With that I’ll give you picks for the big Dubai World Cup and its immediate prior race, the Dubai Sheema Classic. We’ll start with the Classic, a 12 furlong race on the Meydan turf for 4YOs+, all parts of the world represented in this $6 million race.
My top 3 are these:
Duramente, 2nd in the morning-line, lifetime 7-5-2-0, Japan born bred and raised, with 3 Graded wins, all turf routes in his home country. Best speed (and overall ) for the 12 furlongs of this field, judging from his 1.75 length win in a G1 race 2 races and 10 months back. Prior win while stretching out in distance, also a shipping win.
The Blue Eye, racing in Qatar, from GB, has 8 wins in 14 races. Best turf and off-track speed of the field; best effort is a 2nd place finish in the Thoroughbred Guineas in November.
Suggested odds: Duramente 1-1; Gailo Chop 7-2; Dariyan 15-1; The Blue Eye 9-1. Overlay: Gailo Chop
Dubai World Cup carries a $10 million purse for horses 4YOs +, 10 furlongs. My top 3:
Hoppertunity has wins in the San Pasquale and the San Antonio, 16 of 18 lifetime in the money. Matched lifetime best Equibase score of 114 in the San Antonio last time out, nosing out Imperative, on 2/6/16. The Bob Baffert trainee has best speed figures for the distance (114, Gold Cup at Santa Anita). 4 published works, 3 of them very fast. Prior stretch out and shipping wins, also won with prior similar gain in weight (San Pasqual win was a gain of 5 lbs; adds 7 lbs here)
Mshawish enters with wins in the Donn Handicap, the Hal Hope, the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, The Fort Lauderdale, and the El Prado. Fastest Meydan speed figure of the field, scoring a 3rd in last year’s DP World Dubai Turf. Prior wins off layoff. Measured as having fastest pace of the field (last 3 Equibase scores 120, 119, 100)
Keen Ice won last year’s Travers Stakes, only 3rd win in 15 starts. Exploded and forged pace form from his 6th place finish in February’s Donn Handicap, bouncing back a bit in the Al Maktoum Challenge here on 3/5. I’m expecting a bounce back here.
Suggested odds: Hoppertunity 3-1; Mshawish 4-1; Special Fighter 9-1; Keen Ice 9-1. All 4 I register as overlays.