Dubai Sheema Classic Tips & Betting Preview 2018

IN SUMMARY: Two races to go and they keep on getting better – and tougher to call. Continents collide here but Godolphin do have a very strong hand yet HAWKBILL (Each Way) seems to have been ignored when you consider he is a Coral-Eclipse winner and won on his return to action over this trip with a bit up his sleeve. Sure to improve for that he can run a huge race again here if in the mood and will hopefully land our bets, be that win or place.

1 MOZU KATCHAN – Smart Japanese filly with four wins last season and an acceptable fourth in the Grade two Kyoto Kinen on a softer surface last time out. That seems to leave her with a bit to find in this kind of company and it may be better to look elsewhere for the winner in Group One class despite Cristian Demuro in the saddle who will give her the best ride possible.

2 IDAHO – Class act who has travelled as far as Japan for the Japan Cup last time out where he finished fifth to Cheval Grand after starting too slowly. Seems to win less often than his talent suggests and held by Rey De Oro on that form, but you can never dismiss Aidan O’Brien or jockey Ryan Moore in the big races and a place is not an impossibility.

3 REY DE ORO – Top class Japanese raider who sits high in the betting for trainer Kazuo Fujisawa but needs to get back to his very best after finishing third to Clincher last time out in the Kyoto Kinen. That was his first run in ten weeks and may well have been a prep race for this valuable contest but he will need to do better if he wants to get involved in the finish today.

4 KHALIDI – Now with Clive Cox having previously been trained by John Gosden and last seen finishing seventh to Master Of The World in the Winter Derby at Lingfield. Two wins in Listed class are his career highlights and it will be a massive shock if he can get involved in the finish here which frankly seems pretty unlikely.

5 POET’S WORD – Trained in Newmarket by Sir Michael Stoute and to be ridden by the ever-popular Frankie Dettori, the son of Poet’s Voice has won four of his twelve starts at up to Group Three level but was last seen at Sha Tin when well beaten in the Hong Kong Cup. Decent enough but on paper, not good enough to win here.

6 CLOTH OF STARS – The Godolphin number one and carrying their first colours for trainer Andre Fabre and jockey Mickael Barzalona and perhaps the one they all have to beat. His best run was perhaps his Prix Ganay win in May last year or his runners-up spot in last year’s Arc, while last time out he was an acceptable second to stable companion Taslismanic in what was a Dubai warm-up for both horses, and if he improves for that he has every chance this evening.

7 HAWKBILL – A forgotten hero who has never really captured the public’s imagination despite winning the Group One Coral-Eclipse in 2016 and making a winning return here in the Group Two Dubai City Of Gold here in March when always doing just enough to hold on close home. Looks overpriced with William Buick retaining the ride and has distinct each way chances if he can give his best again.

8 SATONO CROWN – Magic Man Joao Moreira rides the second Japanese challenger here who won twice last season but was a well-beaten thirteenth in the Arima Kinen at Nakayama when last seen in action in December. Best form when beating Highland Reel at Sha Tin in December 2016 but needs to repeat that here.

9 DESERT ENCOUNTER – Sure to win more races for trainer David Simcock and appropriately named to come over to compete in this race, but looks totally outclassed and would be a big shock were he to come home in front under jockey Sean Levey. Yet to win in better than Group Three company and fifth of ten and nearly ten lengths behind Cracksman last time out in the Champion Stakes and that looks to leave him with a few pounds to find here.

10 BEST SOLUTION – Quality at his very best with five victories including here in a course and distance handicap in February but put in his place by Hawkbill and others last time out when only ninth beaten over twenty lengths and hard to make any case for on that run. Possible pacemaker for the other Godolphin runners here.

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