Friday, March 28, 2008

Weekend Picks and Analysis - Dubai Part 2

Dubai World Cup Past Performances - Full Card

Dubai Duty Free
The deepest and most interesting race of the day. one could come up with three top class selections and not be surprised if none of them hit the frame. This field is that good so I won't spend much time on the horse I don't like. There are a few I do like and I'll stick to them. Literato is a horse from the very top drawer. Last year I thought he was the best horse in Europe that no one had ever heard of. He went virtually unnoticed despite a stellar campaign and I expect him to be one of Europe's top middle distance horses this year if not THE top middle distance horse. Admire Aura is a horse who is just finding his best recently. He was a good 3yo but he just started to really come to hand near the end of the season. He started off 2008 with two very nice efforts and looks ready for a career best effort here. He'll need a career best effort though. Floral Pegasus has not won for over a year but he is still one of the top horses in here and one of the best middle distance turf horses you'll find anywhere. He's in a bit of a bad situation in Hong Kong because there are a lack of 9f turf races and Good Ba Ba is likely the worlds best miler while Viva Pataca might be the worlds best Classic distance turf horse. Floral Pegasus will be glad to be rid of those two and I expect a huge effort. I think in the end I'll shade for Admire Aura over the other two, I like his recency and am a bit put off by the fact that Literato has not run in a while. Horses with recent starts have done much better in Dubai than those making their first start. Floral Pegasus may also have confidence issues as a result of his string of losses. He solid but not the primary selection.

1) Admire Aura
2) Literato
3) Floral Pegasus

Dubai Sheema Classic
Another race with many interesting alternatives. You often get that with Turf races. Most of the focus is on Viva Pataca and rightly so. He's a powerhouse and rival Vengence of Rain already won this race last year. Viva Pataca proved himself superior to his rival last year and the field looks slightly weaker this time. Quijano is already exposed as a tier two type of horse and Better Talk Now is not good enough anymore. Viva Pataca is still beatable despite his dominance but I'm not sure if he'll meet defeat here. Doctor Dino and Youmzain seem to have the best chances to beat him but Youmzain needs a setup as well as some luck. He often runs well but has struggled to actually close out races. I think you can expect him to make the top 3 but I don't expect this to be the time that he steps up and finally wins a big one. Doctor Dino is slightly suspect at 12f and I think that will find him out just slightly. Especially since he has not run in 3 months and is coming off a career best performance. I think there will be a slight letdown in this race. If you want a bomb to use underneath use Oracle West. He was second in this race last year and the field is easier this time, plus he looks to have improved since then.

1) Viva Pataca
2) Youmzain
3) Oracle West

Dubai World Cup
I'm not sure that Curlin will never lose again but this might be one of the easier fields he faces all year. He has no excuse not to win this and given the fact that this has been an extremely formful race over the years I expect much of the same. He is the best dirt router in the world and none of these even look like the second best. I think Jalil is a fraud who will be lucky to make the top 3. He has been beating nothing recently and I think he is well below some others here. Premium Tap is a quality and classy horse but I think he might be getting past it a little. I wont use him as an alternative. Asiatic Boy at one time looked like he'd be a match for Curlin but a lot of gloss came off with his last loss. Not sure what went wrong but I think he'll bounce back to run well again but his best race is not good enough in my opinion and he'll struggle to hit the frame. Vermilion is the main danger to Curlin and I think he might even test him briefly in the lane. He's a horse in a winning habit who handles the distance very well. Japanese dirt racing is catching up to America and this might be the best dirt horse they've ever had. i think second is his for the taking. America may be poised for a sweep of the exacta though because AP Arrow will make himself heard. He is a bit of a habitual loser but in his last two races he really seemed to wake up. Great things are begin said about how he's settled in Dubai and I think he'll be in the top 3 for sure.

1) Curlin
2) Vermilion
3) A.P. Arrow

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

A few words on Sun Classique in the Sheema Classic would be appreciated. This is one contest where I'm coming up with just a single runner and would like to wager confidently, but am not hearing much about this one to stiffen my spine quite enough to take the plunge.

-KD

peeptoad said...

Both of the turf races drew deep fields, but I agree that Viva Patica is the horse to beat in the Sheema. I also like Youmzain, Doctor Dino, and Oracle West. The latter two may be best used underneath though since, in my opinion, Patica and Youmzain are the two best horses in the race...I kind of have a soft spot for Oracle West, so I'll probably throw a show bet on him. West Wind is intriguing, but may be better later in the year over the Euro turf courses.
The Duty Free looks awesome...it's more wide open than the Sheema and probably one of the more potentially exciting races on the card. I love Admire Aura in here, especially because he's proven on firm turf and that's what he'll get (barring an environmental anomaly). Literato should be really tough and I expect him to have a great year for Godolphin, but is he proven on firm going? He might prefer turf with some give in it. Still, he's a top contender here. Creachadoir may be at his best at a flat mile, but I like him underneath, and Floral Pegasus for use in the exotics. Overall, Admire Aura over Literato with maybe Creachadoir in the show spot.
Barring another environmental anomaly (like maybe an earthquake that engulfs him) Curlin should win the World Cup. In fact, if he doesn't encounter any trouble and runs to form, he should win by daylight. Vermilion is the second best horse in the race clearly (in my opinion). The Japanese have good horses, plain and simple. Their dirt horses are probably the 2nd best in the world (after the U.S.), and this should be a good reflection of that. The distance, fast track will be right up his ally and I expect a good run from Vermilion who, in any other year, would win this race. Good horses for exotics use are Happy Boy, Jalil, AP Arrow, and Gloria de Campeao. I especially like the way Campeao finished up his last race; he re-rallied and was getting to Jalil who I agree may be a bit overrated at this stage. I also have to wonder why Asiatic Boy is not entered in the G.Mile. He seems more proven at that distance and his only win beyond 8F came in restricted company...he's better than his last race, but I don't think he's good enough at 10F here.

Curlin by a country mile...go get em!!

Kennedy said...

In my opinion Sun Classique has no chance. The Turf races in the Dubai Carnival are always more suspect that the dirt races. Good turf horses simply don't bother to run in Dubai prior to the World cup so that pair of wins at Nad Al Sheba are inconsequential. Sun Classique will struggle with the class and distance. She was inconsistent even against easier horses in South Africa and struggled when facing open company. I have no idea why she is even in the race.

I'm sorry I can't really help stiffen your spine on this matter but I really think it will be money well saved.

Kennedy

Anonymous said...

Thanks. International racing isn't my game and I did think I might be missing something.
That said, I have included 'Classique' in my pick 3's and will hope for the best. A win bet or an exacta part wheel, assuming I don't have a live ticket going in, will depend on a much better than ML price.

-KD

Kennedy said...

Hats off to you KD, I hope you ignored me flatly! Perhaps you should be writing this blog!

Congrats that has to be the pick of the week!

Kennedy

Anonymous said...

Thanks again! Played a $2 5,10,14/ALL/3 pick3 and lucked into that bomb in the inscrutable Duty Free for a very nice payoff.

A dominating performance by Curlin just now, and one more pick3 for me.

A good day.
And it's not even 2 PM yet!

-KD