I love betting races on synthetic surfaces, and I hope I can give the peeps some good prices to bet on.
Godolphin Mile all weather (selections 15-10-12-9-5)
#15 VARIETY CLUB (4/1 ML) was on on the speed in the main prep race and ran a very tough second quarter (exactly 23 seconds) to just fade late to Meydan specialist #10 Shuruq. That was his first loss in at least 9 consecutive starts, and he’s 15 for 21 lifetime. Big chance.
#10 SHURUQ (3/1 ML) beat the top pick in her last and has the best “all weather” record in the field: 7-4-2-0. A good horse to use in the rolling pick 3s.
#12 CAPITAL ATTRACION (12/1 ML) has a very good “all weather” record as well: 16-5-1-5. Definitely can get in the trifecta.
#9 FLOTILLA (12/1 ML) is bred to run well on the all weather, appears to be rounding into form third off the layoff and these horses may have less talent than what she faced in her last race, but I would consider it a big negative she did not run in the Dubai Duty Free on grass for a much larger purse ($5 million vs, $1 million). Will probably be an underlay in the win position in the North American pool off her rousing win in the 2012 BC Juvy Fillies Turf.
#5 SOFT FALLING RAIN (9/2 ML) was beyond dreadful last time off the layoff and I was expecting a big effort. The fact he is not in a Group 1 race says his connections are just hoping for improvement.
Dubai Gold Cup – 2 miles turf (selections 6-7-8-13)
#6 SONGCRAFT (6/1 ML) switches to top stable jock Barzalona and was unlucky to lose his last race. Should be dead fit off two mile-and-a-half races. Catch this one to win.
#7 CAVALRYMAN (5/2 ML) will be the favorite to win this race off the last effort, but historically he is NOT a true two miler (5-1-1-0) and the form of the horses he beat in his last look suspect to me. Certainly can win but I would not take less than 5/2 on him.
#8 JOSHUA TREE (10/1 ML) was aggressively placed in the all weather prep for the Dubai World Cup and only got beat 2 lengths. Should set the pace here and has to be respected second race off the layoff. Great horse to use in the pick 3s.
#13 SHEIKHZAYEDROAD (60/1) really should be 20/1 in here, with his good record on turf (16-5-2-4) and only losing to #6 Songcraft by two lengths twice. Put this guy into your 50 cent trifectas.
UAE Derby – 1 and 3/16 miles all weather (selections 4-5-8-9)
#4 LONG JOHN (3/1) is a Southern Hemisphere 4 year old, which means he has 6 months of maturity on 3 year olds bred on Northern Hemisphere time. His jockey, Mickael Barzalona, was quoted as being unsure if he thought Long John is a stayer, but the good fortune for his connections is that none of today’s competitors appear to be stayers either. I would be surprised if he lost this race, especially after considering his victory over Shamus Award in the Caulfield Guineas. Since that race Shamus Award has won $2.4 Million dollars in prize money. 3/1 on Long John would be a gift,
#5 GIOVANNI BOLDINI (5/2 ML) is 2 for 2 wins on the all weather, but both were sprints, and while he ran a winning race at Santa Anita in November 2013, he did give it up late and he may turn out to be a high class miler. I am very surprised he is the morning line favorite.
#8 TOAST OF NEW YORK (20/1 ML) is 3-2-1-0 on all weather, including a wire to wire win by 12 lengths and a wire to wire win by 16 lengths!! Comes into this race fresh, but his BRIS class rating from the 16 length win matches up well with #5 Giovanni Boldini. Catch this one to cash.
#9 ASMAR (6/1 ML) won the mail prep for this (Long John skipped that race) and crushed over possibly the worst field I have ever seen run for $250,000. But as they say in Australia, “you have to meet ’em to beat ’em.” Has a good pedigree for the distance and is definitely improving.
Al Quoz Sprint – 5 furlongs turf, straight course (selections 12-8-2-11)
Note: the BRIS PPs said Shae Shea, Sole Power and Ahtoug’s last commpn race was on all-weather. That is incorrect; it was 5 furlongs on the straight turf course.
#12 SHEA SHEA (Even money on the ML) is an incredibly explosive sprinter and I recommend you watch his race video from March 8th. He went from 10th place to 2nd place in only a quarter mile, but then let the leader hang around before prevailing on the line. This horse rarely wins or loses by a lot, but her sure seems to enjoy a fight. Personally I would not use him to win at even money (my odds I would make him around 8/5), but he might be a good single in your pick 3s.
#9 AMBER SKY (8/1 ML) has a great record in 5 furlong turf sprints, and he comes from Hong Kong, a very competitive region for turf sprinters. Bred to be any kind, and I anticipate a strong effort.
#2 SOLE POWER (6/1 ml) beat #12 Shea Shea in Europe last summer, but Shea Shea has beaten Sole Power all three times they have met in Dubai on the straight course. Figures to improve second off the layoff.
#11 AHTHOUG (12/1 ML) has fininished 5-2-2-0 in his last 5 starts. In the one race he did not place (Race 1 on Jan 30th) he got stuck behind a bunch of slow horses, which cost him early position. He put in a huge middle move Trackus timed at 21.35 seconds for a quarter mile! This horse is a very dangerous animal.
Golden Shaheen – 6 furlongs all weather (selections 5-12-9-8)
In my studied opinion, this stakes race explains why the Americans stopped going to Meydan. Meydan’s Tapeta KILLS American speed. In the main prep for this race, the leader went 48.40 seconds for a half mile. Top sprinters go 48 seconds and change these days? Really? Last year Trinniberg went 47.94 seconds and spit it.
#5 REYNALDOTHEWIZARD (7/2 ML) showed great speed in the 2014 prep to just get caught late (arguably after the ‘Wizard’s jockey moved too early early), he won this stake in 2013, and his career record over Dubai all weather is 13-5-2-0. He can win from just off the pace or midpack, and should very very tough second off the layoff.
#12 RICH TAPESTRY (4/1 Ml) ended his 2013 campaign in Hong Kong with three dull efforts, but before that he was a money machine. finishing in the top 3 in 5 of previous 6 starts, so I am going to assume that his 2014 Meydan race reflects his true ability. In his last 10 starts he did not win back to back, so I will not back him to win but I will use him in the exotics.
#9 RUSSIAN SOUL (8/1 ML) is 8-3-4-0 on all weather and 3-1-1-0 at Meydan. Last race was dull, but if the pace is faster he can get into the frame.
#10 (12/1 ML) JAMESIE has some form around the favorites to hit the board in this spot. Likes to get second spot on the all weather: 10-1-5-0.
Dubai Duty Free – 1 mile and 1/8 turf (selections 2-11-10-12-4)
#2 JUST A WAY (9/2 ML) won the invitational TENNO SHO in Japan over Gentildonna, the only two-time winner of the Japan Cup, and the time was very fast as well, 1:57 4/5. His win against softer at Nakayama was very highly rated by Racing Post. Lightly raced, well bred, and has been pointing for this race all year. Huge chance.
#11 VERCINGETORIX (5/1 ML) has a lot of tactical speed and will be dead fit for for this race. Usually Trainer Mike de Kock wins a race or two on Dubai World Cup night.
#10 DANK (7/2 ML) runs very well fresh, and has a great career record of 11-6-2-1, but has yet to face top males. In my mind 7/2 would be an underlay.
#12 LOGOTYPE (30/1 ML) has had moments of brilliance and may not be good enough to win here, but I would use him underneath on trifectas and superfectas.
#4 THE FUGUE (3/1 ML) definitely has the talent to win here, but her specialty is going a mile and a quarter, not a mile and an eighth. Connections opted for this spot instead of running a mile and a quarter in the Dubai World Cup over the all weather. At 3/1 has the look of an underlay to me in this spot.
Dubai Sheema Classic – 1 mile and 1/2 turf (selections 6-8-1-15-12)
All the top horses are coming off layoffs or poor results in their prep races, so I am going to try for some shots.
#6 DUNADEN (30/1 ML) has been right there at this mile and one half distance, while facing tough competition. Last race on the Meydan all weather was probably not in his best interests.
#8 MEANDRE (15/1 ML) got a horrific ride from post 14 in his last race, and wound up parked 3 wide for an entire mile and one half. Ugh. Same jock again, but there does not seem to be that much speed in the field and this horse always tries hard.
#1 EXCELLENT RESULT (15/1) showed a lot of courage weaving between horses to win the main prep for this race. Well bred for the distance and certainly on the improve. A fast pace would suit,
#15 CIRRUS DES AIGLES (6/1 ML) is without a doubt the fastest horse in this race. His post position is terrible however, and seems to be destined to a wide trip. Has a decent prep race on the all weather track at Chantilly to let us know this race is the “go race.”
#12 GENTILDONNA (4/1 ML) was terrible last time. The trainer probably did not have her tight enough. But even so, will she be tight enough for Dubai? You guess is as good as mine, but I won’t be using her, if for no other reason that first turn at Meydan going a mile and half comes up very quickly.
Dubai World Cup – 1 mile and 1/4 all weather (selections 3-1-5-8-15)
#3 VANCOUVERITE (15/1 ML) had a turf prep good enough to be competitive in the Dubai Duty Free, but connections opted for this race instead, indicating that they were planning to unleash this horse onto the world scene in the ‘Cup. Is this horse good enough? I do not know, but that is why they call it gambling.
#1 PRINCE BISHOP (10/1 ML) will be the 7/2 favorite in the North American pool off his fine last two wins. Watching this horse run gives me the impression that someone will beat him, and that he is certainly no superstar.
#5 SANSHAAWES (12/1 ML) is another Mike de Kock trainee that fits with the top choices. Expecting a huge effort grinding away from midpack.
#8 MILITARY ATTACK (8/1 ML) The Australasian racing fans have a very high opinion of this horse, and his last race was a strong win. Unfortunately he does not have an all weather win, and that is a gaping hole on his resume’.
#15 CAT O’ MOUNTAIN (20/1 ML) is stuck with a terrible outside post again, but I know this horse can be competitive in this field and I plan to use him in some pick 3s.