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What we learned from 2014 DWCC Nights 8 & 9

It was a busy week of racing in Dubai, that’s for certain. Let’s take a look back at some of our thoughts from the week, in quasi-chronological order.

-        Gold City got the 12-race stand at Meydan going, showing marked improvement in his last two runs, and his first win since August 2011. Reasons why the Carnival can be incredibly difficult to prognosticate are performances such as his. That said, he has clearly moved into the range of the second-season improvers we’ve seen over the years, and is now up to a rating of 109.

2014-02-27 Gold City

-        Medicean Man backed-up with consecutive wins in as many weeks, this time landing his first all-weather success since March 26, 2010. Let’s not get too crazy on him, though. He’s eight-years-old, and was hardly beating the quality company that he is likely to face in his next start, whether that be on Super Saturday or at the World Cup meeting.

2014-02-27 Medicean Man

-        My Catch acquitted himself well doing what he had done in France last season, winning a Group 3 event. He also did it well, and inside the standard for 1,400-metre races on grass at Meydan. Trainer Doug Watson suggested the Mahab Al Shimaal/Dubai Golden Shaheen wasn’t out of the range of the possible, and that he holds an entry for the KrisFlyer International Sprint in Singapore in May. Considering how he ran on the Tapeta over the 1,400 metres of the UAE 2,000 Guineas Trial, he is far from crazy going back onto that surface.

2014-02-27 My Catch

-        Jallota ran well as you would expect of him getting back on grass. Wednaan suffered an arrhythmia, and was eased.

-        Ihtimal. That is all.

2014-02-27 Ihtimal

-        Ok, really – Ihtimal might actually run in the UAE Derby according to trainer Saeed bin Suroor, who told the Dubai Racing Channel’s Laura King that the decision rested with Sheikh Mohammed.

-        Mshawish capped a phenomenal Thursday for owner Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani’s Al Shaqab Racing, landing his first win in the UAE, and equally getting trainer Mikel Delzangles a tidy score, taking the Zabeel Mile. Trade Storm ran on, but was understandably short for David Simcock, who said before the race that his entire was in need of this race, too. Mushreq didn’t quicken as well, but arguably needs more ground and a stiffer pace, two things he really didn’t get, so we can’t count this one against him too much.

2014-02-27 Mshawish

-        Tha’ir was beaten more than three lengths by Sanshaawes (more on him later) and rallied wide to win on the Tapeta. It wasn’t the best field, overall, but good enough. He was put up to 106, and unless he wheels back on Super Saturday with a win, you think he’d be a Godolphin Mile prospect, at best, if he is to have a run on the big night.

2014-02-27 Tha'ir

-        Samurai Sword. What can we say? This was perhaps the most frustrating race of the Carnival for us. His positioning on February 20 was as headscratching as any race of the Carnival – a horse who was closing well in tougher company sent to the lead in a 16-horse field. He backed-up through the final 400 metres and finished last, only to wheel right back in this short field, settle off a slow pace, and get the class relief he relished. With Mickael Barzalona riding, it was almost assured he would settle well back, and he did. We weren’t sure if the cheekpieces made him go forward last week, but it wasn’t those, as he had no trouble settling amongst a dawdle. He proved he had it in him.

2014-03-01 Samurai Sword

-        Free Wheeling was somewhat ignored in some markets, overlaid to his real value, while Van Rooney was a surprising tote favourite. Qatoomah rallied from stone last when ridden farther back than necessary. Could this get Free Wheeling to the Godolphin Mile? Probably.

2014-03-01 Free Wheeling

-        Kavanagh’s last win was a year ago in this pre-Super Saturday sprint, and he did it again with a game stand-side performance. This run likely propelled Christophe Soumillon’s decision-making to come stand-side with Star Empire in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy. Dux Scholar ran a strong race, his best of the season, and might be the only other one out of this race to move on in the campaign.

2014-03-01 Kavanagh

-        Our old flame Disa Leader put in a good run, but Capital Attraction had a perfect trip under Tadhg O’Shea and was not for catching, enough-so that the Abu Dhabi-based runner should get a Godolphin Mile invite out of the deal.

-        There is no denying Cavalryman was brilliant, but there is some debate about how strong the performance was first-up. Did Cavalryman do too much in his seasonal reappearance, or was it just an overwhelming effort. Can he possibly be better in the Dubai Gold Cup in a month’s time? Our initial reaction was yes.

2014-03-01 Cavalryman

-        Sanshaawes is in a very unique position for Mike de Kock. He seems unlikely to get an invitation for a World Cup meeting event off his rating, but seems on the improve. He’s relatively lightly-raced, a gelding, but in the best form of his life. Prior to his arrival in Dubai, this guy was a maiden winner from August 2012, and has emerged as the most progressive runner in the yard. A win on Tapeta, a win on grass in better company, and now where does he go? This guy seems like a very lively chance for the Singapore Airlines International Cup, Arlington Million, and the like.

2014-03-01 Sanshaawes

-        Super Saturday beckons, and then it’s on to the big night. Silvestre DeSousa was suspended two days for a ride on Racy from last Thursday and will miss the big day.

2 comments

  1. DISA LEADER is an old warrior…perhaps his legs are getting too old to win in a competitive place like Dubai. Showing all kind of potential but is still winless in this part of the world.

  2. calvaryman’s run was the most impressive i have seen at the carnival so far. I think he will bolt home in front again come the big day…Trade storm has been given two terrible rides in his last two outings and he’s primed to take his next on super saturday at playable price…

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