Over £18m is up for grabs at Meydan on Saturday for the final night of the Dubai World Cup Carnival with the highlight being the Dubai World Cup.
James Doyle and Saeed bin Suroor team up with African Story as they bid to create history as being the first horse to defend its crown in the World Cup and Doyle recently said in the Racing Post:
‘’Hopefully we can make a bit of history. It’s not going to be easy and Lea and California Chrome are posted a bit wider and I can just see the speed horses pushing us across to the fence.
‘’If he can get out and hold a forward position I think he can run a big race.’’
Last year’s winner has had a similar preparation to what we saw from the Godolphin star before he lined up 12 months ago, however last year he was only able to finish eighth in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge race, a race which he won this year.
California Chrome has an obvious chance being the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner last year.
Although he was only able to manage one further win since, in the Hollywood Derby at the end of November, he warmed up nicely at Santa Anita at the beginning of February with a run behind Shared Belief.
Despite the negative word by some that the Art Sherman trained colt may struggle to handle the Meydan dirt, he may have more of a problem with the race being run at a more European style with the likely need for a fast finish.
Jamie Spencer is the likely rider that will dictate the pace on Side Glance who may go quick early on but ease up halfway and finish in a sprint. This is what will play into the reigning champion’s hands.
However, the Japanese star EPIPHANEIA is the one that I think could stay on best down the Meydan straight and the Japan Cup winner is the one that I think is the best value in the race.
Christophe Soumillon was on board in Tokyo and although he doesn’t have any experience in racing on dirt, one can hope that he will act on the surface.
He stays well and, while he’s not ideally drawn in stall 8, he should be able to track the leaders by staying slightly wider on the course.
Meanwhile, in the Dubai Sheema Classic one of the best value bets of the race can be found with the Graham Motion trained Main Sequence.
The Breeders’ Cup Turf winner has been unbeaten since going to America after an admirable career in the UK with David Lanigan where he finished second to Camelot in the Derby.
Harp Star should finally be able to give a true showing of his ability with Ryan Moore in saddle following on from several questionable rides from Japanese rider Yuga Kawada. He has finished fast on so many occasions recently, namely in the Arc De Triomphe in Longchamp, but I think Main Sequence will be hard to collar.
Sole Power has never encountered much luck in running in Meydan in seven runs at the track and he goes again in the Al Quoz Sprint.
He has been placed in the race a couple of times and had absolutely no chance when running into nothing but a wall of horses 12 months when just starting to make his run and got shuffled back to seventh.
Although his form figure reads that he finished 12th, such was the tight finish that he only finished 3 lengths back when once again getting no luck in running.
Again, he is faced with a field of 16 to pass at the last minute and there are fewer jockey’s better at that than Richard Hughes. Being drawn 7, Hughes has the option to go either side depending on what way the field go, usually down the stands rail in sprint races, so he can then pick the best route to take.
With a clear run, this may finally be Sole Power’s day.
The Grey Gatsby is poised to give Britain some joy on one of the richest days in the calendar on the Dubai Turf. Kevin Ryan and Ryan Moore once again team up on the son of Mastercraftsman who lowered the colours of the mighty Australia in the Irish Champion Stakes in September.
If he reproduces anything near that form, this should be a win for him. Rated 10lbs better off than the French raider Solow, the only thing going against The Grey Gatbsy is the lack of a run with Solow having had a pipe opener at Chantilly last week.
In saying that, everything is right for him at Meydan and the track shouldn’t pose any problems with Moore likely to be able to watch on from the rear and attack late on. He is going to be hard to beat in the right vein of form.
SOLE POWER – Al Quoz Sprint (2.30)
THE GREY GATSBY – Dubai Turf (3.40)
MAIN SEQUENCE – Dubai Sheema Classic (4.15)
EPIPHANEIA – Dubai World Cup (5.00)
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.