. G.2 Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup winner Trawlerman ran no sort of race in this last year but has to be considered off the back of his efforts afterwards last season. I just can’t see him winning this. Eldar Eldarov was last seen winning the G.1 Irish St Leger back in September at the Curragh and is another with chances. I feel the relatively lightly raced five-year-old is better though with at least a little give under hoof. Tower Of London gets 6lb from his main rivals under race conditions and that could naturally prove significant. He showed a good attitude to get up in the G.3 1m7f Longines Red Sea Turf Handicap last time at Riyadh having found plenty of trouble in running; you’d think he could have won by a fair distance with a clear run. This will of course require more again but he looks a good Cup horse in the making for the team at Ballydoyle over the coming season. I have gone with Tower Of London at the 3-1 available this morning in the hope he can prove what a Cup horse he will be this season by securing his first major prize of the campaign. 

1.15 6f Group One Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by AZIZI Developments (Turf)

Having won me a few bob already during the Dubai Carnival meeting Star Of Mystery has been high on my shortlist for this for a while. As a three-year-old filly she gets 13lb from her older rivals and despite a surprising defeat last time when second in the 5f G.3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint, to the re-opposing Frost At Dawn, she catches the eye for this. She won the 6f AL Wasl Stakes and the 5f G.2 Blue point Sprint prior to that defeat and is clearly in fine form. Frankie Dettori takes over in the saddle from Buick on this one interestingly, I haven’t seen any details as to why, I assume it is the flyweight and Buick simply can't get down to it.. Charlie Appleby said earlier this week “Star Of Mystery has thrived out here over the winter. She was receiving weight in the Blue Point Sprint, when we were hoping to get some Group Black Type, but she was very impressive that day. She ran another strong race in the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint, when you could potentially argue that she might have won with a better track position. Take nothing away from the winner Frost At Dawn, who has also been very consistent and sprinting looks to be her forte. I think both her and Star Of Mystery will be very competitive again with the weight allowance for three-year-old fillies.” I am on at 2-1 early.

1.50 Group Two 1m1½f UAE Derby (Dirt)

Forever Young won the mile G.3 Saudi Derby last time despite everything appearing to go wrong for him from the off. He got up late there after a slow start and he will find it very tough to get away with a tardy start here, especially from stall eleven. The Japanesse raider looks the best horse in the race and I assume plenty of training out of the starting stalls will have been undertaken in recent weeks. I didn’t back him last month as he was too short and he is short again here. Henry Adams is an interesting runner for ‘the lads’ but on pedigree there is no reason to think the surface will suit though a couple of fourth place finishes in G.1 company last year confirm he obviously has some talent. Mendelssohn Bay won the mile G.3 UAE 2000 Guineas last time and with track form, plus the slight step-up in trip likely to suit, he could be the one to pick up the pieces if the jolly gets it wrong. His Dam is an unraced Curlin mare, that outstanding dirt performer, whilst Sire, Mendelssohn, won this for Ballydoyle back in 2018 before his disastrous run in the Kentucky Derby, the grandsire being the decent Dirt performer Scat Daddy. He is bred to win something like this and is worth a punt at 8-1.

2.25 6f Group One Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Nakheel (Dirt)

A wide-open renewal of this with eight of the field rated within 3lb of each other on OR’s. It’s a fairly long run to the bend but an inside draw would have to be considered beneficial. Last years winner in a close finish Sibelius is back again and Ryan Moore will once again be in the saddle. Hopkins went well for a long way last year but ultimately weakened into fourth with Remake a never near fifth. That one certainly appears to have come on this season and won the G.3 Riyadh Dirt Sprint last time out perhaps a shade cosily. Wesley Ward is best known for his Turf sprinters raiding Ascot but he has one in here in the shape of Nakatomi. The five-year-old was third in the G.1 Breeders Cup Sprint last year not getting the clearest of runs. He was third behind Sibelius on his latest outing at Tampa Bay Downs but found a fair amount of trouble in running as they we turning in and can reverse that form here. The chestnut gelding is a tentative pick at 5-1.

3.10 1m1f Group One Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World (Turf)

Having seen the back end of Equinox more than once last season Do Deuce got a deserved G.1 victory in the Arima Kinen in December. The Japanesse raider has to be feared but I think his OR of 124 overrates him and he is better over further. Three times winner of the race (dead-heat in 2022) Lord North is back again. He couldn’t live Military Order with in the G.3 Winter Derby Stakes though and though that will have blown away the cobwebs I am far from convinced he can make it four wins in this. Nashwa getting the filly allowance can’t be ignored and can pick-up some decent place-money again. Luxembourg disappointed when favourite in the G.2 Howden Neom Turf Cup over the border in Saudi last month and even though that run will have put him straight after the winter I can’t back him for this off the back of that effort. Dirty dozen member Measured Time brings a record of five wins from six career starts into the race including decisive course and distance victories in this season’s G.2 Al Rashidiya and G.1 Jebel Hatta. On the upgrade and on a track and over a trip that clearly suit he is the selection at 6-1. Charlie Appleby said “Measured Time has won both his starts at Meydan this season. With the restructuring of the programme, the Jebel Hatta moved to January from Super Saturday, so we brought him here for a racecourse gallop earlier this month. His work there pleased us and he has done everything right since. He has his G1 win but this is another step up. We have had a lot of confidence in the horse – he is a half-brother to Rebel’s Romance, so he is always going to have that tag. I feel that he is a sharper horse compared to Rebel’s Romance and we were probably stretching his stamina too much when he got beat over a mile and a half at Kempton.”

4.00 1m4f Group One Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (Turf)

You have to consider Auguste Rodin on seasonal debut off the back of his exploits in the Derby, Irish Derby and Breeders Cup Turf last season. It will be fascinating to see what he can do as a four-year-old. The lack of a run since November is the slight concern but you would expect to see him there or thereabouts at his best. Liberty Island is another Japanese raider in with a chance on the card. Last seen finishing second to Equinox in the G.1 Japan Cup back in November that has to be considered strong form and the filly gets the sex-allowance here naturally. Another filly who’d have a shout if at her best is Emily Upjohn but she hasn’t been seen since a poor effort in the G.1 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot in July. G.1 1m4f Longines Hong Kong Vase winner Junko flies the flag for France having had a pipe-opener over an inadequate 1m1f at Chantilly earlier this month. Six-year-old Rebels Romance is an old favourite of mine who has shown some of the old sparkle recently. Having been well off his 2022 winning form, which included taking the G.1 Breeders Cup Turf, during 2023 he comfortably took an All-Weather Listed race at Kempton Park in December before easily accounting for a strong international field in last month’s G.3 H H The Amir Trophy in Qatar. I can see him placing-up in this, especially with the fitness edge he has on a lot of the opposition. I am on at 20-1 each-way (1/5 4-places). His trainer Charlie Appleby said on the Godolphin website this week “It was great to see Rebel’s Romance win in Qatar. He had a great spell two years ago, culminating with victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, and last year was a little stop-start. He lost his confidence after clipping heels at Saratoga, so we came back to the UK and went to Kempton for an easier assignment. You could see afterwards that his confidence was back and we headed to Qatar with a horse who we felt was back on his A game. It was a great ride by William [Buick] that day but you need the horse underneath you as well, and the combination did a great job. He has come here in great nick. It looks the strongest race of the evening, but the 12-furlong turf division is always strong internationally. We respect the opposition and I guess we can take positives from his wide draw [11] as the first turn comes up quickly at Meydan. Hopefully, William can get him into a good position by the back stretch."

4.35 1m2f Group One Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline (Dirt)

I think the Sheema Classic is probably the race of the evening quality wise but the Dubai World Cup is the big one. A couple of Japanese raiders have been heading the market and must go on any shortlist. Last years winner Ushba Tesoro was beaten a head in the 1m1f G.1 Saudi Cup at Riyadh last time advertising his well-being. That said on both occasions he was coming from some way off a fast pace and as seen when fifth in the Breeders Cup Classic is a bit of a hostage to fortune as to how the race is run. Winner of the UAE Derby last year Derma Sotogake was second in the aforementioned Breeders Cup Classic and fifth in the Saudi Cup last month so it is almost a flip of a coin as to who will head who this time around. Senor Buscador can’t be underestimated following his Saudi Cup success but as mentioned earlier it was a bit of a messy race and he was a surprise winner. Kabirkhan is trained locally by Doug Watson and has won both starts since moving here from Russia. The four-year-old chestnut was Kazakhstan's champion two-year-old and his only defeat in eleven starts came in the Russian Derby back in September. The son of California Chrome booked his place in this line-up by winning the 1m1½f G.1 Al Maktoum Challenge in style but it wasn't the greatest field for a Group One you’ll ever see. It will be some story if he can win this. Laurel River caught the eye winning the G.3 Burj Nahaar over a mile earlier this month and can run a big race at a decent price. The six-year-old hadn’t been seen for over 500-days when making his debut for the yard in the 6f G.3 Al Shindagha Sprint back in January and duly ran as if it was needed as well as a step-up in trip. He confirmed he needed the run and further with the win in the Burj Nahaar on Super Saturday. This is another step-up in trip and class but I was really impressed by his last run, no more that hands and heels riding to win and looking like he could get further. I think Trainer Bhupat Seemar, Jockey Tadhg O’Shea and Juddmonte can gain some reward for taking their chance in the big one. I have some of the 10-1 each-way (1/5 4 places).

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