Horse Racing
Dubai World Cup – Form Comments

29/03/2018 17:51

G1 – 2000m – Dirt

1 Awardee Reaching the veteran stage now, he ran with credit in this race last year but simply wasn’t good enough, finishing 10 1/2L 5th behind Arrogate. By contrast to last year, he’s had two prep runs in recent months but never threatened in the closing stages at Tokyo last time.
2 North America Disappointed in a shorter G2 at this meeting last year though his jockey said he hated the wet track. Again arrives on this big day with some terrific Meydan performances, most recently when a relentless display of dirt galloping saw him stylishly and easily fend off some of today’s rivals in a G1 at this distance.
3 Gunnevera A very talented late closer whose biggest problem is West Coast who keeps on finishing in front. That includes the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar when Gunnevera finished 5th and Gulfstream Park’s hugely valuable Pegasus World Cup when he finished 3rd, 10 3/4L behind second placed West Coast.
4 Furia Cruzada Started at huge odds in this last year and never got a look-in, finishing 13th. She’s tough and in quite good form, finishing 9L third to rival here North America in a G1 over this distance in March. Against even stronger international competition she’ll surely struggle in this again.
5 Mubtaahij Runner-up in this two years ago and fourth last year – both times ridden prominently – since when he’s moved to Bob Baffert’s Californian yard. Most recently he led for much of the trip in a G1 at Santa Anita and, though having no answers to the winner, he clearly remains in sharp form.
6 Forever Unbridled A powerful mare, she has become a real champion over 1800m including her G1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff victory at Del Mar last November. Famous for producing a terrific finishing kick and her trainer and jockey both think that this longer distance and Meydan’s home straight could be in her favour.
7 Talismanic More familiar on turf and over further, including victory in a G1 at Del Mar in November and a second – also at 2400m – in the LONGINES Hong Kong Vase, looking briefly like winning until the mighty Highland Reel rallied. He looked happy on an artificial surface when winning well over 1900m at Chantilly this month.
8 Pavel A close third in a prestigious G1 at Belmont Park last October, giving the impression then that he had the stamina for this trip. However he’s been a beaten favourite on his last two starts – admittedly in strong company – and he’s not an obvious Dubai World Cup winner.
9 West Coast The certain favourite, and highly progressive last year including a front-running demolition of his rivals – including Gunnevera – in a prestigious G1 at Saratoga last August. He’s had the misfortune to encounter superstar Gun Runner in his last two starts including when second to him in the Pegasus World Cup in January. Otherwise he’s faultless.
10 Thunder Snow Versatile distance and groundwise – he’s a G1 winner on turf over 1600m – he managed to win a 1900m dirt G2 here in February – despite having to cover more ground than any of his rivals – victims including North America. However that rival’s early speed proved decisive when reversing the form last time.