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2013 Dubai World Cup Projected Field

Once again, this is our projection, and only our projection, for the field in the 2013 Dubai World Cup. We do not have confirmations on invitations made by the Dubai Racing Club or accepted invitations from the entire list of horses below. Information on Godolphin runners is incredibly difficult to come by, and often is yielded in rumor and conjecture. Until final declarations are made, the public typically does not know the end result of where Godolphin runners are headed in advance of the big night.

REMINDER: The 2013 Dubai World Cup will run with a maximum field of 16, the first time with such a large size limit in the history of Meydan. In the 2012-2013 season, barriers 12 and higher are a combined 0-for-51. We do remind, however, that the winners of the Maktoum Challenge Round 3 from 2010 and 2011 did both start from gate 13. As of right now, however, we do not foresee an overflow field for this race.

2013 DubaiRaceNight.com Projected Dubai World Cup Field

#1 MONTEROSSO
Trainer: Mahmoud Al Zarooni
Official UAE rating: 126

There should be no doubt that the prep from Super Saturday is a cause for alarm, as it was essentially listless. At no point in time did the 2012 Dubai World Cup winner travel well.  He was third in the Dubai World Cup in 2011 and fourth in his local prep prior to scoring a market surprise last year. He “passed” two horses in the Maktoum Challenge Round 3, fading Trailblazer and early speed Daddy Long Legs. This son of Dubawi needs massive improvement. At this point, we have to think he is even a longshot to be in the field.

#2 DULLAHAN
Trainer: Dale Romans
Official UAE rating: 123

Unbeaten on all-weather surfaces before his eighth in the Burj Nahaar (G3) on Super Saturday, that race was always a prep and punters should not forget it. Pushed too soon after a slight stumble at the start, and asked to run over a distance short of his best, this colt will be partnered with Dubai World Cup winning jockey Gary Stevens on the big night. He is ripe to improve.

#3 PLANTEUR
Trainer: Marco Botti
Official UAE rating: 121

Last year’s Dubai World Cup third took the Winter Derby Trial at Lingfield on February 23, his first win since April 2011. Marco Botti thought this guy was in need of a race to get into better shape, and it makes sense.  He broke running from the rail and went straight to the front and held off all comers. Longshot Miblish, 1-for-9 lifetime, was a neck behind at the finish, but Planteur really had the measure throughout. This event could have taken the rust off in good form and he should come into the World Cup in a quality condition.

#4 ANIMAL KINGDOM
Trainer: Graham Motion
Projected Rating: 120

Winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby, he was aimed here last year before a nagging injury kept him away.  He was given a prep on grass at Gulfstream where jockey Joel Rosario was much criticized for a premature move that we otherwise thought was practical considering the crawling gallop. Point of Entry, a multiple Grade 1 winner on grass and second from the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) won. Again, this is a horse who was prepped last time, not cranked for peak performance. After failing to make the race a year ago, there is currently no reason to think he won’t show with a big run. In his final race before his Kentucky Derby win, Animal Kingdom took a Grade 3 event on all-weather at Turfway Park.

Watch the Gulfstream Park Turf (G1) HERE

#5 ROYAL DELTA
Trainer: Bill Mott
Official UAE rating: 119

A two-time Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (G1) winner, Royal Delta was victorious in her 2013 debut in the Sabin Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream, an easy five length tally. She was a victim of a brutal trip in this race a year ago, and frankly, it can only get better. Her owner, Ben Leon, now has horses in the UAE with trainer Satish Seemar and his Unbridled Ocean might get a run in the Godolphin Mile (G2).

Watch the Sabin Stakes HERE

#6 ZAZOU
Trainer: Waldemar Hickst
Official UAE rating: 118

Fifth to Monterosso a year ago, he could only manage a fourth (placed third by disqualification), beaten four lengths on March 2. Racing at Chantilly in the Prix Meydan Hotel over 2,000 metres, a race he won a year ago over Cirrus Des Aigles, Zazou just didn’t seem to have the same kick. He ran credibly in last year’s World Cup, and was second behind Hunter’s Light in Turkey (watch below), well-beaten during their international meeting in September.

#7 HUNTER’S LIGHT
Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor
Official UAE rating: 117

Impressive winner of both the Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (G2) and Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (G1). This son of Dubawi, a sire whose progeny seem to absolutely love the Tapeta, has just seemed a different horse this season when given the opportunity to strut his all-weather wares. His win in Turkey in September, the Anatolian Trophy (G2) still stands out as a monumental run (video above) that brought him into valid consideration to this spot, exploding away from 2012 Dubai World Cup fifth Zazou, winning by five. This guy should be the favourite off the back of his 2013 campaign so far.

#8 SAINT BAUDOLINO
Trainer: Mahmoud Al Zarooni
Official UAE rating: 115

Fourth in the Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (G2), he was scratched a day ahead of the third round of the Challenge, and we never picked up the reason. Trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni was highly keen on his chances from an interview just a day before the scratching, so we would tend to think it was a surprise. He was the only horse to make meaningful ground into Hunter’s Light when making his first-up run.

#9 TREASURE BEACH
Trainer: Mike de Kock
Official UAE rating: 115

Horses running from this yard have been suspect first-up, so it was no surprise that Treasure Beach secure a better finishing position in the Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (G1). But he did prove a point – this horse CAN get over the Tapeta. After getting shuffled on the turn to last, he rallied wide on the outside and actually ran the fastest final 200 meters according to the Trakus sectional timing. Mike de Kock runners are 5-for-23 second-up compared to 2-for-25 first-up this season.

#10 KASSIANO
Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor
Official UAE Rating: 113

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford indicated this son of Soldier Hollow was potentially deserving of a spot after handling the class test of the Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (G1). He’s fairly exposed at this point, making five starts on all-weather this season, with three wins and two seconds (both behind horses who had won at the stand).  With seven wins, two seconds, and a third in ten lifetime starts, it just doesn’t get much better. In his career losses, he’s been beaten a combined 4 ¾ lengths. He gets a class test yet again if he goes in the Dubai World Cup, but local surface experience, clear affinity for it, and showing no signs of quitting are all hallmarks of progressive Godolphin runners from this race in the history of Meydan (think Allybar, Monterosso). Ignore him at your own peril if he runs.

#11 PRINCE BISHOP
Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor
Official UAE Rating: 113

We’re honestly baffled as to how this guy saw his rating decline last time, running a game third behind Hunter’s Light. Look – Godolphin can’t start the whole field, but his two thirds in the Maktoum Challenges make him a placing chance if he runs.

#12 SURFER
Trainer: Satish Seemar
Official UAE Rating: 111

This guy has passed the class tests in our opinion, running even races in both the second and third Maktoum Challenges, beaten the same 3 ¼ lengths in both races, where he covered all sorts of extra ground. If he can ever negotiate a ground-saving trip, he’s a massive player, showing Trakus-adjusted margins that make him competitive with Hunter’s Light from both races. He shows prominence, and just rarely quits. Shockingly, he started the season a maiden and has only two career wins, but with an extended field, this guy has claims with a good trip.

#13 CAPPONI
Trainer: Mahmoud Al Zarooni
Official UAE Rating: 121

While we normally list horses in order of their rating, we just couldn’t put Capponi in that normal position, as everything we’ve heard on the tree of conjecture is that things are not going well for this guy, second beaten three lengths in last year’s Dubai World Cup. He hasn’t raced since and seems a long shot to make the field, but he does still have a market from our most-respected international bookmakers, Coral. If anyone knows for certain, feel free to let us know.

One comment

  1. Pat,

    You are doing the Lord’s work when it comes to Dubai racing. It is getting increasingly insular. Both the British and American press give it short shrift. Thanks for compiling this list.

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