We are now 24 hours from the first race of the 2011 Dubai World Cup and there is absolute electricity running through the connections, media, and anyone else connected with the event. Meydan looks better than ever and a record crowd to witness racing in the Emirates is expected as the full facility is accessible this season. A few final thoughts, in no particular order, below.
1. CAPE BLANCO (Dubai World Cup) is reported to have sweated through again this morning. I personally didn’t witness it, but a most respected advisor did, and thought it was still telling. There wasn’t much to see in the early morning as it was cool and foggy. For those in jurisdictions with the ability, we are advising laying the second-choice, current 7-2 at Coral, as the best bet of the night.
2. Racing has a way of producing some poetic results. Deep down, anyone with a punt will gladly lose if the Japanese tot them off at any point. BUENA VISTA is our second pick in the big race, and she could certainly go one better. You won’t miss her in the running – watch for the yellow hood with ear wraps.
3. PRESVIS (Dubai Duty Free) is simply going to have to beat us. We got sucked in by this old guy last year after a monsterous race in the Jebel Hatta (G2) from 2010, tipping him up in the big one last year. For 2011, he had that great go in the Al Rashidiya (G2) and then stayed on in the Jebel Hatta. Presvis was at his best in 2009 when he won twice in Dubai, then was second in the Duty Free to Gladiatorus before taking the QE II Cup and just missing in Singapore. Since then, the best time he has put two monster efforts together were his two starts of 2011. He’s a quirky horse who has to be trained in a different fashion every time they put him on the track. Do you get the race of his life at this point? The connections hope for that, but we just won’t bet on it. He’s probably the most deserving winner.
4. Does everyone remember that DEEM was beaten 1.5 lengths in the 2010 Dubai Sheema Classic (G1). Talk about a forgotten horse, she’s off the radar entirely. I finally heard the opinion of someone who’s seen her on a regular basis, one of the outriders for the Dubai Racing Club, who told the Dubai Racing Channel she’s been the best horse on the track, consistently, each morning. Part of the problem for the rest of the lot is that she has been working under darkness around 4:30 A.M. We tipped her up top last year and will do it again this year. Third off the layoff is a brilliant angle for the daughter of Dalakhani who deserves to get back to her preferred surface and trip.
5. The best running of the UAE Derby (G2) could produce most any result. We’ve narrowed the winners to KHAWLAH, MAHBOOBA, SPLASH POINT, ZANZAMAR, SWEET DUCKY, UTLEY, and REEM. It’s all just getting better in Dubai, and this race has had the biggest boost for the season. Across the board, the fillies have been faster than the colts, but pace can be funny and it might make Zanzamar just a bit better.
6. RIVER JETEZ (Dubai Duty Free) has been the biggest mover with Coral, taking heavy action dropping her from 16-1 to 9-1.
7. Jockey Richard Mullen knows the full story of CONVEYANCE and will do everything to nurse him along on the lead, he told us this morning. Without restraining his front running ability, Mullen is going to best ration the speed and hopes to stay on.
8. After speaking with Carl O’Callaghan this afternoon, all systems are go in the hopes of another win in the Dubai Golden Shaheen. Can he sit off the pace and pounce when the going gets too fast for the speed horses? A fascinating renewal, for sure.
9. Let’s do this!