The Godolphin Mile is a cracking contest in its own right but it is merely the appetiser to a superb day’s racing at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, the highlight of which is the Dubai World Cup itself.
That opening race could see the British challengers get off to a flying start through the ever-improving Western Aristocrat, who looks overpriced at 8/1 with Paddy Power. Jeremy Noseda‘s colt goes well fresh and has already won on artificial surface. He may have more scope than home favourite African Story (2/1 with Skybet) and last year’s third Red Jazz (a general 10/1).
Despite the presence of American star Game On Dude (10/1 with bet365, Coral and Ladbrokes) and prolific Japanese winner Smart Falcon (a general 11/2), the Dubai World Cup is mostly about So You Think. A winner of five Group 1 races in Australia and three in Europe for Aidan O’Brien, the six-year-old would probably be retired if adding to his portfolio in Dubai and is likely the one to beat at Betfred and totesport‘s 11/4. But Smart Falcon‘s compatriot Eishin Flash may have been underestimated by bookmakers in the World Cup and also makes plenty of appeal at the general 14/1. Christophe-Patrice Lemaire flew over to Japan a couple of times to feel of Hideaki Fujiwara‘s entire and he has top-class form in his homeland. Stall two is also a very good draw.
Beaten Up never stopped improving last year and can take the elevation up to Group 1 company in his stride by winning the Dubai Sheema Classic. Trainer Willie Haggas is never one to over-extend his charges and must think this son of Beat Hollow has what it takes to succeed at the highest level. The Ballydoyle pair Treasure Beach and St Nicholas Abbey are smart performers, as is French raider Cirrus Des Aigles. But Beaten Up has much more untapped potential and can prevail at Betfred, Skybet and totesport’s 5/1.
The drop back to 5f in the Al Quoz Sprint will suit Hong Kong-based Eagle Regiment and he’s worth a small interest at William Hill‘s 11/1, but favourite Rocket Man will be tough to beat in the Dubai Golden Shaheen. Coral may regret putting up 5/2 against last year’s winner, who was an even money chance 12 months ago. Patrick Shaw‘s sprinter has the plum draw again and, though this year’s opposition looks stronger, he should still prove too good for Bob Baffert‘s The Factor (6/1 with Stan James). It may also be worth following the market in the Dubai Duty Free as Ambitious Dragon has been hugely impressive at Sha Tin this year. He is generally available at 9/2.