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Las Vegas, NV - The richest horse race on the planet - the Grade 1 Dubai World Cup comes our way from Meydan Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, March 29. Horses four years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the lucrative $10 million purse when they go 1 1/4 miles on Meydan's Tapeta surface.
A wide-open international field of 16 (nine group 1 winners from eight countries) will line up in the Dubai World Cup with the field`s intrigue significantly reduced with the withdrawal of The Fugue. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all 16 combatants and the odds with which they will be sent off at for the most lucrative thoroughbred race on the planet. Zero North American horses made the trip this year - disappointing to say the least.
Ruler Of The World (9/2) - last year's Grade 1 Epsom Derby winner in England and Aidan O'Brien trainee has been installed as the favorite more because of the lack of class in the field rather than his dominating career - Saturday will mark his first start of 2014 and his first try on synthetic. He won his first three career starts including but hasn`t tasted victory since June - four starts since and a second and a third place finish to show for it. Last time out was an OK third in the Grade 1 Champion Stakes at Ascot. In a slightly underwhelming field, Ruler Of The World appears to be the best of the bunch although I am not convinced. He starts from post 12.
Military Attack (7/1) - Hong Kong Horse of the Year won the Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup last time out February 23, a Grade 1 Stakes in Singapore in May and the Audemars Piguet Aueen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin. He is arguably the hottest of the entries for the World Cup and starts from gate 8 Saturday. He is fit as they come and is expected to be one of the ones to beat Saturday.
Prince Bishop (8/1) - won the Grade 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 and Round 3 over this course and distance on Super Saturday three weeks ago and has a chance to repeat that performance in the biggest race in the world. He is the best of the Godolphin quartet and leaves from the inside post as one of the more successful entries on this track the last six months.
Mukhadram (8/1) - English multiple group winner has run exclusively on turf and he has never raced in Dubai but his style lends itself to a good showing here. He has placed in seven of 10 career starts and is best at the Dubai World Cup distance. Last time out was a well-beaten fifth behind Godolphin's star performer Farhh in the British Champion Stakes (G1) at Ascot last October however. The good results include a win in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes (G3) at Sandown, a second and third behind triple Group One winner Al Kazeem in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot and Eclipse Stakes (G1) at Sandown.
Akeed Mofeed (9/1) - Considered one of the best horses in Hong Kong after having the beating of Group 1 winners Cirrus des Aigles, Military Attack and Side Glance in the Hong Kong. He was fifth in the Hong Kong Cup, beaten 5 1/4 lengths but does have two Group 1 wins in his career. He is an intriguing 9/1 and could provide some drama in this one.
Vancouverite (12/1) - ran well on turf on Super Saturday over 1800m, and will appreciate this extra 200m and the switch to the all-weather should not be an issue. He also had wins in the Prix Guillaume d'Ornano Haras Du Logis Saint-Germain at Deaivill and a Listed race at Compiegne in 2013. He has been at or near the top in all his starts in France lately and should contend Saturday.
Sanshaawes (12/1) - crack trainer Mike de Kock will send out Sanshaawes looking for his first ever Dubai World Cup. Sanshaawes finished second behind King Bishop last time out in the Al Moktoum Challenge Round 3 here and he looked terrific at home for arguably the best international trainer around. The fact that Sanshaawes is de Kock's best chance says a whole lot about the expectation of this horse.
African Story (14/1) - finished a disappointing eighth after a horrible start in the A Maktoum Challenge on Super Saturday and will be looking to avenge that result. He did do well in the Round 2 event however. He has raced in some huge races in the past - a terrific win in the 2012 Godolphin Mile being another is an example of the class of this horse. African Story may be slipping under the radar but is a quality 14/1 Saturday.
Dubai World Cup betting at Meydan Racecourse with OffTrackBetting.com
Belshazzar (14/1) - Japanese group 1 winner has hit the board in seven straight races with four wins over that span, including the Group 1 Japan Dirt Cup December 1 and the Group 3 Tokyo Chunichi Sports Hai Musashino Stakes in November. He is coming off a third in the Group 1 February Stakes February 23 but there is little doubt that he enters in terrific form.
Ron The Greek (14/1) - former American based Grade 1 winner now races out of Saudi Arabia. He looked very good in 2012 but was just OK in 2013. He recorded a repeat win by 11 1/4 lengths in the Sunshine Millions Classic Stakes January 19, 2013 at Gulfstream but was fourth in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap March 2. He went on to a pair of OK thirds - in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster behind Fort Larned June 15 and before that in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic April 20. He was fourth in the competitive Grade 1 Whitney and in the Grade 1 Woodward but also had a terrific win in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup September 28 at Belmont Park. He had two wins in his last eight starts and looked so-so in America. He departs from the outside post Saturday.
Hokko Tarumae (14/1) - Japanese dirt runner tries synthetic for the first time Saturday and is a group 1 winner at home. He, like the other Japanese runner in the field enters in terrific form. Hokko Tarumae is coming off a second, ahead of Belshazzar in the Group 1 February Stakes after two straight wins - the best of which came December 29 in the Group 1 Tokyo Daishoten. He also had a decent third in the Group 1 Japan Dirt Cup behind Balshazzar. His best work is done on dirt but Hokko Tarumae should be competitive nonetheless.
Hillstar (14/1) - 2013 group 2 King Edwards VII stakes winner in England has not looked great lately - a sixth last time out in October followed a fourth at York in August. He has just eight career starts with two wins, two second and a third place finish but hasn't tasted victory since June.
Cat O'Mountain (20/1) - won three straight races including one on this track January 16 and two at Kempton Park but has struggled in his last two starts. Last time out was an OK fourth in a Group 1 race on this track after a tenth in February at Meydan as well.
Surfer (20/1) - was third behind Prince Bishop and Sanshaawes in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 here on Super Saturday which followed and eight in a Group 2 race also on this track. Surfer has 12 straight starts on this track - he certainly will know the nuances here but has just two wins, two seconds and a third place finish in these starts.
Red Cadeaux (25/1) - British based Red Cadeaux finished second in this race last year behind Animal Kingdom and will start from post 14. He has placed in just three of seven races since and will make his first start since a second at Flemington November 5. He has two second place finishes in his last three starts and is running better than he has in over a year.
Side Glance (33/1) - Australian group 1 winner finished fourth in this race last year and has been OK since. He finished a decent third in the Grade 3 Arlington Million Stakes in the US in August and won a Weight For Age race at Flemington in November. Side Glance is coming off a seventh in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 here on Super Saturday but has proven to be competitive in the past.
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