Coral Horse Racing trader Ian Rozzier guides you through Meydan's World Cup meeting.
12.20 Godolphin Mile
Sloane Avenue bids to avenge his short-head defeat in this race last year but once again has been handed a wide draw. Marking was an impressive winner of a 6 furlong handicap here last month and connections have decided to run him here rather than the Golden Shaheen. He should appreciate the step up in trip, having previously won over a mile in America, but he isn’t straightforward and I’m looking to oppose him at the current odds. Maftool
is another horse who has his own ideas about the game but was gelded over the winter and you can’t knock his record here. The form of win over course and distance here in February looks rock solid and he looks set to run a big race under Paul Hanagan.
Maftool - 1pt @ 7/1
12.55 Dubai Gold Cup
A case can be made for the French pair of Vazirabad and Manatee but I really like the claims of Big Orange
. Michael Bell’s stayer will enjoy the quick ground conditions and looks to be one of the only pace angles in the race. He made all to win the Group 2 Goodwood Cup back in July and I can see him getting first run on his more fancied rivals here.
Big Orange - 1pt @ 13/2
1.35 UAE Derby
All eyes will be on Polar River as she bids to maintain her 100% record but this is her toughest task to date and I’m happy to oppose her at her current price. One horse that has flown under the radar is the Japanese raider Lani
. This imposing grey is beautify bred by leading American dirt sire Tapit out of a 1m2f Japanese Group 1 winner and connections hope to use this as a stepping stone before competing in the Kentucky Derby. He won two minor dirt races in his homeland before being given a strange "Arazi" style ride when finishing fifth in a Listed race at Tokyo last month. Whilst he needs to improve, I would be surprised if he’s not a lot better than he has shown and the step up in trip will suit.
Lani - 1pt @ 14/1
2.10 Al Quoz Sprint
A cracking renewal with horses coming from all four corners of the world. Recent history dictates that Australian sprinters are the fastest in the world and they look to have leading claims with the evergreen Buffering
. The eight-year-old gelding has won his past two starts and has been handed a decent draw in stall nine, with no winner having drawn lower than seven in the five renewals of the event over this course and distance.
Buffering - 1pt @ 9/1
3.45 Dubai Turf
The market suggests this is a match between Tryster and Intilaaq but it’s a much deeper race than it appears. It would be no surprise to see Euro Charline or Very Special run well but I’m taking a flyer with Flamboyant
at a huge price. He has always showed plenty of ability and finished a fine 3rd in the 2014 Belmont Derby (splitting Adelaide and Gailo Chop) but he has improved out of all recognition since being gelded. He has won a pair of Group 2 races at Santa Anita this year displaying a blistering turn of foot in the process. There are plenty of frontrunners here so he should get a lovely tow into the race and can go very close with a bit of luck.
Flamboyant - 0.5pt e/w @ 33/1
4.20 Dubai Sheema Classic
It was hard not to be impressed with Postoned’s
effort in the Dubai City Of Gold here on Super Saturday and he will be a very tough nut to crack and isn’t a favourite I’m looking to oppose.
Postponed - 1pt @ 13/8
5.00 Dubai World Cup
This year marks the 21st running of the world's richest race and it looks a vintage renewal. California Chrome finished a terrific 2nd here last year and will be tough to beat if he is five lengths better this year as his trainer Art Sherman boasts. Unfortunately he has been drawn out in the car park so is likely to concede ground to all his rivals. Frosted was ultra-impressive when landing Round 2 of the Al Maktoum Challenge here in February and will surely be involved at the business end. However, this race often causes a shock and it would be no surprise if Special Fighter
lands the spoils. He has been most progressive here this season and whilst he was gifted an uncontested lead here on Super Saturday it was hard not to be impressed. This is a much deeper race but he has been drawn well and can ensure the Dirham’s stay at home.
Special Fighter - 0.5pt e/w @ 14/1