Below is our analysis for the eleventh night of the 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival.
Race 1 – $120,000 Swaidan Trading Company – Goodyear Handicap (Rated 110-110)
1,900 metres – Tapeta
Most everyone is going to flip a coin between #1 CAPPONI and #3 SARRSAR, but we think that the Mauritian wonder #4 DISA LEADER could be the horse today. He’s running third off the layoff for Mike deKock, surely a key race in the form cycle, gets added ground which he probably deserves (sire Parade Leader raced well in top American company over these longer trips), and is likely to get a favourable pace setup. Stablemate Reem was seventh in that last race, and she came back to run third behind Mahbooba in the Balanchine, while the eighth place finisher, another stablemate in the form of Jardim, ran a good second behind Zain Shamardal last week. We won’t argue that the top form from that last race, in Maraheb, Alazeyab, or Red Gulch was all that spectacular. Maraheb was fourth beaten six behind that photo between Capponi and Sarrsar last time, and then was distanced in the Al Fahidi Fort last week – this is not lost on us.
However, consider that Disa Leader is running on the stretch out, doing something he hasn’t done before. He hasn’t been beyond 1800 metres, and that was a poor result. But don’t forget, this is Mike deKock, and his barn is rounding into cracking form. More so, there isn’t much pace in here. So, we expect that while Capponi will go forward, Disa Leader on the stretch out from 1600 to 1900 should be forwardly placed and the slight weight break could help. Capponi and Sarrsar are nothing overly special, and while both represent more likely winners, this just feels like the time that Mr. Brock stepped up and won in Dubai, giving the Mauritians plenty to celebrate. #2 VAGABOND SHOES also ran quite well last time when just behind Disa Leader. Stephane Chevalier has had a tough campaign, but this seems the type of improving horse that could step up, especially since he confirmed a solid enjoyment of the Tapeta last time.
1st – #4 DISA LEADER, 2nd – #1 CAPPONI, 3rd – #2 VAGABOND SHOES
Race 2 – $120,000 Swaidan Trading Company – Peugeot Handicap (Rated 100-110)
2,200 metres – Tapeta
#1 SPRING OF FAME absolutely bolted home last time to end the win streak of Jamr, becoming a course and distance winner for the season, but most impressively, his final 100-metre segment, according to Trakus, was a strong 6.00 seconds. That’s fast, and he wheels back in two weeks to do it again, third off. We liked this horse last year and thought he had a Dubai World Cup chance. He’ll give it another go, and gets our nod.
#5 JARDIM is third off the shelf, similar to our first race selection Disa Leader, and also for Mike deKock. He made a strong run last time to get in the frame, and gets an extra 300 metres today. Last week, about Jardim, deKock said the following: “He made a fair debut for us and is a horse that’s showing ability at home, he should have a strong chance despite his bad draw and is expected to improve.” He did that…so a small step forward could get him in the mix yet again.
#7 JAMR has matured more than most any horse in the UAE this season, and finally ran into it last time when caught by our top pick. He will be prominent again, and could certainly get his third Carnival win, but we’ll side with a placing.
1st – #1 SPRING OF FAME, 2nd – #5 JARDIM, 3rd – #7 JAMR
Race 3 – $150,000 Meydan Classic (Listed) sponsored by Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group
1,600 metres – Turf
This race has “LONGSHOT” written all over it. The top two likely picks from those with a local race are #5 FACTORY TIME and #1 KENNY POWERS, who filled the 1-2 in the trial for this race. Both came home in 6.52s and 6.49s respectively in their final 100-metre splits of the trial, while fifth home #3 BURANO did it in 6.26s, seventh home #1 ENERGIA DUST did it in 6.34s. They were soaring home, but really didn’t factor in the final result as Factory Time was 1.5 lengths clear. We aren’t convinced that Factory Time is all that in the end, especially considering the bunched finish in behind second home Kenny Powers, maidens many of them. This race is 200 metres longer than the trial, so that needs to be taken into account as well.
Who knows what we’ll see from #4 MATUSALEN, the Spanish invader, and #8 ENTIFAADHA was declared as a UAE Derby candidate last week – that race is worth $2 million, this isn’t.
#2 CASH LUCK comes in from Singapore where he had faced older horses, and I have absolutely no idea where his 112 rating comes from. He won off a 74 rating last time out and the Singapore Turf Club now has him at an 82. Vlad Duric comes in to ride for Michael Freedman, but that is more a sign of his rider on Better Be The One in the fifth race. This guy has faced a few good ones in Singapore, and it’s tough to go against a five time winner in a field that has four maidens, and as many wins as nine of the horses in this race combined. The play against? How about a 7.5 kilogram impost from the last start? That’s 16 pounds, straight off the plane.
We think #9 NOOR ZABEEL has a chance to do something of interest, running relatively well when steadied in the final stages of the UAE 2,000 Guineas, staying on after going with the early pace. Dark Matter saved all the ground in that race while Noor Zabeel raced three wide and they ended up together at the finish. He won second up to break his maiden, and ran a good race second-up at Kempton in September. Second-up might be his time. It’s a wide-open race if you look at the glass half-empty on Cash Luck and Entifaadha, and that might be the way to catch a price others won’t have. We’re taking a real shot here. Burano also offers encouragement back on grass, presumably his best surface after a dismal effort in the Guineas.
1st – #9 NOOR ZABEEL, 2nd – #3 BURANO, 3rd – #2 CASH LUCK
Race 4 – $250,000 UAE Oaks (G3), sponsored by Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group
1,900 metres – Tapeta
So – no Gamilati. Let’s move on.
#1 COLORFUL NOTION had trainer Marco Botti thinking he could gain a placing in the Guineas, and maybe even beat one of the key Godolphin runners home, that didn’t happen. #6 PIMPERNEL ran second behind Gamilati, but still was well-beaten.
#4 MOON SPUN jumped slow and rushed up to make the running, which may have been part of her undoing in the final margin, for some of it, definitely not all of it, though. The newcomer, #3 FALLS OF LORA, was questionable to even go in this race, and might just be a placeholder. More so, we aren’t sold on #2 ALSINDI after fading over farther last time. It seems like an exercise in futility, especially as Pimpernel was really under a ride last time, but maybe she just needed the run. She was two lengths clear of Alsindi and more from the others. We’ll give her the edge to get over the top in a lacklustre renewal.
1st – #6 PIMPERNEL, 2nd – #4 MOON SPUN, 3rd – #1 COLORFUL NOTION
Race 5 – $175,000 Al Naboodah Construction Group Handicap (Rated 100+)
1,000 metres – Turf
Let’s be honest – in three years of form analysis at Meydan, it’s difficult to recall exactly but are fairly certain we’ve never, EVER tipped a winner in a straight turf sprint (save maybe JJ The Jet Plane). So – our confidence isn’t exuding here…
Seven kilos separates this field, which features the Golden Jubilee (G1) winner #1 PROHIBIT as top weight and third home in the Al Quoz Sprint (G1), #2 BETTER BE THE ONE. We obviously hold interests in both, but know they are also aimed at bigger prizes, and that must go into consideration. In the past, Prohibit has needed a race or two to find his best form, while the latter comes in with a three-race winning streak, including one over the Kranji Polytrack. He missed a start between then and now, scratching out on January 29, the same day his stablemate Cash Luck won in his final pre-Dubai prep. Reasons to be cautious here.
#6 HUMIDOR was in a strange mood the night of his last race, when we picked him on top. He basically refused to go down to the gates and had to be ponied there, while Frankie Dettori met him, and he also had issues loading. He didn’t show any of the promise on display a few weeks earlier, when he ran a troubled third, beaten only two lengths. If you can bring yourself to draw a line through that race, he is handicapped to run well here, and we’ll bite the bullet and hope he’s in better fettle. #13 SIR REGINALD gets in as the low weight and also merits consideration getting back on grass, where all of his career success has taken place.
1st – #6 HUMIDOR, 2nd – #2 BETTER BE THE ONE, 3rd – #13 SIR REGINALD
Race 6 – $100,000 Al Naboodah Construction Group Conditions
1,800 metres – Turf
Will there be enough pace in this race for one of the closers to make an impact? We loved #9 REROUTED last week, but he just couldn’t make up enough ground when Delegator won. The run, however, was encouraging enough to stick with the son of Stormy Atlantic, clearly bred to be just fine over the longer trips.
Something was clearly amiss with #10 SECRECY last time. He was fractious in the stalls, overraced early, and then just said “no thanks,” backing up as the race went to Mutahadee. He has plenty of success on the grass, and the relatively quick turnaround makes us think Godolphin has worked him out of his kinks, enough to be a player here. #4 FANUNALTER gets a shout back on the grass after a dull first-up effort in the Maktoum Challenge – R1 (G3), as would the horse who finished behind him two starts back, #1 SHAMALGAN.
We are siding with the fact that the pace is going to be there, enough for #9 REROUTED to get uncorked and come running along with Godolphin’s top charge.
1st – #9 REROUTED, 2nd – #10 SECRECY, 3rd – #4 FANUNALTER
UAE ’11-’12 season-to-date selections: 255 selections: 59 first, 46 second, 26 third (23.1% winners, 51.4% top three)