Dubai World Cup preview

Dubai World Cup preview


Ed Marnane: This 25th running of the Dubai World Cup at Meydan on Saturday looks one of the most competitive fields seen in many years.

The highlight of a spectacular day of racing has attracted a 14-strong field, headed by Mystic Guide, a first runner in Dubai for USA trainer Michael Stidham. He is attempting to give owner/breeders Godolphin their ninth victory in the race and will go to post with leading claims for $12m showpiece.

Winner of three of his seven races, he arrives in the Middle East in good form, winning the Razorback Handicap (Grade 3) under top weight on his seasonal reappearance.

Since touching down in Dubai last week, Mystic Guide has been the subject of positive bulletins and Stidham is very happy with his stable star. The highest-rated runner in the field has drawn a favourable gate, delighting connections.

The son of Ghostzapper, the mount of Luis Saez, breaks from stall No 6 and is expected to start favourite for the Group 1 prize. Having only had a handful of races, Mystic Guide is very unexposed and remains open to further improvement.

Mystic Guide is one of three Godolphin-owned runners. Saeed Bin Suroor, the most successful trainer with eight Dubai World Cups, has booked Christophe Soumillon to ride Gifts of Gold. He was tailed off in his only previous run on dirt and faces a stiff task.

The third Godolphin representative comes in the shape of Magny Cours, a comfortable winner of a minor event at Chantilly earlier in the month, is a fascinating runner.

Representing legendary French trainer Andre Fabre, he is making his dirt debut in the Dubai World Cup. By Medaglia d’Oro out of an AP Indy mare, he’s bred for the conditions. It would be foolish to ignore his chances.

American-trained pair Jesus’ Team, Pegasus World Cup runner-up, for trainer Jose Francisco D’Angelo and the Miguel Angel Silva-prepared Sleepy Eyes Todd merit respect.

The latter wasn’t disgraced in the Saudi Cup, where he met trouble in running at a critical stage. It was encouraging the manner he stayed on in the closing stages, showing a good attitude.

Bahraini Dubai-based trainer, Fawzi Nass saddles a first Dubai World Cup runner with progressive Salute The Soldier, winner of three of his five races on dirt. His latest victory came in the Al Maktoum Challenge (Round 3), a key local prep.

Great Scot, third in The Saudi Cup last month, flies the flag for Saudi Arabia and trainer, Abdullah Mishriff. Frankie Dettori, the leading jockey in the history of the Dubai World Cup card, is an eye-catching booking.

Elsewhere on the card, the $5m Dubai Sheema Classic is brimming with quality, as recent Saudi Cup hero Mishriff bids to join an exclusive club of horses that have won at the highest level on both dirt and turf. In Riyadh, John Gosden’s four-year-old stamina proved decisive, running down the long-time leader Charlatan under strong ride from David Egan. The son of New Bay will relish the step up to 2400m and will take plenty of beating, provided his hard race in the Saudi Cup hasn’t left a mark.

Japan horses are a formidable force on the world stage. Chrono Genesis, winner of the Arima Kinen (Grade 1) in December, looks the chief threat to Mishriff. She’s a classy racemare and makes plenty of appeal.

Mogul, trained by Aidan O’Brien, is Coolmore’s only runner on the card. He blossomed in the second half of 2020, winning the Grand Prix de Paris and the Hong Kong Cup, both Group 1s. He has conditions to suit and should play a leading role.

Former UAE champion trainer Doug Watson, who has nine runners across five races, provides the best bet on the card in the Godolphin Mile. Midnight Sands, the mount of Pat Dobbs, relished the return to Meydan in the Burj Nahaar (Group 3) three weeks ago, his first appearance for Watson after a spell with Brendan Walsh in the US.

Travelling strongly under Dobbs, he quickened readily to score with plenty in hand, taking his tally at Meydan to six from seven appearances.

Current betting: 22-10 Mystic Guide; 9-2 Jesus’ Team; 5-1 Military Law; 7-1 Salute The Soldier; 10-1 Chuwa Wizard; 12-1 Hypothetical, Magny Cours; 14-1 Great Scot, Sleepy Eyes Todd; 20-1 and upwards others



Race 2 No 8 Midnight Sands


Race 4 No 6 Motafaawit


Race 7 No 12 Vin De Garde and 10 Lord North [Race 7]



(Races 6 to 9)

R 72

Leg 1: 2, 4, 13  

Leg 2: 1, 10, 12

Leg 3: 7, 9

Leg 4: 7, 9, 10, 12


Dubai World Cup betting menu

ALL RACES: Win, Place, Swinger, Exacta, Quinella, Trifecta, Quartet, Rolling Double (Races 1-2; 2-3 etc), Rolling Pick 3 (Races 1-2-3; 2-3-4 etc) AND Bipot (Races 2 to 7), Place Accumulator (Races 3-9), Pick 6 (Races 4-9), Jackpot (Races 6-9).

NOTE: TAB SA commingle into PGI & WIN, PLACE, SWINGER, QUINELLA pools commingled with HKJC. All bets R1 unit; minimum bet R6 (minimum EACHWAY Bet = R6 Win, R6 Place = R12). WIN, PLACE, SWINGER, QUINELLA amount bet must be multiple of R3 so bet R9, R12, R21 not R7 or R16 (3-horse SWINGER or QUINELLA Box = R9; 4-horse Box = R18). DAILY DOUBLE, PICK 3 amount bet must be multiple of R2 so bet R8, R10, R12. HKJC PLACE Rules: Less than 4 runners no Place betting; 4-6 runners payouts FIRST, SECOND; 7 or more runners payouts FIRST, SECOND, THIRD.



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