The second meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival came and went last Thursday at Meydan. Our thoughts, once again, in no particular order (sort of) from the six race fixture.
- Soft Falling Rain.
This guy is a potential beast-in-the-making. Trainer Mike de Kock told us in December that he was very skeptical about the son of National Assembly getting longer distances, with those thoughts published in the Dubai Racing Comprehensive (get your FREE copy HERE). He suggested the UAE Derby would be too long, that the Guineas trip over the mile would likely be the limit, with the Godolphin Mile a potential seasonal goal. That seems entirely plausible after a devastatingly easy win in the UAE 2,000 Guineas Trial.
We highly recommend you review the Trakus Report (available HERE) which dissected the sectional times from this South African champion juvenile. Given the early sectional he set, the performance was on par with similar runs last season by Barbecue Eddie and Godolphin Mile winner African Story.
- We were generally uninspired with the entrants for the 1,000 Guineas Trial and the race played out as we expected. What was somewhat surprising to us was that Shuruq was sent postward as an odds-on favorite in the North American pools. 4-5 on Shuruq as opposed to 7-2 on her fellow Godolphin trainee. Really didn’t see that one coming.
Did you notice how Music Chart was under a ride for the vast majority of the race? That happened in his maiden win and she just kept on – must be a quirk that requires her to be ridden with continual effort.
- Also rans in the Guineas Trial might be of some interest moving forward – fourth home Zahee and fifth Glass Office both closed incredibly well over the track that might have slightly favored those racing with greater prominence. Glass Office had the most trouble, getting steadied in traffic and really being unable to lengthen. His closing 200-metre sectional of 11.45 seconds is one of the fastest we could find for races over 1,400 metres on the Tapeta in the last three seasons.
- Spirit of Battle and Iver Bridge Lad, both sullied with wide trips on opening night, came back on Thursday, raced with new found prominence off wide draws, and faded late in the running.
- Trainer Ernst Oertel is having a really strong season. We often hear stories about horses progressing better in their second season in the UAE (anecdotal, perhaps), but Oertel might be creating a brand new anecdote with discussion yielded around trainers coming into their own in the second season. His win with Capital Attraction was impressive, and he still has Ganas in the barn with sprinting interests in hand.
- Tamaathul was well-backed winning over the straight sprint, becoming a rare favorite to do the task. Our top two selections Invincible Ash and Russian Rock were well-placed fifth and fourth, respectively, but couldn’t match the very in-form Tamaathul who continues to frank Barbecue Eddie’s form.
- Macau’s top-rated horse Elderly Paradise sure looked like he was on the verge of quitting in the first race handicap, but stayed on under a ground-saving trip from Olivier Doleuze to finish second.
- Cheers to Emirates Racing Authority handicapper Melvin Day who seemed to nail the ratings on both Elderly Paradise and In The Spotlight, who ran fourth over the 2,400 metres in the last race. It’s a tough, thankless task, but both horses seemed very well rated when doing so was always going to be difficult.
- It seems like Mahmood Al Zarooni and Saeed bin Suroor are taking turns winning, with the former winning three on Thursday and the latter rolling three on Saturday. Godolphin colour-bearers have won five of the last ten races at Meydan, and horses trained by these two have won six of the last eleven.
- Top performer of the week: STAR EMPIRE. Off a break that dated to February 2011, Star Empire returned a strong third, beaten just a long neck behind Anatolian and Ahzeemah in the finale.