Dubai will host the world’s richest race meeting at Meydan racecourse on Saturday, with over £26million in prize money on offer.
The night’s standout, the Dubai World Cup alone is worth a whopping £5.7million and with horses from America, Europe, Australia, South Africa, Japan and Hong Kong in action, it promises to be some spectacle.
Here are our racing experts thoughts on the night’s events and his best bets to look out for.
Dubai World Cup
He has won seven of his last 11 starts, all of which have come on the dirt at Meydan, and based on his two Group Two wins this season, he looks likely to improve on his effort in this race 12 months ago.
The son of Dubawi totally missed the start in last year’s renewal and never got into the race, eventually finishing tailed off last by some distance.
He’s been well away on both his starts since and should feature if he can break sharply again. However, I’m not totally convinced by his form and he looks quite short to me, so I’m going to take him on with the fast-improving Capezzano.
Salem bin Ghadayer’s five-year-old didn’t set the world alight when trained by Charlie Appleby in the UK and in all honesty didn’t look up to taking a race like this, but he seems to have turned over a new leaf in 2019 with three straight victories.
Many argued the first two came in handicaps over a mile, but he seemed to relish the step up to 1m2f when taking the Group One Al Maktoum Challenge last time.
He needs to improve again, but he seems the type to continue to do so and he’ll be the one I’ll be backing at 7/2.
The bet of the evening comes in the Dubai Turf in the form of the Japanese raider Almond Eye.
Sakae Kunieda’s four-year-old filly is unbeaten in her last five starts and is already a four-time Group One winner, with the most recent of those coming in the 1m4f Japan Cup in November.
While that was over much further than Saturday’s 1m1f, she has won races at a mile right up to 1m4f, so is incredibly versatile.
She has been kept back for this and will prove very hard to beat if reproducing the form she has shown in her career so far.
Since 2014, Japanese horses have taken the Group One contest three times, including in two of the past three years and I fully expect Almond Eye to continue that streak.
She looks banker material at 11/8.
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