Four to Follow: Dubai calling

As we await the start of the Turf season back in the UK, the legendary Dubai World Cup meeting is back. Plenty of challengers from all over the world come to Meydan to claim the historic prizes on offer. Here we look at the big turf races and the main event itself.


No Frost In Dubai

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1:15 – Al Quoz Sprint (Group One) – Frost At Dawn @ 15/2 (BetVictor, Boylesports)

This is possibly the hardest race to predict of the meeting. The key factor is winning at Meydan, whatever the level, and Frost At Dawn matches the description.

Trained by William Knight, Frost At Dawn has spent the winter in Dubai performing very well winning one and placing in a couple more. He was a dominant winner last time out by two-and-a-half lengths and puts the three-year-old in a good position. as three-year-olds don’t have a great record in the race. But he’s far better value than the current favourite Star Of Mystery.


Luck For Luxembourg

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3:10 – Dubai Turf (Group One) – Luxembourg @ 9/1 (William Hill)

Despite not winning a race since last May, Luxembourg has never been disgraced in defeat. His last three runs have him beaten only by two-and-a-quarter lengths and has been extremely unlucky. On paper, it looks like a very winnable race for a horse who has been unlucky in the past few races.

Voyage Bubble ran a cracker of race in Hong Kong against Romantic Warrior, only beaten by neck on the line. He won the Stewards’ Cup at Sha Tin over a mile earlier in the season and the extra furlong won’t be a problem. He has handled step up to a mile-and-a-quarter very well in previous runs. Should not be discounted at 9/1 (William Hill).


Making A Splash

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3:35 – Dubai Sheema Classic (Group One) – Liberty Island @ 5/2 (General)

Everyone will be latching onto the Auguste Rodin factor, which I understand. He was Europe’s top three-year-old and finished with a flourish in the Breeders’ Cup. But chiefly, he’s now a four-year-old and the challenges will be a little tougher.

Particularly when up against Japan’s top three-year-old from last year who is Liberty Island. Her only blemish last season was finishing runner-up behind the extremely talented Equinox. But a run of four Group One’s, all won in dominant fashion, but Japan’s challenge at number one.

But if there’s been one horse that has surprised everyone it’s Spirit Dancer. Arguably a shock winner of the Bahrain International Trophy, he went on to win almost £1million in Saudi Arabia for a Group Two. Sandwiched in between was a fourth at Meydan, but at the top level this horse can spring another surprise and round off Sir Alex Ferguson’s Winter of major content. 20/1 (William Hill).


Far East in the Middle East

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4:35 – Dubai World Cup (Group One) – Ushba Tesoro @ 11/4 (William Hill)

Ushba Tesoro won this race last year in dominant fashion. He couldn’t follow up in the Breeders’ Cup, but has since won at Listed level back in Japan and was only beaten by a head in the Saudi Cup by Senor Buscador. With the extra furlong in his favour over the American, Ushba Tesoro can follow up and write his name in the history books.

For what happened in the Saudi Cup, Senor Buscador is overpriced and he can’t be faulted on his recent form. Coming back from disappointment in the Breeders’ Cup he finished second in a handicap at Aqueduct, beaten a neck by National Treasure at Gulfstream and just fended off Usbha Tesoro to win the Saudi Cup. Clearly possesses a lot of talent and his price of 9/1 (BetVictor) should be taken advantage of.

The very best of luck!

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