Economic Model looks good to win the first race of the meeting at Meydan, while Rare Rhythm looks the one to beat in Dubai Gold Cup
Dubai World Cup predictions: Hawkbill to win Dubai Sheema Classic, Benbatl has the edge in Dubai Turf and Gold Town takes UAE Derby
Plenty of the attention at Meydan on Saturday will be on the ninth and final race, the $10 million (Dh36.73m) Dubai World Cup, although there are another eight races for fans to look forward to. Amith Passela runs the rule over each of those races and offers his 1-2-3 predictions.
For the preview and predictions for the Dubai World Cup race, click here.
3.45pm: Godolphin Mile Group 2 (Dirt) 1,600m US$1,000,000
Raven’s Corner, Kimbear and Heavy Metal carry the best local form from the track but they all have to deal with wide draws. The most interesting runner is Economic Model, a recent purchase by Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid from the United States and arrives having won his last two starts, including a Group 3 prize.
Predictions: 1. Economic Model 2. Kimbear 3. Heavy Metal
4.15pm: Dubai Kahayla Classic (PA) Group I (D) 2,000m $ 1,000,000
An open race with at least six runners challenging the prize for the Purebred Arabians. Ziyadd heads the field on the strength of having finished ahead of Barnamaj, Al Zahir and Paddy’s Day over the course and distance. In the mix are newcomers Bandar and Tallaab Al Khalediah, who is undefeated in four starts.
Predictions: 1. Ziyadd 2. Barnamaj 3. Al Zahir
4.50pm: Dubai Gold Cup Group 2 (Turf) 3,200m $1,000,000
Vazirabad is bidding for a hat-trick of successes in this race and is seeking to create a piece of history by becoming the first thoroughbred to win three races at the Dubai World Cup meeting. Godolphin have five entered, and Rare Rhythm who got the better of Vazirabad 30 days ago, is looking good to take the victory.
Predictions: 1. Rare Rhythm 2. Frontiersman 3. Vazirabad
5.30pm: UAE Derby Group 2 (D) 1,900m $2,000,000
Gold Town has impressed in both his victories in two local starts, including his success in the UAE 2000 Guineas by more than 10 lengths. American pair Mendelssohn and Reride can run him close but the one to watch out for is Yulong Warrior who has come into the picture after his impressive win in the Derby trial.
Predictions: 1. Gold Town 2. Mendelssohn 3. Yulong Warrior
6.05pm: Al Quoz Sprint Group I (T) 1,200m $1,000,000
Blue Point looks the pick of the three Godolphin runners that include the hat-trick seeking Jungle Cat. The American trio of Stormy Liberal, Holding Gold and Richard’s Boy, and another Godolphin runner Jungle Cat appear the dangers. Librisa Breeze carries British hopes.
Predictions: 1. Blue Point 2. Jungle Cat 3. Stormy Liberal
6.40pm: Dubai Golden Shaheen Group I (D) 1,200m $2,000,000
Reynaldothewizard will be a sentimental favourite of the racing fans at Meydan but this looks a battle between the American runners Roy H, X Y Jet and Mind Your Biscuits. Jordan Sport, who won the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal, the trial race, on his dirt debut, may be one to watch to spring a surprise.
Predictions: 1. Roy H 2. Mind Your Biscuits 3. X Y Jet
7.35pm: Dubai Turf Group I (T) 1,800m $6,000,000
This looks a competitive race with an international field that includes Godolphin’s Benbatl and Blair House, who is drawn the widest of the 15 runners. Vivlos, the winner of this prize last year, is one of the five entries from Japan. Lancaster Bomber appears a real challenger, but Benbatl could just have the edge.
Predictions: 1. Benbatl 2. Lancaster Bomber 3. Blair House
8.10pm: Dubai Sheema Classic Group I (T) 2,410m $6,000,000
Godolphin has three entered under three different trainers. Andre Fabre’s Cloth Of Stars holds an exemplary record of seven wins and only once failing to finish out of the first three in 14 career starts. Hawkbill is the other and has the benefit of a run, when winning the Group 2 City of Gold on Super Saturday.
Predictions: 1. Hawkbill 2. Cloth Of Stars 3. Idaho