2017 Dubai World Cup Meeting Tips

2017 Dubai World Cup Meeting Tips

2017 Dubai World Cup Meeting Tips

Race-by-race selections for the world’s richest race-meeting Saturday

Brian Healy has Race-by-Race selections for Saturday’s top-class Meydan action as the Dubai World Cup meeting goes to post.

The week’s horse racing highlight does not come from the UK or Ireland, but instead from Dubai and the spectacular Meydan racetrack where the richest horse racing meeting in the world.

The Dubai World Cup meeting goes to post.

With a collection of top-class flat racing action that has attracted some of the best performers from around the globe to compete across nine races on the card – one of them is restricted to Arabian-bred horses only – the meeting draws the winter Carnival series to a close with a race card that is worth in excess of $30-M.

Six Group One contests feature amid the nine races which will take place on a star-studded card, headlined by the feature race, the Dubai World Cup over a trip of 1m 2f.

The full schedule of the Dubai World Cup race card reads:

11:45 – Godolphin Mile Sponsored By Meydan Sobha (Group 2) (Dirt) (3yo+) 1m

12:15 – Dubai Kahayla Classic Empowered By IPIC (ARAB RACE) (5yo+) 1m2f

12:50 – Dubai Gold Cup Sponsored By Al Tayer Motors (Group 2) (Turf) (3yo+) 2m

1:25 – UAE Derby Sponsored By The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (Group 2) (Dirt) (3yo) 1m1f110y

2:00 – Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored By Azizi Developments (Group 1) (Turf) (3yo+) 6f

2:35 – Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored By Gulf News (Group 1) (Dirt) (3yo+) 6f

3:30 – Dubai Turf Sponsored By DP World (Group 1) (Turf) (3yo+) 1m1f

4:05 – Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (Group 1) (Turf) (3yo+) 1m4f11y

4:45 – Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline (Group 1) (Dirt) (3yo+) 1m2f

And on a quality afternoon of flat racing action, Brian Healy assesses every race on the $30-M race card and gives his Race-by-Race tips for all 9 Top-Class events.

Multiple Group One-winning Postponed is one of several top names appearing on Saturday’s race card at Meydan
11:45 – Godolphin Mile Sponsored By Meydan Sobha (Group 2) (Dirt) (3yo+) 1m

This could well develop into a shoot-out between Jorge Navarro’s Sharp Azteca (2/1, Sky Bet) and Satish Seemar’s NORTH AMERICA (2/1, Bet365) with a narrow vote going to the latter.

The Dubawi gelding was useful for Charlie Appleby; but he has thrived for the switch to this yard, and the five-year old is unbeaten in four starts over this course and distance, and he most recently turned in a hugely impressive performance to win the Group Three Fibrebreak Stakes by seven lengths from Ennobled Friend.

He had earlier trounced one of his rivals in this race, Heavy Metal, when scoring in the Mina Hamriya Handicap where he was conceding 2lbs. But now meeting the rival on level weights he can be expected to uphold that form, and clearly improving he can maintain his unbeaten record at this venue under Richard Mullen who has steered him to three of those four victores.

12:15 – Dubai Kahayla Classic Empowered By IPIC (ARAB RACE) (5yo+) 1m2f

A race to watch rather than take any serious involvement in; but Eric Lemaartinel’s RB BURN is likely to go well under Gerald Avranche.

A winner two starts at Abu Dhabi, where he beat Mabrooka, the Majd Al Arab horse subsequently finished runner-up over this course back in January when finding only Af Mathmoon too strong in the Al Maktoum Challenge.

The form of Arabian-only races is hard to weigh up, but he should go well and can land this valuable contest.

12:50 – Dubai Gold Cup Sponsored By Al Tayer Motors (Group 2) (Turf) (3yo+) 2m

SHEIKZAYEDROAD (10/1, Bet365) could be the answer to this contest, and David Simcock’s classy stayer can reverse recent form with the reopposing Beautiful Romance (13/2, Paddy Power) who beat the Simcock horse here last time.

The Dubawi gelding is a regular participant in the top-class staying races, beating the reopposing Quest For More in runs at Doncaster and Ascot when winning the Doncaster Cup and and Long Distance Cup on British Champions’ Day; and he possibly just needed that latest outing when beaten around six lengths behind the Godolphin runner.

That was over 1m 6f though, and the extra quarter-mile here allied with progress on the back of that return from a four-month break could see the Simcock runner overturn that form, although in Vazirabad (2/1, Paddy Power) he faces another tough rival.

Nevertheless, he is a multiple winner at this venue, including the 2016 Nad Al Sheba Trophy – and he looks sure to give another good account reunited with Martin Harley.


Sheikhzayedroad can win the Dubai Gold Cup.

1:25 – UAE Derby Sponsored By The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (Group 2) (Dirt) (3yo) 1m1f110y

Todd Pletcher can get one on the board for the United States with his exciting MASTER PLAN (7/1, BetVictor) who comes into this contest on the back of his impressive success at Ocala back in January where he ran out an easy winner from Convict Pike to land the OBS Championship Stakes despite still looking green.

The Twirling Candy gelding comes with a lofty reputation and is owned by the powerful Al Shaqab Racing; previously runner-up in the Pulpit Stakes, he promises to be suited by this longer trip, and open to considerable further improvement he is worth a crack at this grade for his shrewd handler.

2:00 – Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored By Azizi Developments (Group 1) (Turf) (3yo+) 6f

Ertijaal (7/4, Bet365) is something of a course-specialist, having won five of his last six starts here, including when beating the reopposing Jungle Cat back in February to win the Group Three Meydan Sprint.

Although the Oasis Dream gelding has won over further than this trip, most of his recent winning form has come at five furlongs and in lesser grade, and racing over six furlongs with his sights raised here he may be worth taking on with LIMATO (5/2, BetVictor) who drops back to sprinting having failed to stay one mile in the Breeders’ Cup Mile when last seen.

Henry Candy’s crack performer produced arguably one of the best performances of last season when winning the July Cup at Newmarket, and he performed with great credit over the minimum trip when runner-up in the Nunthorpe behind Mecca’s Angel prior to winning at Chantilly in the Prix de la Foret.

The Tagula gelding remains a relatively lightly-raced sort, and he has gone well fresh in the past so despite conceding race-fitness to a few of these rivals he could still have further progress to come and can resume winning ways in this classy sprint contest.

Henry Candy’s top-class Limato can win the Al Quoz Sprint.

2:35 – Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored By Gulf News (Group 1) (Dirt) (3yo+) 6f

MORAWIJ (12/1, Paddy Power, each-way) was a Listed winner for Roger Varian prior to joining this yard, and the Exceed and Excel gelding has done well for current handler Dhruba Selvaratnam for whom he has won five times from sixteen starts.

The most recent came here when beating several of these rivals to win the Group Three Mahab Al Shimaal under an enterprising ride from the front from jockey Chris Hayes, although he was all-out to hold on.

While he may struggle to dominate again, he was beaten only four lengths in this race behind Muarrab (9/1, BetVictor) – who finished behind him last time – and he has appeared to be well-suited by the change in tactics in recent outings.

This is tougher, but he may well be able to follow up that most recent success if allowed to stride on again, and he can reward each-way backers with a big run.

3:30 – Dubai Turf Sponsored By DP World (Group 1) (Turf) (3yo+) 1m1f

Both Ribchester (3/1, Bet365) and Zarak (9/4, BetVictor) arrive with strong claims, but MUTAKAYYEF (11/2, Sky Bet) could be the way to go, and William Haggas’ charge can resume winning ways.

The high-class Sea The Stars gelding built on his previous seasons’ form last term to score at York on his return, and followed up with a defeat of Dutch Connection to win the Ascot Summer Mile from Dutch Connection, scoring impressively.

From there, he got to within a couple of lengths of Postponed at York in the Juddmonte International, finishing third; and he occupied the same position on his last outing behind another top-class performer in Tepin when contesting the Woodbine Mile.

Scheduled to make a return on the all-weather last month, he suffered a minor setback which caused him to miss the race, and he turns out here instead without a prior run; however, he has gone well fresh in the past, and his form stacks up with the best of these so he makes plenty of appeal to run a big race under champion jockey Jim Crowley.

Mutakayyef can win the Dubai Turf.

4:05 – Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (Group 1) (Turf) (3yo+) 1m4f11y

The large field at Chantilly for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe arguably undid POSTPONED’s (15/8, BetVictor) chances of registering another Group One success; but Roger Varian’s charge can successfully defend the crown he won twelve months ago from Duramente, where the reopposing Highland Reel (9/2, Sky Bet) could only finish fourth.

That rival has since gone on to much better things, but the Dubawi gelding himself went on to score at Epsom and York prior to suffering that Chantilly defeat behind Found, whom he had earlier beaten at Epsom.

Possibly just in need of the run here earlier in March when beaten a neck behind Prize Money (10/1, Sky Bet) in the Group Two Dubai City of Gold Stakes, he would have won in a few more strides and he is sure to improve for that outing.

He could prove hard to beat back in a smaller field of runners, and 2-3 over course and distance he boasts obvious claims of getting back to winning ways.


4:45 – Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline (Group 1) (Dirt) (3yo+) 1m2f

This should prove to be a penalty kick for Bob Baffert’s ARROGATE (4/11, William Hill) who is the latest in a long line of global United States stars, and the Unbridled’s Songs colt will take all the beating.

Only once beaten, on his debut at Los Alamitos last April, he has since improved with every run to rack up a six-win sequence that has seen him beat American Freedom in the Travers Stakes, as well as dish out a defeat of California Chrome in the Breeders’ Cup Classic last November.

Latterly seen running out an impressive winner of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational – a race in which California Chrome was found to have sustained an injury – he faces a relatively straight-forward task to land this richest of Group One prizes, and it would be a huge shock if Bob Baffert’s star were to suffer a reversal in his bid to join the likes of California Chrome, Animal Kingdom and Curlin as US-trained winners of this race.

He is impossible to oppose, although his chances are reflected in the odds on show; but there’s nothing in the field that can beat him unless he runs more than one stone below his best, and he should collect this prize with the minimum of fuss.

Arrogate should be hard to beat in the concluding Dubai World Cup


11:45 – NORTH AMERICA (2/1, Bet365)

12:15 – RB BURN (No odds available)

12:50 – SHEIKZAYEDROAD (10/1, Bet365)

1:25 – MASTER PLAN (7/1, BetVictor)

2:00 – LIMATO (5/2, BetVictor)

2:35 – MORAWIJ (12/1, Paddy Power, each-way)

3:30 – MUTAKAYYEF (11/2, Sky Bet)

4:05 – POSTPONED’s (15/8, BetVictor)

4:45 – ARROGATE (4/11, William Hill)

Stay tuned…

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