Dubai World Cup Night – our Man in Dubai tells it how it is.

The World’s Richest Race is only a part of the card at Meydan Saturday night!

When we had one of the team invited over to cover he Dubai World Cup this weekend, we had to take them up on their very generous offer so our man is currently on the ground in some hotel in the sun while the rest of shiver – lucky him.

As a brief history of the Dubai World Cup, it started as the brainchild of Sheikh Mohammed and Co in 1996 with an innovative and frankly ludicrously tempting $4,000,000 in prize money that funnily enough temped some of the top American horses over for the pot, headed by the amazing Cigar. He duly won and the race was instantly put on the racing map, and it has seen some amazing victories over the years, possibly headed by the legend that was Dubai Millennium in the year 2000 (funnily enough) when he was timed at 1:59.5, still the record time and one of only two sub two minutes romps.

Since the inaugural running the overall card has been built in stature and to be honest, the Europeans are more suited to the supporting card and the turf, and this year as always we have a decent enough hand. For us the meeting is only just beginning to garner serious interest having failed to grab the public’s imagination being so early in our flat racing year and thus off the target list for our best horses regardless, though we feel that is beginning to slowly change. How we wished to see Frankel put them all in their place, but it just wasn’t to be and the same applies to all our top horses who are aimed at the classics and Champions Day etc, which currently hold more sway when it comes to the many millions allocated after racing for breeding rights, though if we are correct, not necessarily for very much longer as this year there is a more competitive edge in the air.

12.20pm Godolphin Mile.

Marking (13/8) is the interesting one here and has split opinion. His last win was impressive but over a couple of furlongs less and some feel he boils over and sweats up far too easily to get home in this sort of exalted company. We note he has won over the mile before and is bred to be better over it than sprint distances, and although no good thing, he looks the best bet as things stand.

12.55pm Dubai Gold Cup.

Won by Brown Panther last season ad looks likely to remain in Europe, possibly with Vazirabad (11/8) if they water the turf enough for him to be seen at his best. Not a great race to bet in with the favourite far too short in such a string field.

1.35pm UAE Derby.

All eyes on the odds on Polar River (4/6) here as she looks to add the local Derby to the local Oaks and maintain her unbeaten record. Looking for chinks in her armour, this is her fourth race in quick succession but she has looked a superstar and is impossible to oppose.

2.10pm Al Quoz Sprint.

Lady Shipman looks sure to inject a ton of early pace in to the race and will prove tough to catch but will that play in to the hands of Sole Power or are we just being sentimental? Buffering has been working well while Ertijaal is the one in form but Not Listenin’tome (8/1) seems overpriced and will be the one we will be looking to back each way with the Hong Kong sprinters difficult to ignore.

2.45pm Dubai Golden Shaheen

Originally undecided, the draw has made our minds up and we will be on X Y Jet (2/1) who looks well berthed in the three stall. Reynaldothewizard is working as well as ever but is out in the ten box which won’t help, with Rich Tapestry a risky one for the forecast.

3.45pm Dubai Turf

We would like to think this is Tryster (2/1) v Intilaaq and it may well work out that way with preference for the Charlie Appleby beast. He has the massive advantage of a recent run when hacking up here for the second time this season and suddenly finding a long lost love for grass, and will in our view be suited by the fast early pace which can only help him to get cover and settle. By season end Intilaaq may well be seen as the better horse, but maybe not today after so long off the track.

4.20pm Dubai Sheema Classic

Our Newmarket friends will not hear of defeat for Postponed (13/8) and trainer Roger Varian seems pretty bullish too. He is working well and thriving out here and was very impressive in his warm up race – life is never that simple but he does look the one they all have to beat.

5.00pm Dubai World Cup.

And so it all comes to a joyous and spectacular end, even if we (Europe) only have the one runner in the richest race in the World. Vadamos would be the shock of the year but then again he is trained by Andre Fabre meaning nothing is impossible, but up against the yanks on their own surface it looks like a tilt at windmills to us. All eyes are on a California Chrome (15/8)  and Frosted showdown, but much as we love Frosted, surely he is the rank outsider of the two? California Chrome is rated his superior officially and has a lot more form in the book (time and again) to suggest he is the real deal – Frosted has a crushingly fast win her last time out and precious little else to back it up in comparison. He does have the better draw (and could have taken an even lower stall if they had wanted), which may bring them closer together, but in a race better watched than bet on, we can see “CC” coming out on top in one of the more fascinating renewals of recent years.

Sean Trivass is a guest of the Dubai Racing Club and would like to thank them for their hospitality as always – picture of Postponed by Neville Hopwood/DRC

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