It's known for its stunning sky scrappers and enormous wealth. The Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse only furthers the stereotypical image we have of Dubai.
And, we're blessed with a staggering nine race card with six Group One races and three Group Two's.
The Dubai World Cup is a race boasting almost $21M in prize money this year. It was won last year by American horse Animal Kingdom, a former Kentucky Derby winner.
This year the market is headed by 2013 Epsom Derby winner Ruler of the World. The Aiden O'Brian trained colt bolted up in his Derby victory, but has not tasted victory since. He has been dissapointing to say the least. In the Irish Derby he was well off the pace, finishing fifth, despite being an odds on favourite. His last run however offers some hope for backers, when he was third behind Farhh and Cirus Des Aigles in the Champion Stakes. What worries me is that I don't think he'll take to the sand well, especially with it being his first run on the surface.
Prince Bishop for Saeed Bin Suroor has done nothing wrong so far in his two runs at Meydan this year. He's already seen off stable mate African Story and Mike De Kock's Sanshawwes, who both line up in the race. Kieron Fallon will take the reigns and knows the horse very well. Prince Bishop loves the sand, winning several times at Kempton and at Meydan. He has a great draw coming out of number one too.
However, what worries me is his age. At seven, it will be difficult for a horse of his age to win the race. There has been only one horse aged seven to have done do. In his wins this year at Meydan, I just don't think he hasn't been outstanding to win the races, just that the opposition has been poor. How much more can a seven year old improve? Surely not enough to win this.
Red Cadeaux for Ed Dunlop was runner-up in this race last year. He's been everywhere this year, including a second in the Melbourne Cup. 25/1 is a massive price for last year's runner-up. He has an excellent resume. He was the 2012 winner of the Hong Kong Vase before his place last year. This is the apple to Ed Dunlop's eye and to win this would be superb. Each way backing is definitely a great bet.
I think the Japanese horses are being well overlooked. Hokko Tarrumae has excellent recent form, having not finished outside the first three on his last six starts. He too loves the dirt so ground is not an issue.
Nonetheless, I'm going for his fellow native Belshaaz. He has a very similar record to Hoko Tarrumae. Yet, he won the Japan Cup in December on the dirt and has finished close behind two time Arc runner up Orfevre. He too has a great draw coming out of number two. I was very impressed by the way he won the Japan Cup in December. He got his nose in front and showed the grit and determination to stay there. I think that he has an excellent chance to do so again.
14/1 is a massive price for a consistent performer at the top level. I think the injuries he's suffered with are in the past and he is back to the performer everyone thought he would be.
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