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Projected 2012 Dubai World Cup Field #2

After the final main local prep for the 2012 Dubai World Cup, we provide our projected field for the $10 million race.

#1 – CIRRUS DES AIGLES
Trainer: Corine Barande-Barbe
Estimated UAE Rating: 126

Initially after a second in a Chantilly all-weather prep, it was announced that he would aim for one of the $5 million turf races.  But a few days later, his trainer suggested he was still possible for the Dubai World Cup.  The possibility keeps him on top here, even if tenuous.

#2 – SO YOU THINK
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Estimated UAE Rating: 125

All those Aussie successes followed by the Coral Eclipse (G1) and Irish Champion Stakes (G1), then beaten second by Cirrus Des Aigles at Ascot, and ran a sneaky good sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).  Like some others, if he wants to, a spot in the gate is his, and we think that is very likely, especially after the results from Super Saturday.

#3 – GAME ON DUDE
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Estimated UAE Rating: 122

Second in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), he won last year’s Santa Anita Handicap (G1) and avoided that race season, wisely, to come to Dubai.  He’s a gelding, races from the front, and is just tough to get past.  That makes him incredibly dangerous, especially considering how the Tapeta played on Super Saturday.

#4 – CAPPONI
Trainer: Mahmood Al Zarooni
UAE Rating: 122

Got a massive ratings bump after winning Super Saturday’s Maktoum Challenge – R3 (G1), but left many thinking they still have chances on the big night.  The winner of that last race hasn’t pulled the Dubai World Cup double since Electrocutionist, and we would be shocked if this guy did it.

#5 – MONTEROSSO
Trainer: Mahmood Al Zarooni
UAE Rating: 121

Stayed-on well in his comeback run in the Maktoum Challenge – R3 (G1) and is likely to have gotten enough out of that effort to move forward in the big race.  He was third in last year’s edition.

#6 –  TRANSCEND
Trainer: Takayuki Yasuda
Estimated UAE Rating: 120

Still declared on track for this race as of ten days ago, which came into question after his struggle in the February Stakes (G1).  There was plenty of reason to think that performance wasn’t fully telling of his current condition, and last year’s Dubai World Cup second is still a threat, and will go forward. Watch his run in last year’s Dubai World Cup below.

#7 – PLANTEUR
Trainer: Marco Botti
Estimated UAE Rating: 119

His 2011 Prix Ganay (G1) win over Sarafina, Cirrus Des Aigles, and Cape Blanco sticks out on paper, and makes him a legitimate threat if ready.  This guy is now with Marco Botti and owned locally in the UAE, but would go direct to the World Cup, having not run on Super Saturday.  Another who gets in if accepting the invitation, even though he tailed off at the end of 2011, with a fifth in the Prix Jacques le Marois (G2) and trailing home last in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (G1) on very soft going.

#8 – ROYAL DELTA
Trainer: Bill Mott
Estimated UAE Rating: 119

Winner of the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (G1), she was purchased for $8.5 million two days after that effort, and immediately pointed here.  She prepped at Gulfstream Park on dirt over a trip much short of her best, finishing second beaten about seven lengths. In our opinion, that race was fine enough to think she is on point for the trip to Dubai, and don’t forget she holds a conditions win on all-weather from April 2011 – so Tapeta should be no problem  A win would make her the first filly to land a Dubai World Cup.

WATCH Royal Delta’s prep race at Gulfstream Park.

#9 – GREEN DESTINY
Trainer: Herman Brown
UAE Rating: 119

Was distanced in the Maktoum Challenge – R3 when he may have flipped his palate, although the post-race vetting showed nothing. They could certainly regroup and get him back for the race, but is a question.  Twice a Group 3 winner in England last season, he was a good sixth behind Cirrus Des Aigles in the Champion Stakes, and has been pointed here for some time by his new connections.

#10 – BOLD SILVANO
Trainer: Mike deKock
UAE Rating: 118

The winner of the 2010 Vodacom Durban July (G1), he is really a fragile type, winning the Maktoum Challenge – R2 (G3) at Meydan last season before a nagging issue kept him from the 2011 Dubai World Cup.  He was fifth in February’s Firebreak Stakes (G3) over 1,600 when making his first appearance from that injury, and then a listless 12th in the Maktoum Challenge – R3 (G1), when it was possible his tongue flipped over the bit.  He is, absolutely, the most tenuous place-holder on this list.

#11 – SILVER POND
Trainer: Doug Watson
UAE Rating: 117

A solid second, staying-on from Super Saturday, he clearly got over the Tapeta and still recorded one of the fastest final sectional times of the race.  That had to be encouraging considering he was probably short of peak fitness for a barn that continues to put out competitive runners.  He’ll have a spot if the team wants it.

#12 – SMART FALCON
Trainer: Ken Kozaki
Estimated UAE Rating: 117

19 wins from 26 starts, with all of those victories coming on various dirt/all-weather surfaces, and mostly in the top echelon of Japan’s lower levels of racing, he has defeated some quality opponents, including Transcend and Testa Matta in the Tokyo Daishoten (G1), over 1,600 metres.  He’s almost a certainty to go in the Dubai World Cup.

#13-  FLY DOWN
Trainer: Badr Al Subaie
UAE Rating: 117

With a troubled trip in the 2011 Dubai World Cup, he went back to Saudi Arabia and performed well, winning the Crown Prince Cup (G2) and then running a great second in the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup (G1) after possibly being pushed to go for home too soon.  He confirmed he can get over the Tapeta, getting the fastest final 400 metres in his Super Saturday prep, encouraging enough to move forward.

#14 – PRINCE BISHOP
Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor
UAE Rating: 117

He has been a new horse since being gelded, and ran tenth in this race last year.  A strong listed win at Kempton was backed with a dazzling run in a Meydan handicap, which was franked.  The son of Dubawi didn’t follow-through in the Maktoum Challenge – R2 (G2), but after starting very slow in the Maktoum Challenge – R3, he held on for a good third, and showed he can be competitive against top quality.

RESERVES

#15 – MENDIP
Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor
UAE Rating: 115

Flopped in the Maktoum Challenge – R3 after winning Round 2, finishing eleventh.  Even though he hasn’t worn the blue for some time, instead racing for Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, this guy is all Godolphin and showed his promise over farther last time.  Godolphin long held this guy was a miler and not a ten-furlong horse, but he assuaged those fears winning two back.

#16 – RICHARD’S KID
Trainer: Satish Seemar
UAE Rating: 113

Just has yet to live up to his performances in the US since shifting to the UAE.  He was dropped from a 116 to a 113 after another lacklustre effort in the Maktoum Challenge – R2 (G2), but stayed at that level after a rather solid fifth in Round 3.  He has to see some defections above to earn a spot in the big race.

5 comments

  1. This will be my first Dubai World Cup, and I’m thinking it might be a good edition! Just need to hope So You Think turns up.

  2. if i am not mistaken, the last five editions of the dubai world cup were won by longshots at more than 10-1 odds at the very least except of course well armed who won it at 9 – 1 ( my best wrold cup ever ). with that in mind, whoever gets in, i will be looking for longshots at 10 – 1 and up. i am a game on dude fan, but with chantal up and the travel to dubai and no prep since the breeders cup, come on now, who is he kidding ???

  3. Rene – Game On Dude won the San Antonio Stakes by about six lengths in early February – so he has definitely had a prep.

  4. Royal Delta is being seriously overlooked. She was faster at the end of her Keeneland synthetic win than through the race, has always run without drugs, has a trainer on a roll and only needs a good draw. She’ll have bad odds – in her favor in this race.

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