The second night of the 2015 Dubai World Cup Carnival is behind us – here are our thoughts on what we learned from the seven-race meeting.
It was great to see REYNALDOTHEWIZARD get back to the #1 box at Meydan, or anywhere, winning his first race since the 2013 Dubai Golden Shaheen, a massive testament to the Zabeel Stables crew headed by Satish and Bhupat Seemar, and of course, jockey Richie Mullen. He lengthened away from the field, exploding between horses and avoiding some slight crowding to get the win.
We do tend to believe, however, that his win was particularly aided by the massive early pace set by CONVEYANCE and CASPIAN PRINCE, who flew through the opening fractions, 1.5 seconds faster than the early standard on the Meydan dirt. Unless some new dirt sprinters materialize, it could be more of “The Wiz” getting continued beneficial setups. Speaking of Conveyance, his nagging injuries continued as he returned lame from the race and was reportedly vanned off. MUARRAB did well to hang on to second considering his early pace attendance.
The Trakus Report highlights the data and the sectional times from the meeting. Take a look into those HERE, via AmWest Entertainment.
If you aren’t familiar with the EERC (Emirates Entertainment Racing Club), you might not appreciate how popular the seventh race handicap win was when BELGIAN BILL rallied to win. Managed by Rebecca Byrne with her husband Justin a massive presence on the racing scene, the EERC brings together many racing interested expats to celebrate the sport throughout the year. They bought into Belgian Bill in late 2013 with the hopes of bringing him out to the Carnival in 2014, but a variety of issues precluded it. Most of the EERC horses campaign through the local season in the UAE, and while they have had many wins on that scene, we believe this was their first Carnival tally since Clasp won in 2009 at Nad Al Sheba.
This was a brutally competitive heat and the last place finisher, BILLINGSGATE, was beaten less than five lengths. They don’t get much better than that!
Second placer DARK EMERALD soared home and could’ve won if he wasn’t forced to stop and start in the stretch. SLIPPER ORCHID, who could have been prepping for the Cape Verdi, went from 16th to 5th, slaloming through the field with a dashing run. The pace of this race was quick, and long-time leader FREE WHEELING nearly made all, something that has not been done in a Carnival turf race with a turn for a LONG time. We’ll take a look back through the statistics, but no one has made all in the last two years as of our last check. Given how strong the early pace was, we found Free Wheeling’s ability to last a big positive.
It was a tale of two Guineas Trials after our top tip LOCAL TIME just lasted past the first South African quarantine runner to face the starter, AD IDEM. But it all paled in comparison to MUBTAAHIJ who dominated the 2,000 Guineas Trial, winning by five lengths over AJWAD and the slow-starting, wide-racing MAFTOOL.
There is no denying that Maftool was done after the start but ran an incredibly competitive race after rushing along from the break, going wide, covering 11m more than the winner. Seeing these two on the level would be nice.
How different were these races? The ninth place finisher in the 2,000 Trial, beaten 21 lengths, was faster than the third placer, RUNNER RUNNER in the 1,000 Trial. 2,000 fourth ZEPHUROS was about a half-second faster than 1,000 winner Local Time.
It took everything for HAAFAGUINEA to get past MR POMMEROY in the stretch of the fifth race, but it happened late. Mickael Barzalona was likely kicking himself after dropping his whip late, but we had always fancied the winner. There were some more strong performances on the night from Salem bin Ghadayer and while that win didn’t come yet, Mr. Pommeroy could provide it soon.
The local race of the meeting was deigned to LAYL for Doug Watson, who seems a real progressive sort. Making just his first start in a year, and first on dirt, he could end up at the Carnival before too long.
Horses for the notebook: Slipper Orchid, Free Wheeling, Maftool
Tipping performance: Two winners from on-top selections and a good second from Muarrab. 14 races – 5 first, 4 second, 0 third ($2 ROI = $3.78)