Dubai World Cup Valentine's Day Carnival
By Andy Villanueva
Five prep races for Super Saturday on March 3rdtake place this morning at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. Many horses in these races have aspirations of being pointed toward World Cup Day. The five races will be key for Al Quoz Sprint, Godolphin Mile, UAE Derby, Dubai Turf, and Dubai Shaheen.
MEYDAN SPRINT (AL QUOZ SPRINT)
Five of the seven entrants are nominated for the Al Quoz Sprint, but only a couple in this race are truly legitimate contenders to face off against US hopeful Stormy Liberal.
Blue Point is the most accomplished of the runners winning the King’s Stand Stakes at Ascot last year. It’s his first race of the year, as we’ve stated previously some barns aren’t pointing for G2 wins. They have higher aspirations as is the case with Godolphin trained horse. Faatinahran in last year’s running of the Sprint, didn’t completely embarrass himself in the process. Connections have the same plan from last year in place. Rebel Streakis an outsider looking for some form heading into Super Saturday, he hasn’t been effective in two starts this year. His previous efforts during the Summer are good enough to make a statement here.
FIREBREAK (GODOLPHIN MILE)
All seven entrants are nominees of the Goldophin Mile. A couple in here are pretty much getting them fit for World Cup day.
Let’s draw a line thru that Al Maktoum Challenge effort for Heavy Metal, it wasn’t his usual effort in return from ten-month layoff. Jadhav is mapping the same sequence of races as last year minus the Al Maktoum Challenge 2. Will move up in this spot an wouldn’t be surprised if he fires here.
Michelle Nevin and Brittlyn Stables had Behavioral Biaswhile in the US. New connections gelding run third in UAE debut. Always provides a check for owners, honest as they come. Might have a good shot tonight against this company if Heavy Metal doesn’t fire.
Secret Ambitiontook a big step forward winning the Jebel Ali Mile back in January. Moving another step forward will go a long way in establishing horse as contender for Mile.
Flattered when North America came back to win again, Muntazahmoves up in this race will be likely favorite heading into Super Saturday. Chased Heavy Metal in last year’s running of the Mile.
MEYDAN TROPHY (UAE DERBY)
Interesting field of twelve entered in the inaugural running on turf. It is the similar distance as the Derby, could allow some of these entries to have much more foundation if connections decide to continue forward toward the UAE Derby.
Victory Commandis the most accomplished colt in the group with multiple wins coming as a two-year old sprinting. Was completely flattered when Estihdaaf came back to win in his next start. Could see much more out of the son of War Command in this spot.
Art Du Valbroke maiden in debut. Godolphin has taken their time with son of No Nay Never, shouldn’t have an issue with the distance. Appleby might have primed for this spot.
Troliusgelding was perfect as a two-year old. It is his toughest test of his career. Win at 1 1/8 mile make him dangerous stretching back out.
Promise of Success is an intriguing entry as she is one of two filly’s entered in this race. Both are likely to be pointed toward the UAE Oaks on Super Saturday. This filly is Godolphin’s ace in the hole for that day and shouldn’t be overlooked in first attempt on turf with her pedigree.
BALANCHINE (DUBAI TURF)
Furia Cruzada could be either heading to the World Cup or Dubai Turf, filly was primed in most recent for big effort. Gets added distance, mare could turn the tables on Poetic Charm.
Poetic Charmbeat similar in Cape Verdi. Filly is not nominated for the Dubai Turf but should be considered a player in this race. Godolphin will likely find a spot for filly on Super Saturday.
Asoofwith a strong second in return from three-month break. She is likely to be pointed for this effort. Filly is nominated for the Turf, she could continue her improvement against a short field.
INSIDEOUT HANDICAP (GOLDEN SHAHEEN)
Switzerlandneeded race back in January in local debut. Asmussen sees enough of horse to try one more time prior to Super Saturday. We saw X Y Jet rebound in second race of 2019 on Wednesday afternoon at Gulfstream Park. Run well at six furlongs, expect a bigger effort in this race.
Intereted to see Lavaspin in his 2019 debut. Shown quite a bit of talent prior to Dubai World Cup Carnival. Won three of his five races at this distance.
Victory Wavewill be tough in cut back. Mare finished fourth against Poetic Charm and Furia Cruzada. They run in previous race, should see how those run to gauge mare’s chances here.