Dubai World Cup preview

The world’s best rated flat horse Arrogate is looking to capture the Dubai World Cup on Saturday.

The Dubai World Cup is the highlight of the nine-race meeting at Meydan – the richest race meeting in the world.

The American wonder-horse is the highest rated horse in the world on 134 – the highest ever being that of the legend Frankel, who finished on 140 which is the best ever rating.

At 134, Arrogate is already the best horse ever to appear in Dubai but his trainer Bob Baffert does not know if he will ever be able match Frankel’s mark.

I think this horse is the dirt version of Frankel

Bob Baffert

“It is turf versus dirt – it is so different. Frankel was an incredible horse. Every time he ran I made sure I got up to watch his races,” said Baffert.

“Watching him was pretty spectacular. I think this horse is the dirt version of Frankel.”

We get the low down on every race from horse racing expert Jon Ivan-Duke

11.45 Godolphin Mile
The ones to focus on are Sharp Azteca and North America. Sharp Azteca has plenty of speed and his second in the G1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita at the tail end of last year was a good performance. He tuned up well for this race with a win at Gulfstream and I fancy him to win. North America has strung together some good C&D wins since switching stables. Kafuji Take is slipping under the radar having run a nice race in a G1 in Tokyo behind Gold Dream, who runs later on the card. He could go well at a price, as could Le Bernadin who I saw win at the track earlier in the season and although disappointing in his last couple of starts, he could come good again.

ODDS: 7-4 North America, 2-1 Sharp Azteca, 5-1 Heavy Metal, 16-1 Gifted Master, Kafuji Take, Second Summer, 20-1 Etijaah, 25-1 Le Bernadin, Stormadal, 33-1 Ross, 40-1 Farrier, Fitzgerald, Triple Nine

12.15 Dubai Kahayla Classic
Arab races are not really my bag but I am reliably informed Af Mathmoon has all the requisite ability to win this

ODDS: 6-4 Af Mathmoon, 5-1 Faucon Du Loup, 11-2 Tm Thunder Struck, 7-1 Handassa, 12-1 Rb Burn, Rb Madymoiselle, 20-1 Sniper De Monlau, 25-1 Af Al Hazer, Af Maqayes, Bon Baiser De Faust, Loraa, 33-1 Rb Dixie Burning, Reda

12.50 Dubai Gold Cup
Sheikhzayedroad and Quest For More are quite evenly matched, while Beautiful Romance has never really floated my boat. Heartbreak City ran a blinder in the Melbourne Cup, but the one for win purposes is Vazirabad. He beat Big Orange in this last year and this time he’s managed to fit in a prep that will have him spot on. Kingfisher is overpriced at his best. He’s been off for ages but he likes quick ground and is a thorough stayer as shown when 2nd in the 2015 Ascot Gold Cup.

ODDS: 2-1 Vazirabad, 5-1 Beautiful Romance, 7-1 Big Orange, 8-1 Heartbreak City, Quest For More, 10-1 Sheikhzayedroad, 14-1 Kingfisher, Trip To Paris, 20-1 Wall Of Fire, 33-1 Famous Kid, 40-1 Rembrandt Van Rijn, 50-1 Basateen, Quechua, 66-1 Zamaam

1.25 UAE Derby
Thunder Snow won a Group 1 in France last year and has followed that up with victory in the UAE 2000 Guineas. The opposition is a class above that here, but he has a favourites chance. While I like him and I’ll include him in multiples, there’s two who make appeal for value seekers. Market followers should pay attention to Master Plan. Todd Pletcher’s colt has ability and he is a live player, particularly as my sources tell me he’s had a bundle of cash thrown at him. Lancaster Bomber ran a huge race in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and with a more prominent ride he may have won it. Yes, he’s on dirt here, but if he handles the surface he seems overpriced.

ODDS: 2-1 Thunder Snow, 5-1 Epicharis, 6-1 Master Plan, 7-1 Lancaster Bomber, 9-1 Fawree, 14-1 Cosmo Charlie, 16-1 Fly At Dawn, Spirit Of Valor, Top Score, 25-1 Qatar Man, 40-1 Adirato, Bee Jersey, 50-1 He Runs Away, Vettori Kin, 66-1 Midnight Chica, Nomorerichblondes

2.00 Al Quoz Sprint
This looks between Limato and Ertijaal. I love Henry Candy’s horse and as he stays up to 7f it means he can turn on the afterburners and just keep on going. He was my lay of the Breeders’ Cup because a mile was clearly too far.
Ertijaal was second in this last year when the race was run over 5furlongs. They’ve now made it a 6furlong contest and I’m not sure that will suit Ertijaal. Jungle Cat has matured gradually and I wouldn’t rule out a good run from him at big odds.

ODDS: 15-8 Ertijaal, 2-1 Limato, 8-1 Amazing Kids, Jungle Cat, 14-1 Washington DC, 16-1 Baccarat, 25-1 Final Venture, The Right Man, 33-1 Finsbury Square, Long On Value, Medicean Man, 40-1 Richard’s Boy

2.35 Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News
Mind Your Biscuits won the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes in December and clearly has leading claims. St Joe Bay has been in great form over the winter in the States and is respected despite it being a big step up in task. Morawij needs all the pieces of the puzzle to fall in to place but he has the ability to run on strongly at the finish.

ODDS:  11-4 Mind Your Biscuits, 4-1 St Joe Bay, 8-1 Cool Cowboy, Reynaldothewizard, 10-1 Morawij, Muarrab, 12-1 Stallwalkin’ Dude, 16-1 Dundonnell, Not Listenin’tome, 20-1 My Catch, 50-1 Comicas, High On Life, 66-1 Dios Corrida, 100-1 Wild Dude

3.30 Dubai Turf
Take your pick between Zarak and Ribchester. Zarak came up short in a few top races last season but ran really well at the track last month. Ribchester gets the nod. Godolphin will no doubt want to win this and his half length defeat behind Minding in the QEII in October should be good enough to win this.

ODDS:  5-2 Zarak, 10-3 Ribchester, 9-2 Mutakayyef, 9-1 Real Steel, 10-1 Decorated Knight, 12-1 Deauville, 16-1 Mondialiste, 20-1 Heshem, 25-1 Long Island Sound, Vivlos, 33-1 Cougar Mountain, Debt Collector, Opal Tiara, Very Special

4.05 Dubai Sheema Classic
A really good renewal and although Postponed deserves his place at the top of the betting, you can make a case about virtually all the rest. The mare Seventh Heaven benefits from a weight allowance that brings her in to contention. Highland Reel is always underestimated and at the odds with Ryan Moore on board he makes most appeal. Jack Hobbs must be doing something right at home for them to give this race a whirl. It’s the toughest race to pick but my motto is when in doubt go with the best jockey and that is Ryan Moore.

ODDS: 2-1 Postponed, 4-1 Highland Reel, Jack Hobbs, 9-2 Seventh Heaven, 7-1 Prize Money, 12-1 Sounds Of Earth, 33-1 Earnshaw

4.45 Dubai World Cup
Probably the simplest race of the night to solve. Arrogate stands head and shoulders above his rivals. It’s very hard to find any faults in the world’s highest rated horse. As long as he is fit and well, which he reportedly is, then he wins easily.

1-3 Arrogate, 15-2 Mubtaahij, 10-1 Gun Runner, 12-1 Hoppertunity, 20-1 Neolithic, 25-1 Special Fighter, 33-1 Apollo Kentucky, Gold Dream, Keen Ice, 50-1 Awardee, Long River, 66-1 Furia Cruzada, Lani, Move Up

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