Dubai World Cup 2018: Tips and guide to five of the biggest races
The Dubai World Cup provides the climax to an action-packed nine-race card from Meydan on Saturday.
With over $20m in prize money across the whole night, the Dubai spectacular remains the richest day in the horse racing calendar.
Plenty of household names will trot their stuff in the Middle East including Washington DC, Big Orange and Blue Point.
But who’s going to come out on top in five of the main races?
We’ve given our thoughts ahead of the big night…
Charlie Appleby’s biggest hope comes courtesy of Blue Point in the Al Quoz Sprint. The four-year-old raider is the heavy favourite for the 6f contest.
He’s been found wanting at this level before behind Harry Angel and Caravaggio, although a head-second at Meydan last month boosts his hopes.
Preference, though, is for Librisa Breeze. Dean Ivory’s raider saw off a host of big names to land the British Champions Spring Stakes on his last appearance at Ascot in October.
The ground may be slightly against him here, but we’re confident he can mount another significant challenge.
Washington DC, Magical Memory and Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint King Stormy Liberal also run.
Godolphin colt Benbatl showed enormous potential at the back end of last season. He’s already started fulfilling that in 2018.
The four-year-old has won twice in black-type contests at Meydan since January and finished runner-up to Blair House in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta last time out.
He clearly has a preference for the Dubai track and should defy challenges from Japanese warrior Neorealism and Aidan O’Brien’s runner Lancaster Bomber.
John Gosden’s charge Monarch’s Glen will be ridden by Frankie Dettori.
Idaho, Poet’s Word, Hawkbill and Cloth of Stars all look set to line-up for the Sheema Classic.
It’s the latter of that quartet who is the favourite after finishing runner-up to superstar Enable in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last year.
The Irish-bred raider returned to action with a second in the Prix Darshaan three weeks ago over 1m1f.
He’ll be stepped back up to 1m 4f at Meydan and is expected to take the spoils for French trainer Andre Fabre.
Poet’s Word should be back to his best after a sixth-place finish at Sha Tin in December, while Rey De Oro will step out of Japan for the first time to take on Europe’s elite.
He’s won two from three at Group level over the distance.
Vazirabad is expected to go off as the favourite in the Dubai Gold Cup.
The six-year-old is a multiple black-type winner and though a runner-up on his last two appearances, should appreciate the step-up in trip.
He’s only been beaten once over 2m+ and is a worthy favourite.
Michael Bell’s raider Big Orange won the Ascot Gold Cup last year and heads the British challenge. Meydan Group 2 runner-up Frontiersman also harbours hopes for Appleby and Godolphin.
The richest night in horse racing will conclude with West Coast attempting to win a second World Cup in a row for trainer Bob Baffert.
The American tasted success with Arrogate last year and holds the ace in the pack once again this time around.
His four-year-old raider has been touched off by Gun Runner in his last two runs but will face no such level of opposition this time around. He’s the favourite and he’s the favourite for a reason.
Elsewhere, Forever Unbridled will take on the boys for the first time after back-to-back Group 1 successes stateside.
Dallas Stewart’s runner tends to do her best work going fresh so should appreciate the short-break afforded to her prior to Saturday.
Talismanic and North America also hold hopes, as does Godolphin entrant Thunder Snow after two frame finishes and one success at Meydan since the turn of the year.
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication