Royal Delta can rule the World
Man On The Spot provides a race-by-race guide to Saturday's Dubai World Cup meeting at Meydan.
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13.10 Godolphin Mile Sponsored By Etisalat (Group 2) (AWT)
Germany's Zazou ran well in the World Cup last year but rarely performs at a trip this short nowadays. Sarkiyla did well in France last season, though she failed at the highest level, but Group 2 winner Penitent ran a fine race behind Gordon Lord Byron on ground much too heavy in the Prix La Foret at Longchamp in October and must be on the shortlist. RED JAZZ led for much of the way in this a year ago and would have been sharpened up by a run behind African Story three weeks ago when Surfer was in front of him. It would be no surprise to see him reverse the form and he looks a speculative each-way bet in probably the trickiest race on the card. Soft Falling Rain is now unbeaten after six runs, including the 2000 Guineas here last month. This is a much stiffer assignment as he faces older horses for the first time and Mike De Kock also has last year's Group 1 Jebel Hatta winner Master Of Hounds and Rerouted, who has found his form again. Both the latter's recent victories have been over 7f but has no problems with this trip while Grade 1 winner Alpha is very much better than he showed behind a stablemate here last month.
13.45 Dubai Gold Cup Sponsored By Al Tayer Motors (Group 3) (Turf)
Averroes ran surprisingly well to finish fourth in this a year ago and has subsequently performed over trips too short. CAVALRYMAN ran in the Sheema Classic last year but has been racing at around this trip subsequently. He's a genuine stayer at this level and higher and, after a fair run in the Melbourne Cup, he made a very satisfactory reappearance over a trip too short on Super Saturday so looks the one to be on. Ahzeemah won the recognised trial when Star Empire, Tenenbaum and Saddler's Rock were all close behind. That race was run at a crawl and the latter may come out best this time with a stronger pace likely. Imperial Monarch hasn't had much experience and is just the type to make progress this season. He landed the Group 1 Grand Prix De Paris on soft ground in July and looks potentially a top-class stayer. Verema is also a decent staying prospect who landed a Group 3 at Longchamp in Septem
14.25 UAE Derby Sponsored By Al Naboodah (Group 2) (AWT)
Aidan O'Brien won this a year ago with Daddy Long Legs and his Lines Of Battle landed a Listed contest on Polytrack at Dundalk before a fair run from a poor draw behind stablemate George Vancouver in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. Law Enforcement won a maiden and two nurseries before landing the Group 1 Gran Criterium at San Siro where he probably didn't beat much. Dice Flavor won a Grade 3 on Tapata at Golden Gate Fields last month while the Japanese raider Keiai Leone won a Listed contest in very impressive fashion in November. Secret Number impressed with his attitude when beating Zahee in a Listed contest here three weeks ago and is one of four Godolphin entries though the home team have another real chance with SHURUQ, who is handed the vote after stepping up to this trip for the first time last month in the UAE Oaks and running out a comfortable winner. Now Spun also represents Godolphin and he could be anything after a very impressive Listed victory on Turf last month.
15.05 Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored By Emirates NBD (Group 1) (Turf)
It's Mike De Kock this time with SHEA SHEA, a regular Grade 1 winner in South Africa who badly needed his opening run here in January and showed the benefit with an impressive victory over Sole Power on Super Saturday when several of these were behind. It's difficult to see any of them reversing the form, though Spirit Quartz ran well for a long way and will have come on for the outing. Hong Kong has a brilliant record with sprinters and Eagle Regiment and Joy And Fun are very closely matched on the balance of their form. The latter won this when it was over an extra furlong in 2010 and finished a close third a year ago. Wesley Ward is very well known for handling top sprinters, though Great Attack's overall form looks just short of this level and he was behind Varsity at Gulfstream last month. Dux Scholar has more to offer and Mr Big could reward each-way backers as he is a very smart sprinter in Singapore and his form at Grade 1 level puts him firmly in the picture.
15.45 Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored By Gulf News (Group 1) (AWT)
Krypton Factor crowned a brilliant 2012 campaign by taking this from the classy Rocket Man. He hasn't been in that kind of form this campaign and was behind MENTAL and Kavanagh in a Group 3 last month. The winner, who was having his first start on an artificial surface after a superb career on Turf in Australia, was conceding 5lb all round for his Group 1 victory at Flemington in November and is given the vote. Reynaldothewizard also beat Krypton Factor last time and certainly deserves his place in this line-up. Gordon Lord Byron had a nice pipe-opener at Dundalk but his Prix Foret victory was over 7f on heavy ground and a few of these look too speedy. USA champion sprinter Trinniberg, a Dirt specialist who surprisingly has never run on a synthetic surface, gained a shock victory in the Breeders' Cup Sprint though it didn't look a fluke. Frederick Engels has been showing great pace in Hong Kong so is another to note.
16.40 Dubai Duty Free Sponsored By Dubai Duty Free (Group 1) (Turf)
LITTLE MIKE won the Turf Classic, the Arlington Million and the Breeders' Cup Turf last year. He had a run around here on Tapeta on Super Saturday and will take some beating. The New Zealand champion Ocean Park won four Group 1s in eight weeks last year, culminating in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley. He warmed up with a facile success in another Group 1 three weeks ago. Falmouth Stakes winner Giofra produced an even better effort when runner-up in the Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin in December but Igugu, a regular winner at Group 1 level in South Africa, has disappointed at the Carnival here and has twice finished behind Godolphin's Sajjhaa, who has progressed into a really smart mare. Wigmore Hall, a dual winner of the Northern Dancer at Woodbine, was behind Little Mike at Arlington. Dave Simcock's Beverley D winner I'm A Dreamer was a bit unlucky in-running on her two subsequent starts and along with stablemate Trade Storm, who landed the Zabeel Mile here, gives her yard a strong hand. French Fifteen, runner-up to Camelot in last year's 2000 Guineas, didn't run to that level in three subsequent starts.
17.20 Dubai Sheema Classic Presented By Longines (Group 1) (Turf)
GENTILDONNA, last year's Horse of the Year in Japan, has won five of her six starts, four at Group 1 level including the Japan Cup last time and is the one to be on here. The 2011 Melbourne Cup and last year's Caulfield Cup hero Dunaden has been given a break since Hong Kong in December and should now be at his peak. St Nicholas Abbey was just touched off by the brilliant Cirrus Des Aigles in this last year but never really recaptured that kind of form subsequently while Yorkshire Oaks and Prix Vermeille winner Shareta couldn't match that form in the Arc and the Breeders' Cup Turf subsequently and is held by St Nicholas Abbey on their run at Santa Anita. Girolamo and Trailblazer's overall form doesn't quite look up to scratch but Await The Dawn has found his form again and should give a good account.
18.05 Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates (Group 1) (AWT)
Bill Mott's ROYAL DELTA, a dual Breeders' Cup winner, was well beaten behind Monterosso in this last year but was impeded at a crucial stage and had no chance after. She's been in outstanding form subsequently and can take the world's richest race for the USA. Monterosso was well beaten in the Eclipse at Sandown and on his reappearance behind Hunter's Light and Kassiano in what looked a sub-standard Group 1 three weeks ago and has hardly had the best preparation and Godolphin have a much stronger chance with Hunter's Light, who has the advantage of being in superb form at the Carnival. Animal Kingdom, the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, was an unlucky loser in the Breeders' Cup Mile in November and had a nice pipe-opener at Gulfstream last month. He'll be in the firing line while Dullahan, who beat a high-class field in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar in August, had a recent run round here and will have been primed for this. Hong Kong Vase winner Red Cadeaux may find this on the short side but last year's Godolphin Mile winner African Story showed himself in good heart with a smooth Group 3 victory earlier this month. Planteur, an excellent third in this last year, warmed up with a smooth victory at Lingfield last month and can't be ignored.
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