Analysis/selections for Dubai World Cup, Sheema Classic

Going sans podcast this week as the work with handicapping a track I check out once a year has proven most time-worthy. That track is Meydan, in Dubai.  Only the most lucrative series of races in the world outside the US.  I have had to do various calculations of pace and pace form to get a window into how runners in 2 races might fare.  Brisnet provides a glaring lack of consistency in pace details; Equibase does as good a job as any but it’s still a challenge to put it all together.
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.
Gailo Chop my price play here.  Winner in Europe and Australia, this French-trained horse has growing pace form. Best effort of late was a 4-length win in the La Coupe de Maisons Laffitte (G3) last September in France, improving with a small new top in pace last out in the Longines Mackinnon Stakes 3/3/16.  Only other horse with a stretch-out and 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.

Thoughts on 2015 UAE Derby & Dubai World Cup

I want to get this post out of the way as there’s a lot to type about. For this post specifically you’ll see my approach in picking horses in the UAE Derby and Dubai World Cup.
Honestly this was very difficult because the non-North American horses do not get Brisnet numbers.  What I decided was to approximate the winning time with the distance, then subtract a bit based on lengths back. It was painstaking, to go over every PP for 2 races, but I got it done. I was able to create this makeshift pace form to determine what appear to be fast/slow trends.
Here’s my top 3 for the UAE Derby, a race for 10 3YOs going 9.5 furlongs.
#7 Kentucky-bred GOLDEN BAROWS has 4 lifetime races, all at 1 mile, in Tokyo. Won the Hyacinth, 287k ungraded race, last time.  3 wins and a 2nd lifetime, all wins as the top choice by the public.  The best I can guess is that he’s reached small new tops to start his 3YO campaign, and seems to have the fastest pace overall. 2 wins from a middle post.
#9 MAFTOOL has 7 lifetime races, 3 wins, 2 secons, 1 3rd. At Meydan: 1 win and 1 3rd, coming during this meet. Seems to have the best connections coming in (Saaed bin Suroor, Paul Hanagan). Winner of Graded stakes events on grass and turf. First 5 races in England, last 2 here at Meydan, with a win in the UAE 2000 Guineas.
#10 DEAR DOMUS, like Golden Barows, has Asian connections. All races in Japan, with 2 ungraded stakes wins. Only reason I consider him is a noticeable gain in pace in his last few races.
The world’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup involves 9 of the best thoroughbreds anywhere, going 10 furlongs.
#5 LEA, racing in Gulfstream for the last 4 races, has 2 Graded victories. Can win right off layoff. Reported 4 works since his last race (Donn Handicap, 2/7), all very fast, including one bullet.  Slight bounce risk. Previously won after gaining a handful of pounds as he does here.
#9 CALIFORNIA CHROME, since his Triple Crown attempt, has mixed results, though does have a win in the Hollywood Derby on 11/29, then 2nd in the Santa Anita Invitational. Only horse in the field who appears to have forward pace progression
The oddsmakers seems to agree on Lea and Chrome are the top 2 for certain.  My 3rd choice might not be as popular: #1 PRINCE BISHOP arrives with multiple wins on the Meydan course, and was 9th in the World Cup last year. Best connections here (Saaed bin Suroor, William Buick). Several wins from an inner post.
2 races, probably not very exciting in terms of turning a profit, but the competition is worth watching. Go
Next post, as soon as I’m able to publish it, will focus on this weekend’s Derby Future Wager, Pool 4.  Beyond that, I should have to post about Saturday’s major stakes races, including the Enlightened Trails events.

2014 Dubai World Cup/UAE Derby analysis

This post focuses on 2 races on the Dubai World Cup card; the UAE Derby, and the World Cup itself.
Handicapping the races is rather challenging without the benefit of full past performances. The information received through various sources don’t really add up altogether. I’m missing info such as post position, points of call, and solid lifetime stats, some of the real nuts and bolts of my analysis. But I have enough to make a somewhat educated decision. Lets’ proceed.

UAE Derby runs 9.5 furlongs on the Meydan all-weather course. As with all races on this card, there isa ton of international stardom on track with top qualtiy connections alongside. Here’s my top 3 in detail:
LONG JOHN won the UAE 2000 Guineas last time out at Meydan, in his 4YO debut. He’s won multiple races at the top level in Australia. He’s running a tripled-up series of high pace numbers (Equibase overall pace numbers from the last 3 range from 104 to 109). The 104 from the 2000 Guineas is the best winning score from this track of this field, along with the all-weather. I’ve measured him as the fastest of the field and the one to beat.

Asmar is based in Ireland, with 4 printed starts at Meydan, and has the best average winning distance from his immediate pedigree. Cape Cross, also from Ireland is a multiple top stakes winner in Europe. Asmar ran 5th to Long John in the aforementioned 2000 Guineas. Last time out in the Al Bastakia he won going away, and ran a 101 per Equibase, sharp spike up in his pace stats

Paximidia is the value pick of my top 3 here. Also racing in Australia, he has the top personnel aboard: jockey Silvestre De Sousa and trainer Saeed bin Suroor have been leading jockey and trainer for the Meydan meet. Equibase number of 90 in the 2000 Guineas last time, way down from his 104 in a Grade 2 race back home, and a 98 prior to that…so there’s reason to think he can bounce back.

4-9-2 my picks here.

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The World Cup itself is 16 horses strong, running the classic 10 furlong distance, with no American horse in the mix.
RULER OF THE WORLD was rather busy facing top Graded company from May to September last year in France and England. Winner of the famed Epsom Darby, he’s primed to pull an unprecedented double with a win here today. Paired up last two races via pace. Overall he appears fastest of these.

AFRICAN STORY can hit here at a price. The 7YO has run several meets at Meydan and also has the De Sousa/bin Suroor connection. bin Suroor in fact had reclaimed him just for the current meet, with mixed results that include a win at a mile but not at longer routes. Still bears watching in a race with so many contenders but not many combinators of factors for me.

Vancouverite also appears to have what it takes to compete. The British horse has raced completely before age 4, forging a lifetime best just weeks ago in a win at Meydan. His trip last time out was relatively free of issues and not wide at all, unlike most of his competition today.

12-6-3 my picks for the Dubai World Cup.

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Later, once scratches are announced I’ll post my top 3 for the Florida and Louisiana Derbies. Also, patterns are holding for the future wager. Keep watch on Twitter (idealisticstats) for updates.

Dubai World Cup racecard analysis (of sorts)

Dubai is the site of my greatest ever handicapping score, a $300 + exacta from a $1 wager.

Think I’ll spare you the deep analysis because,…well…I can’t even attempt to! Even with Brisnet past performances, the real issue is that, with international horses, there’s no way to figure out the lengths behind at different points of call nor standard pace ratings. So, here’s what I did. I took 5 variables and judged based on who gathered the edge, plus ties, in the most variables. Class: Who won at the Grade 1 (US) level. Track: Best average time per furlong at Meydan Racecourse in a win there. Pace: Took the Favorite Toy method out and measured average time per furlong in the last 3 races. (this took a fair amount of time). Distance: Longest winning distance of a horse in the field, splitting ties by best speed per furlong from that race. Average Winning Distance of pedigree, taking the average of the sire and dam’s sire numbers.
With that here are my top contenders in no particular order per race:
Godolphin Mile: Alpha, Master Of Hounds, Zazou
Dubai Gold Cup: Imperial Monarch

UAE Derby: Law Enforcement, Shuruq
Al Quoz Sprint: Shea Shea, Medicean Man
Dubai Golden Shaheen: Mental, Tamaathul, Private Zone
Dubai Duty Free: Sajjhaa, Igugu
Dubai Sheema Classic: Dunaden
Dubai World Cup: Animal Kingdom, Red Cadeaux