Spotlight on the Dubai World Cup 2016
With more than $30 million on offer across nine races, the Dubai World Cup is the richest race meeting in the world. Five races take place on the dirt, four on the turf, and the climax of the day is the $10 million World Cup itself, which is run over 2000 metres and dates back to 1996 when it was won by the mighty Cigar.
Here in the UK, the action gets underway at 11.45 am and reaches a crescendo at 5.00 pm. Most of the major horse racing networks will be showing the races so check the television schedules with your local provider.
Let’s take a race-by-race look at the full Meydan card on Saturday afternoon.
11.45 Dubai Kahayla Classic (Arab Race) 1m 2f
Tm Thunder Struck was a disappointing twelfth in the Qatar Arabian World Cup at Longchamp last October but went back to Doha and had a hat trick of wins. This horse certainly earns each-way respect with Olivier Peslier aboard.
12.20 Godolphin Mile 1m
Sloane Avenue was second in this race last year and has early race speed. Dettori could easily poach an early lead on the Godolphin horse heading the market, Marking. Maftool is a better horse since being gelded and One Man Band has been in consistent form throughout the Meydan season.
12.55 Dubai Gold Cup 2m
Alain de Royer-Dupré’s runner Vazirabad is far and away the class horse in this field with five wins from seven starts, including the Prix Chaudenay at the Arc meeting at Longchamp. Manatee has gone well in France which makes him the best of the rest. Meadow Creek is likely to improve for the step up in trip whilst Neo Black Dia’s 3L behind Lovely Day gives the Japenese horse an outside chance.
1.35 UAE Derby 1m 1f
Vale Dori could reverse the form with Polar River after only going down by three-quarters of a length first time up. Lani was an emerging Japanese dirt star last season before losing on his debut this time around but he performed better than the bare form suggests. The surface is a major question mark for Frank Conversation.
2.10 Al Quoz Sprint 5f
The Ryan Moore ridden Not Listenin’tome has improved all this season and his win at Sha Tin was achieved under top weight. Last season’s Prix De L’abbaye winner Goldream is hard to discount but runs some indifferent races. Peniaphobia won the Hong Kong Sprint last December and is clearly talented.
2.45 Dubai Golden Shaheen 6f
Super Jockey was second in this race last year and lines up here on the back of a second place to Not Listenin’tome. A good show by the Moore ridden horse in the previous race will see Super Jockey’s odds tumble in this. Domineer for Frankie Dettori is quite a price considering he won last time up and will be better suited by the dirt. The former Dermot Weld inmate, Rich Tapestry has the back class to be involved too.
3.45 Dubai Turf 1m 1f
Tryster is regarded by many as the banker on the card and with the absence of Solow in this race his task should be somewhat easier. Charlie Appleby’s five-year-old is two from two already at Meydan and it will take something special to beat him on Saturday. The Japanese trained Real Steel has form lines with Duramente which put him in with a chance here. Intilaaq is an interesting runner but has a racecourse absence of 231 days to overcome.
4.20 Dubai Sheema Classic 1m 4f
The Japanese horse Duramente is the current star runner from the orient and international honours are on the agenda for his connections. In 2015 he completed the first two legs of the Japanese Triple Crown by winning the Satsuki Shō and the Tokyo Yūshun before his season was ended by injury. He returned to win the Nakayama Kinen last month and still looks the real article. Postponed is in good form but he faces his toughest task of the season here whilst showed he is no back number by taking the Hong Kong Vase last December.
5.00 Dubai World Cup 1m 2f
The Godolphin team will be hoping to capture the world’s richest race for the fourth time in five years with their four-year-old colt, Frosted. Given California Chrome’s nightmare draw out wide, Frosted should have an excellent chance of capitalising on that misfortune, having been drawn just inside his rival. William Buick, who won the World Cup twelve months ago on Prince Bishop, is unlikely to cede ground or his advantage. The US trained horse is going to need every inch of luck going and in a race of this calibre and will not be able to put one foot wrong. Mshawish is predicted to put the pace to the race whilst Keen Ice is one that is quietly fancied to be coming along late on the scene.