SATURDAY brings with it some top class horse racing in Dubai. Graham Johnston (@Graeme J_83) is on hand to preview it for us.
Meydan 12:40 | Channel 4
The first race of the card is the Grade 2 Godolphin Mile. With £384,000 to the winner its certainly no low key opener for the day. Tamarkuz has raced four times at the meeting so far, with the final three of those resulting in impressive victories.
He’s gone from strength to strength and has a very progressive profile. Available at 13/8 (William Hill) it’s not everyone’s cup of tea in a 16 runner race, but he is that price for a reason. I see him getting us off to a great start to the day.
Meydan 15:40 | Channel 4
The Grey Gatsby was one of the stars of the Flat season in 2014, winning the Dante and French Derby, before chasing home Derby hero Australia in the Juddmonte International at York then turning the form round by winning the Irish Champion Stakes in his final start.
This is without doubt the best form on offer and it’s a surprise that he is not favourite. Ryan Moore has won three times on him from four starts and the two combine here and should be hard to beat.
His main rival in the race is the Freddy Head trained Solow. He has been taken along slowly, and was seen as a stayer in his younger years. He raced at a lowly level before being stepped up to a Grade 2 at Longchamp on his eighth start over 1 mile 7 and a half furlongs!! Thats a full 6.5 furlongs further than Saturday’s race.
Realising after that race that staying was not his game he was dropped to race over this distance at Clairfontaine winning well. He then closed the season with Grade 3 and Grade 2 wins over a mile. After shaping like a horse to follow on his final three starts he confirmed that with an impressive return to action in the Prix Montjeu at Chantilly.
With the benefit of a prep race Solow may have the edge over The Grey Gatsby in this encounter. I’ll be backing Solow to come out on top, but I’ll also be covering it with a reverse forecast on the two as they look a cut above the opposition here.
Meydan 17:00 | Channel 4
The Dubai World Cup is the main event on Saturday afternoon, but the richest race of the year has failed to attract a field deserving of the prize money on offer.
African Story won this race last year when it was run on a different surface (Tapeta), but even though he has proved himself effective on the new dirt surface he looks like he falls short this season against a couple of powerful American rivals.
California Chrome is a horse most people will be familiar with as he was the most recent horse to go agonisingly close to winning the American Triple Crown, coming unstuck like so many others in the Belmont Stakes.
He was very impressive in the Kentucky Derby last season, being eased down late on and California Chrome is a real class act. He was third behind Bayern in the Breeders Cup Classic at the end of a long hard season and in my opinion he stands out in this field. He chased home the highly talented Shared Belief in a Grade 2 in February to confirm his well being and he should be fully fit for this.
His main rival in the betting Lea also comes across from the States with some solid form on offer but it falls short of California Chrome’s efforts. In a weak looking Dubai World Cup the 13/8 (888 Sport) available about California Chrome looks massive and he looks a great bet in the finale.
Meydan 12:40 – Tamarkuz to win (13/8 William Hill)
Meydan 15:40 – Solow to win (9/4 Skybet)
Meydan 15:40 – Solow/The Grey Gatsby Reverse Forecast
Meydan 17:00 – California Chrome to win (13/8 888 Sport)
Back a winner at odds of 3/1 or above at any race at Meydan, Doncaster, Kempton and Navan this Saturday and you’ll receive a free bet token to the same value as your stake.