The build up to Dubai World Cup night continues to gather pace with no less than four Group races on the turf this Thursday afternoon so lets get down to business. The Meydan Win Lucky 15 is now LIVE on site where you can back it in 1-Click using our ready-made bet slips.
3.05pm Balanchine Sponsored By Citizen K (Group Two) (Fillies & Mares) – 1m 1f Turf
Plenty of European involvement here with William Haggas, Roger Varian and Mick Channon all represented here as well as adopted son Saeed Bin Suroor who is responsible for likely winner Very Special (8/11) who lived up to her name when winning last time out here over a mile and will be even better suited by the extra furlong now. Her trainer said after her last win that “Very Special was impressive in the Cape Verdi and continues in great form,” said Bin Suroor. “We are expecting her to go very close and her last piece of work was very good.” and as she brings British Group One form to the table after a second to Alice Springs at Newmarket in the Falmouth Stakes and seems to be getting even better as she gets older, she can win again today. Realtra looks a bigger danger than her odds suggest after looking as if she would improve for her comeback run last month and could be the one for the forecast.
No one would begrudge Ed Lynam’s Sole Power winning his thirteenth race here to add to over £2,000,000 in prize money earned around the racing World but at the age of ten his best years may well be behind him and the locally trained Ertijaal (4/7) seems the more likely to succeed. Clearly targetted at the Group One’s on World Cup night, he wasn’t seen after finishing behind Buffering in the Al Quoz last March until reappearing here in January to comfortably win a valuable handicap and with that run behind him he can now take this for trainer Ali Al Rayhi and jockey Jim Crowley.
Far harder to gauge than it looks at first glance with Mike De Kock responsible for two of the fancied runners, and Charlie Appleby another two. All have solid chances but Mike seems sweetest on Noah From Goa (5/2) who was third on his first run here after over a year off following a third to South Africa’s top horse Legal Eagle in January 2016. “Both mine are very well and should be competitive,” said De Kock who, with three previous winners, is the most successful trainer in the race’s history. “Noah From Goa needed his first run and has certainly improved from it” suggesting he is the one to be on with Christophe Soumillon in the saddle in a race that may well teach punters more than most about various horses chances in the big races nearer to the end of March.
Zarak is the class act here for Alain De Royer-Dupre but hasn’t been seen since the first of October and may well improve for his first run after acclimatising to the very different weather in Dubai. if that assumption is correct then it could be worth risking Saeed Bin Suroor’s Promising Run (5/1) who hacked up in a Group Two last time out here and is effectively taking a drop in class. She does have a few pounds to find according to the official ratings but at least we now she is fit and handles the track after seeing off Light The Lights over a furlong shorter under Jim Crowley and if Oisin Murphy gives her the same ride this evening (covered up and produced late on), she ought to make it two out of two for the season.