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Dubai World Cup Live Blog

DAR RE MI bucked the recent trend of late shippers scoring in the Duty Free/Sheema Classic with handy score over BUENA VISTA and SPANISH MOON, another great placing in the big race.
AL SHEMALI won a race at the Carnival and was a close sixth in the Maktoum Challenge.  Winner of the Dubai Duty Free (G1).  You bet.  The son of Medicean beat some good turfers in this $5 million event, landing a fatal blow giving them the slip late.  I feel best for Ali Rashid Al Raihe, the very gracious trainer who leads tghe local standings here, and has been so devoted to racing in the Emirates.
KINSALE KING scored the win for America yet again in the Dubai Golden Shaheen, holding off ROCKET MAN for the mild upset.  The best Americans out there do not have to come to win this race, and we’ve seen it yet again.  Kinsale King beat a very good colt in Rocket Man.
MUSIR lived up to expectations and ran through to take the UAE Derby over stablemate RAIHANA and Godolphin’s MENDIP, finishing a chalky renewal of the race. 


CALMING INFLUENCE went to the front, sitting just off pacesetting LE DRAKKAR, and kicked away in the lane while the always game GREEN COAST nearly caught him.  This is the first trained starter and winner for Mahmoud Al Zarooni, the long-time Godolphin assistant who was just given horses in his own name on Wednesday.  SKYSURFERS ran a real cracker and our choice, FORGOTTEN VOICE, rallied once outside of horses to be fifth. 


Calming Influence was 12-1 in the UK and 13-1 in the US.  It is, to the best of my knowledge, the first time the red cap wearer for Godolphin has won on World Cup night.  Below, Calming Influence before the Godolphin Mile.

Near tragedy was avoided in the walking ring before the Godolphin Mile (G2) when the groom of #12 SKYSURFERS tripped and fell, was slightly dragged by the horse a few yards, but managed to get up, holding the horse, and tragedy was averted.  We don’t often realize how important a role they play in maintaining these gallant horses.
JOY AND FUN, 12-1 in the UK and 18-1 in the UK took the Al Quoz Sprint (G3) by a half-length over my top choice FRAVASHI while American CALIFORNIA FLAG, who made most of the running, was third.



Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum looking on before the Al Quoz Sprint (G3).  He owns three horses in this event.



The Dubai Kahayla Classic goes the way of JAAFER, providing Qatari racing with an upset in the night’s opener.  Owned by a member of the Qatari ruling family, JAAFER came from off the pace and ran down NO RISK AL MAURY, the heavy on-track favorite.  Horses will soon be in the paddock for the Al Quoz Sprint (G3)


The parade of nations started as Arab men on horses paraded with a cavalcade of flags from all the nations represented in the eight races.  Current UK wagering indicates that GITANO HERNANDO, TWICE OVER, VISION D’ETAT, and GIO PONTI are all nearly inseparable in the wagering, sitting at 5-1 or 6-1 or somewhere in between.  The betting for this race has never been so open.  Below, the hospitality of the Sky Bubble. 



  1. What happened to Timely Jazz?

  2. The silks for Musir are really cool.

  3. I spoke with former trainer and current surface master Michael Dickinson and he indicated the horse suffered a fracture but should be OK based on his information.


  4. John Horton, Jr.

    I had a hunch, even with the influx of talent headed to the Dubai World Cup, that both Gloria De Campeao and Allybar would both run a great race, based on them already having been at Meydan since the beginning of the Carnival, and both racing and winning quite successfully. That’s why I used both horses on some of my tickets. I also nailed the Sheema, using Dar Re Mi. I couldn’t resist using that great turf race-mare when she went off at 9-1. Another horse I used, in the World Cup, that didn’t pay but that I thought made a really good accounting of himself at 20-1 was Mastery. I was really surprised that he went off that long of odds, having only been off the board in one career start. All and all, great card. I really do love the appearance of the new Meydan facility. My only disappointment was in the U.S. at OTB facilities, there was no “show pool” wagering. Which cost me a couple of tickets. I thought that was quite ridiculous considering the size of every field on the Dubai World Cup card.

  5. John – Thanks for the note. Show wagering is a North American phenomenon as the rest of the world pays place money on the second and third finishers, which is what is done in Dubai as well. You get paid if they finish second or third – so hope you didn’t trash any winning tickets.

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