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The Dubai International Racing Carnival

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  • #6628
    • Total Posts 1688

    <b>Let’s rejuvenate this bundle of joy</b>

    This richly-endowed Arabian carnival of capable thoroughbreds from around the world brings an Olympian vibe to the racing community. And how fitting it is as the actual event is only a half-year away.

    This upcoming Thursday marks 1 month in to the carnival, with Mick Channon’s brigade released to the public racetrack last week.

    As it currently stands, the carnival has seen some brilliant exhibitions on the trail towards the Dubai World Cup meeting, the opening of the international flat racing season.

    Happy Boy won Round 1 of the Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum Challenge in second/third gear by a cruisy 8 lengths. Another South American and it came as no surprise that Godolphin snapped it up. The boys in blue have stocked up a massive charge of Brazilian, Peruvian, Argentinian and Uruguayan fillies and colts for Dubai and later on in the United States.

    In Week 2 of the carnival, Asiatic Boy proved to us all that he and the sand are one. To weave and shift through traffic whilst in cruise control under some excellent acceleration to win the Al Shindagha Sprint has the Mike de Kock colt my current Dubai World Cup pick. Al Shemali, last seen at Royal Ascot in 2007, won the last race in another eye-catching display and must be followed.

    The feature race in the third meeting was the Al Rashidiya, giving a rare victory to Ireland with Lord Admiral, however it was the late surge of Gharir for second which caught the attention. Unfortunately for Al Shemali, the second placed horse in that race from Meeting 1, Teslin, was flat to the board.

    Last week marked a double-header with Thursday and Friday night racing, with the Maktoum Challenge Round II and the Friday feature of the UAE 1,000 Guineas.

    Shadwell sponsored Thursday’s meeting (February 7) with the highlight being Round 2 of the Maktoum Challenge, previously won by Jack Sullivan and Kandidate. In the undercard event, the Cape Verdi Stakes for F&M featured Mick Channon’s first runner for Dubai in Sweet Lilly, the highest rated in the event. However, it meant little when she broke well but Many Colours bumped her heavily and sent Sweet Lilly to the tail.

    Sun Classique’s Group 1 South African form was telling as the class prevailed for the Mike de Kock filly. She was very impressive upon her extension and then holding off Many Colours for the 2 1/2 length score. Sweet Lilly kept on when rebuilding momentum and finished fourth. Give her another chance.

    Both Jack Sullivan and Kandidate returned to the Maktoum Challenge Round II for more blood, but they faced horses like Eu Tambem and Boscobel. However, all four were left wanting as Lucky Find crepped up to Kandidate, the pair clearing the remainder by 8 lengths, and Lucky Find rolling clear to win by 2 1/4 lengths. It was a most disappointing result for the Godolphin pair, particularly Eu Tambem, who was gone four furlongs from home.

    Meydan hosted Friday’s 1,000 Guineas meeting, which unveiled the overdue victory by $9.7 million purchase Jalil for Godolphin in the Meydan Marina Handicap. He seemed to have the race covered 600m out, even if Aleutian had his measure with 300m left running. Jalil was a much happier horse and this is a start for hopefully the well deserved Pattern class treatment he needs to reflect the pedigree and price.

    The Meydan Handicap delivered Britain’s first Dubai scalp with Turn On The Style for John Balding – the weight difference between him and the highly fancied Admiralofthefleet sealed the eventual outcome. But the winner had his own issues of being held up in the box seat with 400m to run whilst Johnny Murtagh gave all on Admiralofthefleet. The response from Turn On The Style once finding clear room left Admiralofthefleet without his own comeback. Running first-up got the better of him and Turn On The Style can go on with this.

    Oracle West and Sushisan are on track for another Dubai Sheema Classic bout – the pair 1-2 in the Meydan Racecourse Handicap, but the former looks to be holding his superb ability. For a "local runner" ie. having raced at Nad Al Sheba prior to the Dubai World Cup night, Oracle West can prosper to the Group 1 levels again this year.

    The UAE 1,000 Guineas saw a reversal for Cocoa Beach and Fiesta Lady, both tussling out their prep race last month with the latter most impressive. However, Cocoa Beach caused the boilover in the Listed feature by an extending 5 lengths. Fiesta Lady was always being tracked by Cocoa Beach but Fiesta Lady gave the impression she was travelling with much more to give and clearly ahead on the straight. Incredibly, she would give nothing when Cocoa Beach slipped into sixth gear and streaked away with the win. I read that performance as peculiar. Something was amiss with Fiesta Lady on the straight.

    And that is it – hopefully we are all up-to-date with the latest on the Dubai scene, and this Thursday’s meeting is highlighted by the UAE 2,000 Guineas, with the eyes all on Sheikh Mohammed’s hot colt Etched.

    All the best.

    • Total Posts 1688

    There are swarms of first nominations for the Dubai World Cup meeting – however I will list those that will be competing at Nad Al Sheba or have more information known than just the nomination on the formsheet.

    [b:20hkbs39]Dubai World Cup[/b:20hkbs39]
    Asiatic Boy
    Awesome Gem
    Daaher (Not giving up hope after Donn disappointment)
    Daiwa Scarlet
    Happy Boy
    Lucky Find (On track after Maktoum Challenge win)
    Premium Tap
    Spring At Last
    Student Council
    Well Armed (To be considered, also the Santa Anita Handicap)

    [b:20hkbs39][u:20hkbs39]Dubai Sheema Classic[/b:20hkbs39][/u:20hkbs39]
    Al Shemali
    Better Talk Now
    Champs Elysees (Considered best for 2400m)
    Matsurida Gogh
    Meisho Samson
    Oracle West
    Spring House
    Viva Pataca

    [b:20hkbs39][u:20hkbs39]Dubai Duty Free[/b:20hkbs39][/u:20hkbs39]
    Finsceal Beo
    Gun Salute
    Jay Peg
    Majestic Roi
    Sweet Lilly (Channon: "with luck")
    Viva Macau

    [b:20hkbs39][u:20hkbs39]Dubai Golden Shaheen[/b:20hkbs39][/u:20hkbs39]
    Benny The Bull
    Idiot Proof
    Johnny Eves (Depending on February 16 performance)
    Kelly’s Landing (Unsure – had a setback)

    [b:20hkbs39]UAE Derby[/b:20hkbs39]
    Cafe Silver
    Morader Llers (Questionable – pulled up last start)
    My Indy
    Royal Vintage
    Siberian Tiger
    Tomcito (The window is open for a run – Florida Derby the other option)

    [b:20hkbs39][u:20hkbs39]Godolphin Mile[/b:20hkbs39][/u:20hkbs39]
    Jonquil (If good enough)
    Racinger (Needs soft ground for turf, trackwork to test if worthwhile)
    Watch What Happens

    • Total Posts 27800

    Why is Youmzain in the Duty Free and not the Sheema Classic? He is a middle distance / stayer.
    Disappointing turn out by the Brits in the World Cup, Halicarnasus just as well stay in his box. Kandidate is proven to be below normal Group 1 class.
    The Irish Eagle Mountain is so small, I doubt if he can show any improvement this year. The Coronation Cup at Epsom might be his best chance of winning a Group 1 this season.
    El Shamali is a substantial horse who is bound to make a better 4 year old. Better Talk Now is best in races with an overly strong pace.

    The Duty Free looks the most interesting race for the Europeans.

    value is everything
    • Total Posts 1688

    Who knows about Youmzain? Knowing that Channon also has Majestic Roi he would be better off in the Sheema Classic. However, it’s possible that Channon is warming Youmzain up for the key middle-distance events in Europe with a race over a shorter distance. Class-wise it doesn’t matter, he’d still run a good race, and finishing third or fourth would equate to a winning purse in the Tattersall’s Gold Cup, Coronation Cup or similar.

    I declared Darjina a good thing in the Hong Kong Mile. The race was hers if not for the interference 300m out, but she was coming home like a freight train. And she was quite fresh for that Sha Tin outing, similar to her appearing first-up in the Dubai Duty Free. Can’t see why I wouldn’t declare her again?

    However, her only start left-handed was on debut in a five-horse Maiden locally. Will be a detrimental blow, or just sweeter odds?

    • Total Posts 1688

    Declarations have been made for Thursday night’s UAE 2,000 Guineas meeting, sponsored by Gulf News – the feature race of the night as mentioned looks to be the hottest in terms of competition, with Mike de Kock and Saeed bin Suroor both saddling very strong contenders for the race.

    Analysis and previews tomorrow morning GMT.

    • Total Posts 1688

    Plenty of other business to attend for today and the issue of no tote betting available for Dubai down under frustrates me – this is a much more exciting card then Southwell AWT or Vaal in South Africa.

    Accountforthe Gold looks an upcoming type for Godolphin in Race 2.

    Halicarnassus returns to the track in the Sport Extra Handicap over 1 mile 2 furlong on turf. Would dash World Cup hopes if he cannot win this.

    UAE 2,000 Guineas – I don’t want to go past Etched and regardless of my selection, I hope he wins and smashes them. I’m leaning to Honour Devil with the runs on the board, however he gives 4kg to Etched.

    • Total Posts 489

    UAE 2,000 Guineas – I don’t want to go past Etched and regardless of my selection, I hope he wins and smashes them. I’m leaning to Honour Devil with the runs on the board, however he gives 4kg to Etched.

    Isn’t 4kg a bit on the paltry side for WFA. Do 4yo have a better than expected record in these races?

    • Total Posts 1688

    Mike de Kock has recently turned out Victory Moon and Asiatic Boy to win this race – on the flipside, Saeed bin Suroor has trained a fair few to win the UAE 2,000 Guineas as well.

    The NH 3YOs are still immature and those like Honour Devil are very mature Classic horses capable of staying out races so you can understand the 4kg is probably enough. Why not more? Who would want to race the current New Approach against Peeping Fawn?

    Charlie D
    • Total Posts 500

    De Kock’s other runner Royal Vintage seems to be attracting a bit of support

    Fascinating contest coming up at 6.00pm imo

    Charlie D
    • Total Posts 500

    Mmmm, Etched

    It’s a sit and watch race imo, but Etched could take some beating if in the same frame of mind as in Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct

    Charlie D
    • Total Posts 500

    Thought Etched ran ok under circumstances and it will be interesting to see how he and Roayal Vintage go next time

    FWIW calcs say another decent performance by Honour Devil

    Black Sam Bellamy
    • Total Posts 442

    After the success of Karaka last month, I am hoping Seachange can deliver the goods in the Duty Free for the NZ thoroughbred industry. What a mare !

    • Total Posts 1688

    I am unsure how one can gauge the success of Karaka, BSB, when you consider it was the first yearling sale post-EI.

    • Total Posts 1688

    I was clearly playing safe – selecting Honour Devil to win the UAE 2,000 Guineas. And sure enough, he responded by holding out Royal Vintage. Sensational race. The de Kock pair with Godolphin’s charge probably finding the race a little too sharp.

    I agree with the sentiment on Royal Vintage – he probably becomes my UAE Derby selection for now.

    Halicarnassus was OK. He was heading backwards 500m out but I think the jock was needing to shift off the rails to find clear running room. He boxed on well. Aspiring for the Dubai World Cup, however … :roll:

    With Interest was superb. Takes a pretty nice horse to stroll in 2nd gear in front on the top of the NAS straight, but it doesn’t necessarily mean when the pedal is floored that he will respond with more. That was the case … until the horse clicked 200m out and won. Very good!

    That was the Thursday, 14th February card in the Dubai International Racing Carnival! Next week is another double-header of racing: the 21st features the Al Fahidi Fort over 1 mile on turf, won in the past 2 years by Linngari. The 22nd card includes the Balanchine over the Dubai Duty Free trip for fillies and mares.

    I don’t think one can go past Godolphin at this point – another hat-trick last night and with horses like Ramonti, Literato and Al Shemali to be turned out in the major races to come …

    • Total Posts 1688

    Forgot to mention – Premium Tap is defending his title in tonight’s local Group 1 King’s Cup in Saudi Arabia, where is raced under the name of Allam.

    Premium Tap made Invasor work for all his worth in last year’s Dubai World Cup, and he would be set to give Curlin a great challenge if his preparation stays on course with another solid effort tonight.

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