Hanson: Spot Plays on the Dubai World Cup card

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

March 29th, 2019

The Dubai World Cup Day program at Meydan, which will be held primarily during the morning hours Saturday in the United States, is again filled to the brim with competitive races and international intrigue. Here are thoughts on most of the eight Thoroughbred races. Click here for FREE Brisnet past performances for the Dubai World Cup card Race 2 -- Godolphin Mile (G2) -- 8:15 a.m. (EDT) My opinion on this race is not strong but my selection from last year, #11 MUSAWAAT (20-1), will be an even bigger price this time around. A year ago, Musawaat saved ground to the stretch, switched out for running room and finished a decent fourth behind returning rivals like Heavy Metal and Muntazah over a track that, with the exception of the Dubai Golden Shaheen, acted like a conveyor belt for those with early foot that day. He could certainly be a notch below the best here as he's so far indicated, and blinkers haven't really seemed to help all that much, but Musawaat should come on from his distant third in the Burj Nahaar (G3) and, as alluded to earlier, will be a far better price than he was 12 months ago when he started at roughly 6-1. Action play each way. Race 3 -- Dubai Gold Cup (G2) -- 8:50 a.m. #2 CALL THE WIND (3-1) captured the prestigious Prix du Cadran (G1) in his stakes debut last October, and the Frankel gelding comes in off a useful prep in the Prix Darshaan over the all-weather surface at Chantilly. The pick to upend Melbourne Cup (G1) winner Cross Counter here. Race 4 -- Al Quoz Sprint (G1) -- 9:30 a.m. I was all about #8 BLUE POINT (3-5) in this race last year until he was scratched at the gate after bleeding from the nostrils. Dominant this winter in Dubai, he's hard to oppose here. Race 5 -- UAE Derby (G2) -- 10:05 a.m. His slow-starting tendencies are well-documented, but #3 GOLDEN JAGUAR (15-1) still seems to have a lot of upside. Certainly the farther the better for this son of Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Animal Kingdom who, like his father, has already showed affection for both dirt and turf. Here's hoping the track and/or pace scenario do not work against him running his best race. Race 6 -- Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) -- 10:40 a.m. The speed of X Y Jet and #4 PROMISES FULFILLED (7-1) could set things up for a closer, but like the fact the latter breaks outside his likely early rival even if he concedes experience over this track to the two-time runner-up in this race. Promises Fulfilled did much of the dirty work in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) yet still held well for fourth after a long campaign. Enters fresh and looms the value play. Race 7 -- Dubai Turf (G1) -- 11:20 a.m. I'm on the #7 ALMOND EYE (7-5) bandwagon like most everyone else, so who to link up with the star Japanese filly in the Exacta? I'm tossing longshot #6 LORD GLITTERS (20-1) and #13 WOOTTON (8-1) in the second slot. Lord Glitters will appreciate ground much firmer than what he encountered in the Queen Elizabeth II (G1) at Ascot and hopefully a pace more honest than he saw in the Woodbine Mile (G1). Wootton could be sitting on his best race of the winter after a fourth and a second in two earlier preps. I have no real opinion on the wide-open Race 8 -- Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) -- 12 p.m., so will jump to... Race 9 -- Dubai World Cup (G1) -- 12:40 p.m. #10 YOSHIDA (8-1), if he gets the right pace setup, figures to have a big shot. The Woodward (G1) winner uncorked his very wide rally far too late in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) and settled for fourth, and last time wasn't that strong a fit for the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) contested on drenched ground. When last shipped overseas, he finished a credible fifth in the Queen Anne (G1) at Royal Ascot last June, so this kind of travel is not new to him. PHOTO: Almond Eye(JPN), with jockey Christophe Lemaire, wins The Japan Cup (G1) at Tokyo Racecourse, Japan November 25, 2018 (c) Horsephotos.com/Tomoya Moriuchi