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Dubai World Cup 2024 Preview - Part 2

3 minute read

Now we come down to the “pointy end” of the card with the Turf, the Sheema and the Cup.

Picture: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

The Turf is G1 over 1800m and has 16 runners.  Japanese star Do Deuce has been looking very good in the mornings.  He won the Arima Kinen 2023, ran 4th in the Japan Cup (2400m) and won the Kyoto Kinen last year and of course won the Japanese Derby in 2022.  Yutaka Take will ride and they are on 3/1.  Our Japanese colleagues are very positive about his chances.  Measured Time is a Godolphin Appleby-Buick 4yo by Frankel who won the Al Rashidya in December and the Jebel Hata in January and is on 3/1.  Danon Beluga  was one who took our eye at trackwork and Joao Moreira is going to ride.  He looks better than he did last year when he ran second to Lord North.  He was 6th in the Japan Cup and 4th in the Tenno Sho Autumn late last year and 7/1 is available.  The rest of the field mostly have a chance of scoring an upset – there is Lord North trying to win the race for a record making 4th time, and his stablemate Nashwa who goes well for Hollie Doyle.  And then Luxembourg, Voyage Bubble, Facteur Cheval etc all could do well.  A fascinating race.

The Sheema is undoubtedly the race of the day with 10 Group 1 winners involved.  There are several factors which may give Liberty Island the edge here (apart from her dam being an Aussie) and they are her weight advantage, her record as a triple Tiara winner and the absence of Equinox!  She's favourite on 2/1 with her closest rival Auguste Rodin  on 5/2.  It is commendable that Auguste Rodin has been kept in training as he has a huge role to play in the future of European horses when he assumes stud duties, being by Deep Impact and out of a very good mare in Rhododendron.  At his last outing he won the Breeders' Cup Turf one of his 6 G1s which include both the English and Irish Derbys.

Others not in order of importance include the Gosdens Emily Upjohn with Shoemark riding and on 11/2. Stars on Earth 9/1 was second in the Arima Kinen. Third in the Japan Cup and in 2022 won both the (Japanese) 1000 Guineas and the Oaks.  Christophe Lemaire has the ride. Spirit Dancer has an owner who has been the centre of much attention this week – Sir Alex Ferguson.  His horse, which is home bred, won the Bahrain International and then the Neom Turf Cup in Saudi.  At home he had mostly won handicaps but seems to have blossomed in the Middle East.  10/1.  Justin Palace is another Japanese runner who won the Tenno Sho Spring over the longer trip and then was second in the Tenno Sho Autumn.  Moreira rides and 16/1 generous.

Hong Kong Vase winner Junko  is from Andre Fabre's illustrious yard who also has won the G1 Preis von Bayern  and is also on 16/1 as is Rebel's Romance, Godolphin Appleby-Buick, who won in Doha in the Amir's Trophy and 2022 won the Breeders' Cup Turf and the Preis von Europe and the GP von Berlin.  On 20/1 there's Shahryar who won this race in 2022.

 The Cup is over 2000m and has the most prize money.  We feel that the Sheema should be at the same level.  Anyhow this year's edition sees Ushba Tesoro back to defend his crown and he's looking great.  He's won 6 from 9 starts on the dirt and 1 from 4 on the turf, where he started off.  Yes he was beaten by. Senor Buscador in the Saudi Cup but only by a head and there were excuses. Kawada rides and they are on 11/4.

Kabirkan is the great story as he started off in his native Kajikistan where he proved far too good for the locals so he was sent to Dubai and into the care of Doug Watson who soon realised he had a serious racehorse on his hands and they won the G1 Al Maktoum Challenge in December and then a handicap in January.  They are on 7/2.  Derma Sotogake won the UAE Derby last year and then went on to run in the Kentucky Derby where he was 6th.  Recently he was 5th in the Saudi Cup.  Lemaire rides and they are on 4/1.  

Newgate is a 4yo trained by Bob Baffert who has Frankie Dettori riding.  His most recent win was in the Big "Cap (The Santa Anita Handicap and he's on 8/1.

The weather is supposed to warm up and/or the wind die down.

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